Rona Octavia is turning a tragedy into a form of art. After she was struck by a driver in a hit-and-run accident in 2014 while training for a double English Channel swim, Octavia suffered back, leg and head injuries that forced her to give up her jobs as a lifeguard and gym instructor.
"Everything went out of the window," she told the Lancashire Telegraph. "I went into a deep sadness. If you love sport and you cannot do it anymore you have to look for something positive to throw yourself into.”
During her recovery, Octavia became deeply saddened by her inability to swim, so she turned to another form of therapy: writing. Finding inspiration in her own struggles, she penned her memoir, "Knock Me Down And Watch Me Come Back Stronger," which reflects on her experience swimming the English Channel and dealing with heartbreak.
“It is about finding yourself, learning to love yourself and how friends and family hold real value. Writing made me realize I had achieved something,” she said. “Everything happens for a reason. It’s important to look for positives. The accident made me more humble and taught me to have more empathy.”