How does a heroin addict turn into an Ironman-Triathlon competitor? For Colorado native Shane Niemeyer, it all started with a failed suicide attempt in prison—and a magazine article on six-time Ironman champion Dave Scott. Niemeyer latched onto training for an event that requires swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles, and running 26.2 miles. It was, at least, a better focus than his previous and crippling drug addiction.

Niemeyer’s account, along with co-author Gary Brozek, gives an honest, gritty portrayal of a life that began in Loveland, Colorado and derailed somewhere in childhood between California and the Midwest. Niemeyer’s once slippery slope lifestyle was turned on its head with the ultimate goal of competing the Iron-Man World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. The Hurt Artist hits bookshelves May 20.

Meet the author: Niemeyer will be speaking and signing books at the Boulder Book Store. Tue July 17th, 7:30 p.m.; 1107 Pearl Street, Boulder.