Roy takes a spiritual and physical journey from despair to survival in this encouraging tale.
From Zero to a Hundred: Finding My Purpose through My Pain, the autobiographical debut from Jason Roy, founder of the Zero 2 a Hundred Foundation, is both a memoir and, in its final pages, an assertive testimonial. It’s an inspiring account of how one man worked to recover from two devastating injuries, often relying on his faith as an indispensable tool.
Roy was a confident young athlete before his first accident, in which a drunk driver broadsided the vehicle he and a friend were traveling in, throwing him from the rear window into an intersection. Doctors worried that he’d never regain full mobility, and yet, after a painful and disheartening period of recovery, he did.
This first accident functions in his book as a means for Roy to explore his growth from a typical teenager into a man who took little for granted. This task is accomplished in a short space, as almost a preface to the larger work.
An abrupt shift finds Roy making his way into adulthood, pursuing a career as a police officer in his native Houston. Roy describes instances of self-doubt and disillusionment, intensified by the typical horrors those within the justice system face. Such passages are self-reflective and compelling. At the same time, Roy finds his life’s purpose in police work, though that confidence is also shown to be fragilely constructed when a second devastating accident leaves him in dire straits.
The bulk of the work focuses on Roy in the aftermath of this second accident. He relates all of the indignities that come with being dependent on others after a debilitating accident, including restroom mishaps. Such passages are frank, if sometimes off-putting in their meticulous detail. Roy also recounts the frustrations of his constant pain. He shares how his injuries impacted his relationship with his son, Jadon, often named as his only reason for living, and traces the sad disintegration of Roy’s relationship with Jadon’s mother.
The spiritual impacts of Roy’s injuries are worked in throughout, if they sometimes seem to occupy less space than recollections of physical challenges. Roy, understandably, does a fair amount of asking “why me?” both in awe because his two survivals were so unlikely, and in frustration because his recoveries prove so taxing. These vacillations are extremely relatable.
Still, the theological aspects of Roy’s work often lag behind other features of his autobiography. Questions of the nature of human pain, particularly as it relates to God’s love, arise naturally, but they remain largely unsatisfiable. Roy often ends up simply electing to trust despite tribulations. Readers who share his faith will likely sympathize with the confidence he expresses, if whys resist fleshing out.
It is indeed inspiring to follow Roy’s journey. He perseveres despite incredible odds. Those who have any experience with such injuries will find much in his book to intellectually engage. His spiritual journey from despair back into practice remains in a more personal realm, however, so that the inward rededication he encourages of his readers gives the final pages a bait-and-switch feel. Roy is often successful at conveying that he believes; it is less certain that his meditations will initiate the same kind belief in others.
A generous peek inside one Christian’s most trying experiences, From Zero to a Hundred is an encouraging tale of determined survival.
Michelle Anne Schingler
Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the publisher will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.