CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- His movements are fluid on the tennis court. His coach jokingly chides him -- a verbal poke in the ribs to get him moving quicker.
Pat Donaghey says between breaths, "Fight through it. Let's go," as he swoops and bends to deliver his response via the tennis ball.
Donaghey, 51, isn't your average tennis player, though he might say otherwise. He plays the game from a wheelchair, and has for about 20 years.
"People say to me, 'You're amazing,' when they see me on the tennis courts," Donaghey said. "But to me, it's like no big deal. I just do it."
It hasn't been easy for Donaghey, though. The four-time wheelchair tennis grand prix title winner only recently returned from an 11-year hiatus -- the result of a marriage gone bad, followed by a bout of depression.
He moved from New York to Charleston almost two years ago at the insistence of his sisters, who he called "wonderful."
"They said, 'You're not living like that,'" Donaghey said. "I was isolating and not calling anybody and not being myself."
In an effort to get back to his old self, Donaghey joined the Charleston YMCA last February. He began working out every day, finally getting back into shape. When he saw the gym's tennis courts, something stirred inside him.
"[My] competitive spirit just lifted again," Donaghey said.
Since beginning his training, Dongahey has lost nearly 50 pounds and become competitive, winning tournaments since May.
"I got my muscles coming back," Donaghey said, flexing and squeezing his right arm as proof. "I got great coaching. This place has really done wonders for me, getting me back into shape."
This isn't the first time para-athletics have changed Donaghey's life for the better.
Donaghey was born and raised in the Bronx. He was still in New York City at 25, between shifts at a utility company, when he was shot in the chest.
It was 11:14 on Halloween night, Donaghey recalled. "I was robbed for $60 and a gold chain.
"I didn't see the second crackhead," he said. "One crackhead pulled a knife on me and said, 'Give me your money.' I wasn't too worried about it, because I was in the service. I can handle myself pretty well.
"I just felt someone over my back. I just turned around, but he just point down blank shot me."
Donaghey unbuttoned his shirt to show a large scar running down the middle of his chest.
"Hit me here, in the vena cava."