He's beaten cancer twice, conquered some of the world's biggest mountains, won Paralympic gold and defied odds his entire life, but Sport Australia Hall of Fame inductee Michael Milton says he's happy simply being a "weekend warrior".
Milton will be one of eight sporting greats added to the Hall of Fame at a gala dinner in Melbourne on Thursday night, joining coaching guru Dick Telford and cricket legend Bill Lawry.
Milton's inspiring story - which started when his leg was amputated at the knee when he was nine years old - is hard to top and he will be just the third athlete with a disability to be inducted.
Milton competed at five winter Paralympic Games, broke the world record for running a marathon on crutches, has walked the Kokoda Track twice and set a speed skiing record of 213.65 kilometres per hour among a list of career highlights.
He beat throat cancer in 2007 and bounced back to win selection in the summer Paralympics team less than a year later as a cyclist.
And Canberran Milton hopes his rise to the top and a career spanning almost 30 years helped break down barriers for athletes with a disability.
"I was constantly striving for that unattainable goal of perfection ... but I'm a weekend warrior these days. These awards signify that you're getting old," Milton said.
"The real challenging part about living with a disability is the low expectations of people around you and the people you meet in our culture.
"The hardest part of life with a disability, and particularly when it comes to overcoming some of those obstacles to achieve some of those things, is being able to break through the barriers that our culture places on us."
Milton made his international competition debut when he was 14 years old, winning six gold, three silver and two bronze medals in his Paralympic Games career.
Marathon legend and Sport Australia Hall of Fame selection committee chairman Robert de Castella said Milton "destroyed" the hurdles in front of him.
"Michael Milton not only defies limits, he destroys them. All champions rise to a challenge, but Michael takes this to a new level," de Castella said.
Milton had a seven-centimetre tumour removed from his oesophagus seven years ago and was given a 30 per cent chance of survival.
But he beat cancer and continued his remarkable career.
"My journey is just life. There are good parts and there are bad parts," Milton said.
"It's about finding positives in things, enjoying the journey and enjoying it. I'll share that and the lessons with my children now."
He dabbled in cycling and triathlon.
But now retired from elite racing, Milton spends his time running his own business and helping with charity rides, including one for beyondblue just days after he will be inducted to the Hall of Fame.
It's a slower pace than the one he set in 2006 when he broke the speed skiing record and went faster than any able-bodied skier in Australian history.
He still has the need for speed, but is content raising his family.
"You don't push the limits like that in a dangerous sport without being scared," Milton said.
"You're a bit silly. To be a speed skier, you have to have a bit of crazy about you. You need a screw loose. But the adrenalin junkies who are there to scare themselves go the slowest, they're not the elite athletes.
"I retired from skiing because the timing was right ... I'm good at things when I have a passion for them, but I'm pretty awful if I don't."
More Hall of Fame inductees will be unveiled in the coming days while Canberra duo Patrick Mills and Nick Kyrgios are in contention for The Don award as the athlete who has inspired Australia the most in the past year.