It's Not About The Bike - Lance Armstrong
The story of Lance Armstrong is quite well-known - super-athlete, winner of an unprecedented seven Tour de France titles and cancer survivor. His book, "It's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life" is a truly inspirational story about his battles against the two tremendous hurdles in his life - testicular cancer and the Tour de France. Lance is an incredibly spirited individual. He is both physically and mentally strong and it is this perseverence that has allowed him to conquer both those hurdles.
Cycling is not a popular sport in this country. I didn't know much about the Tour de France, only that it is the most prestigious and gruelling bike race in the world. So it was interesting to learn about the sport through Lance's book. For example, I didn't know there was so much technology in the sport, from the computer, to the radio and to the bike. I also didn't know that the tour was more like a team sport eventhough the eventual winner is an individual. Each team has its domestiques, climbers and sprinters, each with a different role to play for a specific part of the race.
Cancer, on the other hand, I am more familiar with. Almost everyone (if they're not already cancer sufferers) have lost someone or know of someone who has cancer. It is a major killer in developed and developing countries around the world. Thankfully, modern medicine has progressed so much over the years that more and more people survive the disease. Still, it is no easy feat, as Lance described (think of the trauma, the surgery, the chemo, the uncertainty of relapsing, etc) in the book.
Lance says in the book that he is agnostic and doesn't believe in organized religion. He didn't say he's an atheist outright but he's shown that one can go through the toughest and worst moments in life and come out victorious without believing in God. You need to have good doctors, you need to have your loved ones - family and friends, but most important of all, you need to believe in yourself. You need to be determined as hell to beat it. It doesn't guarantee that you will win, but at least if you go down, you go down fighting.
What impressed me the most, I think, is that Lance says if asked to choose between the Tour de France and cancer, he'd choose cancer survivor because he became a better man as a result of his battle with cancer. Hard to believe but having cancer turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
Technorati tags Lance Armstrong, Tour de France, cancer