Wednesday, April 15, 2009

It's Not About the Bike - Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong, seven time winner of the Tour De France, reveals in this stirring memoir his life as a cancer survivor and his resurgence in the aftermath of the treatment. The narrative has been rendered from an athlete's point of view about how the game has as much to do with the constitution of the mind as with the physical training of the body.

As Armstrong survived cancer and came back to competitive racing, he notes that his illness had taken away about 15 pounds of his body weight, which made it easier for him to climb the Alps then ever before. Every adversity, however appalling, brings along some element which leaves its stamp somewhere on the soul, it changes something in us for good. And it makes sure that however high we might fly in life, we are never too far from being cut back to size and fall back to zero. As Armstrong says, its definitely not about the bike. Its about the will to keep fighting, to rise every time we fall.

A very inspirational book.

A couple of standout quotes from the book:

"Why did I ride when I had cancer? Cycling is so hard, the suffering is so intense, that its absolutely cleansing. You can go out there with the weight of the world on your shoulders, and after a six hour ride at a high pain threshold, you feel at peace. The pain is so deep and strong that a curtain descends over your brain. At least for a while you have a kind of hall pass, and don't have to brood on your problems; you can shut everything else out, because the effort and subsequent fatigue are absolute."

"Once someone asked me, what pleasure I took in riding for so long. "Pleasure?" I said. "I don't understand the question." I didn't do it for pleasure. I did it for pain."

I guess this one from the movie Rocky Balboa sums it up:

"You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done!"


cialis said...

Interesting article, added his blog to Favorites

Mirza Ghalib said...

Simply awe inspiring, a must for your collection of inspirational books

A perfect gift to a person suffering from cancer. After going through Lance's story it might become a life changer / saver for the patient

LiveStrong with Lance Armstrong - complete message of the book in one line

Literature Review

1) An easy read, if you have standard Indian vocublary, you won't require the dictionary not even the pocket one

2) A good gauge to check your reading comprehension skills you should be able to finish it two days

If you don't meet any of the above two conditions you need to seriously review yourself on the above two parameters (Take it easy, just kidding)