Thursday, 12 July 2012

It's Not About the Bike

Lance Armstrong - “Give up or fight like hell”

Won Tour de France, the Holy Grail in cycling, seven times in a row: 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005
It may be one of the oldest clichés in the book, but Lance Armstrong’s life is a classic case of ‘never say never’ zeal.

A powerhouse biker, who went on to wage a silent war against his worst enemy, and came up trumps, eventually. In fact when this invincible and uninvited enemy called testicular cancer, “the bastard,” as he disgustingly referred to as, threatened to take away the only love of his life, Armstrong being Arm-strong, decided to go after it, all hammer and tongs. Initially, unaware of his somber condition, Lance used to literally stand and practice hard on his bike, for sitting on his bike made him feel miserable, thanks to the spreading cancer.
It was only at stage four Armstrong came to know of his illness and rather than becoming hysterical, he braced toward challenging his enemy head-on. “Give up or fight like hell” became his life-mantra. He went after cancer, with the word ‘go’. Like drank 15 glasses of water everyday, rather than the mandatory five, though down and out after the chemo’s, he kept a tab on all the doses that was released into his body by the dutiful nurses, when peeing hurt him, he endured the pain thinking that he was throwing out cancer from his system, when he coughed out sticky, tar-like material from his chest, he coped, imagining he was throwing out charred tumors.

Life was a suffer-fest for him, literally, but he had achieved mastery when it comes to enduring pain and suffering. He had rode continuously in freezing conditions, wet conditions, to scorching heat conditions; but nothing cease to stop him. He knew he will conquer cancer like the tour de France tours, the most grueling cycling event in the world, and once again would stand on the podium of Tour-de-France triumphantly.

However, his high-voltage comeback was met more with skepticism than euphoria. Sponsors, spectators, press all who written him off, couldn’t believe his inspirational comeback. He must be on drugs, they said. But Armstrong went on, ignored all the bad-mouthing, punched above his weight and went on to add two more titles to his credit.

His struggle is live example of old saying: tough times never last, but tough people do. Armstrong’s ‘never dying attitude’, his ‘passion to perform’, his ‘do or die’ mind-set, is truly overwhelming. Even as a teenager, regardless of the injuries on his head and feet, he kept participating in events. In fact his passion to perform was so much so that he literally made holes in the soles of his running and bike shoes so that his raw wounds won’t rub against the shoes.

Yet another event that shows off his greatness was, when the nurse ripped of the catheter from his chest, once his cancer medication was complete, rather than dumping it as a bad memory he made it into a memento and stored it in a zip-lock bag.

Yes his life is a truly uplifting and inspirational and would leave anyone and everyone thoroughly inspired.

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