Saturday, January 19, 2008


IT'S NOT ABOUT THE BIKE: My Journey Back to Life by Lance Armstrong with Sally Jenkins was the first book read for the In Their Shoes Reading Challenge.

From the Rocky Mountain News:

Lance Armstrong does things in a big way. Other people write books about the long road back from cancer, or the physical and emotional trauma of infertility, or the experience of growing up without a father, or the determination it takes to win the most important bicycle race in the world. Armstrong lays claim to all of it, and the result is a pretty terrific book ... Armstrong's book is both inspiring and entertaining. He doesn't whine, doesn't sugarcoat the tough parts and doesn't forget to thank the good people who helped him most along the way.

That assessment just about says it all. He went through some rough times. By the time his testicular cancer was diagnosed at age 25, it had already spread to his lungs and brain. He was given less than a 40% chance of surviving. The book tells about his treatments and the effects of the chemotherapy on his body, and the toll it took on his emotional state.

Being a cancer survivor became the most important thing to him. More than being a championship cycler. Instead of giving up, as he had thought of doing, he went back to training and overcame many obstacles in his path. He won the 1999 Tour de France, then came back in 2000 and won again. The book ends at that point, but since then he has gone on to win the Tour a record 7 consecutive times. He has formed the Lance Armstrong Foundation which provides education and tools to help others survive cancer. Though now retired from racing, he is still an activist for cancer patients throughout the world.

1 comment:

alisonwonderland said...

nice review. i'm adding this one to my to-read list.