Lance Armstrong: Winning the Race against Cancer
Lance Armstrong is one of the most famous athletes in the world today not only because of his athletic abilities but because of his extraordinary will power. After having won the Tour d’ France several times, it was as if he had no more races to compete in, no more goals to achieve. After all, the Tour d’ France was the apex of cycling competition where only the best of the best could compete. On many occasions, he had run away with the yellow jersey and enjoyed the glory of victory in one of the most grueling sports
competitions on earth.
How did he become a champion cyclist?
Based on interviews and documentaries about Lance Armstrong, his extraordinary athletic ability was honed through many years of training and hard work. His trainers even said that Armstrong always insisted on doing his daily bike runs even in the middle of winter. The sub-zero weather did not deter the champion cyclist from pursuing his training regimen, even if his persistence also placed him and his trainers at risk getting hypothermia. Aside from the regular cycling that usually covered several kilometers a day, he also religiously used weight training to increase his strength. Of course, his food intake was closely monitored to ensure he did not gain weight and that he only consumed food that can be turned into fuel during marathon cycling events. Even if he felt knee pain due to years of competition, he did not allow that physical distraction from getting in the way of his winning streak in the international cycling competitions. In France, he was able to demonstrate the level of physical fitness and mind conditioning he had achieved through his ability to endure and manage muscle spasm. The demanding routes and terrain in France are enough to make even the most physically gifted athlete to give up. Yet Lance Armstrong was able to endure these physical challenges because he made sure he already “won in his mind” before he made a single stride on his racing bike.
But aside from his victories in competitive cycling, Lance Armstrong is also acknowledged for his heart, passion, and determination to overcome other challenges outside the realm of sports. A few years ago, the champion cyclist was diagnosed with testicular cancer — a potentially life threatening condition. According to his doctors, the development of cancer was hastened due to years of friction and constriction of the tiny blood vessels in the groin area. The hours of sitting on the bike saddle made possible his meteoric rise in the world of competitive cycling. Unfortunately, the saddle also caused a medical condition that threatened not only his career but even his own life. By the time that he found out about the severity of his condition, the doctors could offer only one solution: to surgically remove the testicle with cancer cells. After months in the recovery room, Armstrong was able to gradually resume physical training. Once again, he was able to win the race —- this time, to win back his life.
Soon after, Lance Armstrong became an advocate for male sexual health. Quite unintentionally, his personal health problems became a headline-grabbing topic not only among sports enthusiasts but also among men and women who were concerned about their own health.
Winning the battle against the “Big C”, people and the media immediately saw the human interest angle as well the inspirational twist to Armstrong’s medical struggle. Fully recovered, Armstrong became a frequent guest in news and public affairs programs where he discussed the importance of male sexual health. He was also instrumental in starting a fund raising campaign called ‘Live Strong”, a project which aimed to raise money for cancer research. By donating a dollar, each contributor will receive one yellow wrist band inscribed with the words, “Live Strong.” The campaign was a success and even became a mini-movement that called for the promotion of a healthy, active lifestyle. Aside from raising money for cancer research and becoming an advocate for male sexual health, Armstrong also unwittingly started the yellow wristband fad not only in the U.S. but in different parts of the globe.
The story of Lance Armstrong continues to inspire millions around the world. His victory in the race tracks and in the fight against cancer made him an icon of athletic superiority and an astounding example of how the human will can triumph over adversity. Today, many athletes follow Armstrong’s example of being a model for sports excellence as well as a reliable source of information on male sexual health.
In his race against time and cancer, he was able to secure victory. That way, he has won the hearts of millions of cycling fans and ordinary individuals who, like Lance Armstrong — are now inspired to “Live Strong.”