March 16, 2008

It's not about the Bike

Read Lance Armstrong's "It's not about the Bike". His other book - "Every Second Counts" - appealed to me more

Linda Armstrong's - Lance's mother’s - character wowed me. To me, her character is much much stronger than Lance's.To bring up a child ALL ALONE in her teenage; manage her studies; and grow up the corporate ladder, without anything to prove to anyone but herself, requires tremendous amount of courage. Do you know what the litmus test of courage is? Carrying-on all-alone with determination, when the chips are down and when nobody cares about you. Lance didn’t pass that test. Linda did! In the hospital bed, before his surgery, to hide his courage Lance declares to his friends that he will fight and defeat the cancer. But he later admits that the declaration was to camouflage his fear. He had friends, his mother and his "declaration" to support his courage. Linda had none of those. (This doesn't mean that I don't admire Lance's courage)

One particular section of the book reminded me about the importance of presenting things in the right way:
Lance Armstrong had approached two hospitals to cure his cancer. Given below are the responses of the two doctors of the respective hospitals. You will see that the content of their message is the same. The way they put across the message is what differs.

The doctor in Houston: “I'm glad you are here. You will crawl out of here. I'm going to kill you. Everyday I'm going to kill you, and then I'm going to bring you back to life. We're going to hit you with chemo, and then hit you again, and hit you again. You're not going to be able to walk. We're practically going to have to teach you how to walk again, after we're done."

The doctor in Indiana: "You are in an advanced stage. The percentages are unfavorable. But this is potentially curable. Even-though you're in the poor-prognosis category, we've cured a lot worse. And we don't want the chemo to affect your lungs. This is to give you a chance later to recover physically and compete in cycling."

I think anyone can guess which hospital Lance chose for his treatment. Putting things across in a nice and polite way, and mixing it with hope, makes a huge difference.

Some other interesting quotes of the book are given below:

Lance Armstrong: Your past forms you, whether you like it or not. Each encounter and experience has its own effect, and you're shaped the way the wind shapes a mesquite tree on a plain.

Linda Armstrong: If you are going to get anywhere, you're going to have to do it yourself, because no one is going to do it for you. If you can’t give 110 percent, you won't make it.


Barbed Sulks said...

hey! long time...
v interesting blog.
I'll sit n read the entire thing now..

Sophroniscus Dialectic said...

Hey... thanks Alka! :-)