“To succeed is to have failed” – learning from failures
Remember the bike
In 1997, Lance Armstrong was diagnosed with late-stage metastatic testicular cancer.The cancer had spread to his abdomen, lungs and brain.Post diagnosis, his mother was told to be prepared to lose her son
He was given a 40% chance of surviving the treatment.
Post-treatment, he did not have enough strength to ride his bike up a small hillock.
From 1999 to 2005, Lance Armstrong won the Tour de France seven straight times.
Read that again: Seven straight wins.
And now, the USADA is stripping him of all his titles because of doping charges.
I don’t know if he cheated. As a sports fan, I don’t really care. And here’s why:
Let’s say he did cheat. How much of a difference would doping have made to his performance? 10%? 20%? 30%? Does that really matter to a guy who has just recovered from intense chemotherapy? Someone who is competing with other “normal” athletes who have been training hard while this guy had chemicals going through his body.
And is it possible to win seven times consecutively?
Even if he doped, it means he reached a level where he could be at 70-90% (depending on which option you selected earlier) of the fitness required in the world’s toughest race. For seven consecutive years.
I don’t know if he cheated. Maybe he did. Maybe he didn’t. But remembering the doping is missing the bigger point.
Remember Lance Armstrong – who was not supposed to live in 1997 – for what he has been able to prove: That if you want it bad enough, it can be possible.
Remember the bike.