In 1996, twenty-four-year-old Lance Armstrong was ranked the number-one cyclist in the world. But that October, "The Golden Boy of American Cycling" was sidelined by excruciating pain. Tests revealed advanced testicular cancer that had spread to his lungs and brain. His chance for recovery was as low as twenty percent.
Armstrong embarked on the most aggressive form of chemotherapy available and underwent surgery to remove cancer that the treatments couldn't reach. Five months after his diagnosis, he resumed training under a cloud of uncertainty, and the path back to competition wasn't smooth. It took a ride with friends through the mountains of North Carolina for Armstrong to rediscover his genuine love of the sport, and to rededicate himself to its pursuit.
Scarred physically and emotionally, Lance Armstrong considered his cancer "a special wake-up call," one that crystallized for him the blessings of good health, family, friends, and marriage. In October 1999, just months after his astonishing triumph in the Tour, his wife, Kristin, gave birth to their son, Luke David Armstrong.
Filled with the nutritional, physical, emotional, and spiritual details of his recovery, It's Not About the Bike traces the wondrous journey of one of America's greatest athletes to a singularly inspiring appreciation of life lived to the fullest.
Includes 16 pages of black and white photos.
Before and After
I want to die at a hundred years old with an American flag on my back and the star of Texas on my helmet, after screaming down an Alpine descent on a bicycle at 75 miles per hour. I want to cross one last finish line as my stud wife and my ten children applaud, and then I want to lie down in a field of those famous French sunflowers and gracefully expire, the perfect contradiction to my once-anticipated poignant early demise.
A slow death is not for me. I don't do anything slow, not even breathe. I do everything at a fast cadence: eat fast, sleep fast. It makes me crazy when my wife, Kristin, drives our car, because she brakes at all the yellow caution lights, while I squirm impatiently in the passenger seat.
"Come on, don't be a skirt," I tell her.
"Lance," she says, "marry a man."
I've spent my life racing my bike, from the back roads of Austin, Texas to the Champs-Elysees, and I always figured if I died an untimely death, it would be ...
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