Book: It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life
Author:Lance Armstrong with Sally Jenkins
Genre: Autobiographical/Personal Memoirs
Madhu Stars: 4.5/5
A struggle of Cancer, Cycling, and the fight to be the color yellow.
Lance Armstrong, one name which will never be forgotten in the world of professional cyclists. But now may be for the wrong reasons than the right. It was very difficult and dicey for me to write this post, because it was going to be strictly a book review and not a post in support /against of Lance.
The book presents a detailed insight into the life of a very prominent cyclist Lance Armstrong
the six-time winner of the Tour de France, his hardships, his failures and his enduring tales of success. Lance as a kid, always felt irritated and burnt down by life, and hated to see his mother take up so many difficulties just to give him a better life. He also felt helpless when his father left him even before he was born and also when his step father hit him, but yet his mother stuck to such people, just because his step dad’s income made their life a little easier. His mother’s presence was the only solace in his life, and one another thing which gave him strength from the inside was Cycling :). He grew passionate about it from the age of 10 and he initially won state level competitions in Swimming. Then later cycling became his primary sport and love. He was the number one athlete in the under 19 category.
It was all good and success kissing his feet, not that he was not losing races, but he was being noticed, that he was diagnosed with Testicular cancer at a very later stage. The cancer had already affected his brain and lungs. The book is a more of a world in itself, a world of Lance when it got bad to worse and to a situation where you live with him through his cancer. He has very well presented every detail of his illness and mentioned every bit of his treatment that you can feel through the hardships any cancer patient goes through. But with his grit and determination he fights every obstacle in his way and leaves no stone unturned to win over death. He wins. He cycles, he lives with the help of his friends, doctors, his mother, his nurse La trice, His love then, Kik, and many more of his fans who included cancer patients and who were inspired by his struggle. He always lived in the fear that cancer will relapse, and he also gave up on cycling thinking living is more important but his passion for the sport brought him back to life in the real sense and then he fights through only to win, Tour de France, not once or twice but 6 times.
For a cancer patient to overcome his illness, and cycle in such dire climatic conditions cannot obviously be taken very normally and suspicion around him always lingered. He tested positive, then he had reasons, he denied, he retired, the allegations continued, he finally admitted. But what is the truth? After reading his book, i get biased, i feel after one goes through 3 majors surgeries, recovers from the cancer, and assuming he doped himself, it is still difficult to win a race like Tour de France
though i agree it is unpardonable.
Lance started Lance Armstrong Foundation
, to give back to the people suffering from cancer. The yellow Livestrong bracelets
is its creations which i flaunted in my school time without even knowing what they symbolized. The yellow color represents the Yellow jersey given in the sport of cycling to the person who leads Tour de France.
But what i found out on the net (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2265.It_s_Not_About_the_Bike
) was very disappointing and shocking to me, He did drugs that’s what everyone says, but that’s not my job to find out, I can just tell my readers the takeway’s from the book. A very very interesting read, (Please do not hold any preconceived notions in your mind), real life is always more tempting to know off, it gives you inspiration to fight back. It tells you how difficult a cycle race is, be it storm, hail or ice, one has to keep cycling. The right set of people who want you to succeed will always be there in your life. And lastly, god will not knock on your door and help, but he will send people, resources, its up to you to use them in the right direction.
Images Courtesy: Google.
Information sources: Wikipedia