Customer Reviews for

Every Second Counts

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2007

    Mentor from Texas

    Armstrong, a native of Texas, was reared in Plano and owns a home in Austin, and says he is a regular guy and he may well be, but his passion for action in the fast lane has been lifelong. His friends tried to get him to slow down especially after his three children were born, for if no other reason to be around to see them grow up. He said, ¿I love the tumult of my large family, and I¿ve even been accused of fostering a certain amount of commotion, because I have no tolerance for peace and quiet. I¿m congenitally unable to sit still I crave action, and if I can¿t find any, I invent it.¿ He was ecstatic at winning the 1999 tour de France, but when he realized that some people regarded the win as a fluke and accused him of not training enough and he heard the rumors that the reason he had won was because two notable champions were absent from the field, it gave him a new motive. That, alone, made him want to win another one. He had beat the odds of cancer by his undaunted nature and he would work to win the same way. He states that a near death experience had made him even more intrepid. ¿I began looking for reasons to be aggravated on the bike ¿ he said. ¿I catalogued each expression of skepticism, every disbelieving remark or expression of uncertainty by an opponent, and used them to challenge myself. I kept a list. It was an old competitive habit that went back to my childhood in Plano, when I¿d never had as much money as the other kids, or played the right sport. (They didn¿t force you to play football in Texas, but they sure wanted you to.) I didn¿t have the right conventional parents, either. I¿d always been underestimated, and I knew how to put it to good use. I thrived on long odds.¿ The 2000 race was the 87th annual edition and would cover 2,274 miles and 23 days, counterclockwise around France. Armstrong says it is actually a high-speed chess match on bikes. Reconnoitering the route was important so various members of his team, the U.S. Postal, had different roles in helping him map out the terrain. He practiced the race, climbing every mountain, some of them twice. He won the tour but lost the gold in 2000 Olympic games. He experienced great disappointment. In November of 2000, French authorities announced that Armstrong was under investigation for doping. He was the second American to win since the beginning of the races in 1903. He had won two consecutive tours while native Frenchmen had done poorly. It was a long-drawn out battle with the French courts. During this time, Armstrong moved his family to Spain. Armstrong believes in restraint on the subject of religion. ¿I think too many people look to religion as an excuse, or a crutch, or a bailout,¿ he says. ¿I think that what you¿ve got is what you¿ve got, here and now. Even when I was looking straight at death, I never thought there was something on the other end.¿ He says J. Craig Ventner articulated it like this: ¿It¿s unequivocally clear that life begins at birth and ends at death, and if most people on this planet understood that, they would lead their lives very differently. We find religious or mysterious forces to fill in for our inadequacies, but heaven and hell are both here on earth every day, and we make our lives around them.¿ Armstrong shows a very pensive side as he describes the friendships he made with other people trying to beat cancer and those who didn¿t. Armstrong describes being a mentor to younger riders and the issues of being a professional rider and the toll it takes on family. His perception of teamwork is quintessential. He says this: ¿It takes eight fellow U.S. Postal Service riders to get me to the finish line in one piece, let alone in first place. Cycling is far more of a team sport than spectators realize, and it¿s an embarrassment worth cringing over that I¿ve stood on the podium of the Tour de France alone, as if I got there by myself. I don¿t just show up there after almost three thousand miles, and say, ¿Look what I did.¿ When

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2011

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