Success Doesn’t Always Come Easy

On a raw, cold day in the European Alps, Lance
Armstrong steered his bike into the sleeting snow,
then stopped. His partner riding in the car behind
him urged Lance to give it up for the day and return
to the comfort of his shelter.

But Lance Armstrong considered himself a winner,
and a person who was willing to do whatever it
took to accomplish his goals. With the frigid cold and
wailing wind biting at his back, Armstrong said,
“No, I’m going on.”

Hopping back on his bike he rode for seven more
hours, in that storm…..alone. Lance was determined,
determined to win ……and win the three week, 2,290
mile Tour de France bicycle race he did!

He won because he was willing to do absolutely anything,
including riding in weather conditions when no one
else would ride.

Growing up his mother Linda taught Lance a most
valuable lesson he never forgot: “Son, you never quit.”
That lesson was to prove invaluable to Armstrong
in 1996.

After winning the Tour Dupont and competing in the
Olympics, Lance became ill and was diagnosed with
testicular cancer. At one point, his doctors gave him
chances of surviving at less than 50%.

Undergoing chemotherapy and even a very risky brain
surgery to remove cancerous lesions, Armstrong
became physically weak, but managed to stay mentally
strong.

He began to set goals of having his blood counts being
at levels doctors told him they should be. Lance
would actually visualize his counts meeting the doctors
hoped for marks. He says, “I would concentrate on
that number, as if I could make the counts by mentally
willing it.”

Between his efforts and the excellent care of his
physicians, it worked. Lance Armstrong was soon
declared cancer free!

Racing didn’t come easy for him either. His first race
in 1992, Lance finished dead last – 111th out of 111
riders. In fact as he was pedaling up the last stretch
of the race, the crowds jeered and laughed at him
calling him name after name.

Armstrong really thought about giving up the sport,
but then his mother’s words flashed through his mind
– never quit!

One year later Armstrong became the youngest athlete
to ever win the World Race Championship held in
Oslo, Norway.

Soon after his Tour de France win in 1999, critics
accused him of taking performance enhancing drugs.
But Lance proved that wasn’t the case by testing clean
over and over.

His response to the critics: “Everybody wants to know
what I’m on. What am I on? I’m on my bike busting my
rear six hours a day!”

Lance Armstrong is a firm believer in setting goals.
Big long term goals and small short term goals. He
doesn’t believe in luck or any of the traditional success
acronyms; he does believe in hard work to accomplish
what he wants to do and in never, ever giving up or
giving in until those goals are met.

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