It's Not about the Bike: My Journey Back to Life

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9780399146114: It's Not about the Bike: My Journey Back to Life

The inspiring journey of world-class hero Lance Armstrong, from the dark night of advanced cancer through his dramatic victory in the 1999 Tour de France, and beyond.

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.

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Review:

People around the world have found inspiration in the story of Lance Armstrong--a world-class athlete nearly struck down by cancer, only to recover and win the Tour de France, the multiday bicycle race famous for its grueling intensity. Armstrong is a thoroughgoing Texan jock, and the changes brought to his life by his illness are startling and powerful, but he's just not interested in wearing a hero suit. While his vocabulary is a bit on the he-man side (highest compliment to his wife: "she's a stud"), his actions will melt the most hard-bitten souls: a cancer foundation and benefit bike ride, his astonishing commitment to training that got him past countless hurdles, loyalty to the people and corporations that never gave up on him. There's serious medical detail here, which may not be for the faint of heart; from chemo to surgical procedures to his wife's in vitro fertilization, you won't be spared a single x-ray, IV drip, or unfortunate side effect. Athletes and coaches everywhere will benefit from the same extraordinary detail provided about his training sessions--every aching tendon, every rainy afternoon, and every small triumph during his long recovery is here in living color. It's Not About the Bike is the perfect title for this book about life, death, illness, family, setbacks, and triumphs, but not especially about the bike. --Jill Lightner

About the Author:

Champion cyclist Lance Armstong's Tour de France victory has been hailed as "one of the most memorable moments in sports history during this century" (USA Cycling magazine). In 1996 he established the Lance Armstrong Foundation, a charity to aid the fight against cancer.
Sally Jenkins is the author of one book, Men Will Be Boys, and the coauthor of three more: Reach for the Summit and Raise the Roof (both with Pat Summitt), and A Coach's Life (with Dean Smith). She is a veteran sports reporter whose work has appeared in The Washington Post, Sports Illustrated, and Cond Nast's Women's Sports & Fitness.

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