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Very Inspirational

Old 04-26-08, 01:55 PM
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Very Inspirational

I was at the bookstore before work to get caffeinated and found Lance Armstrong's NY Times bestseller: It's not about the bike, My journey back to life. Haven't gotten to it yet.

I just got off the steroid pills for the C and just had to pick it up for reading.

Anyone read it yet?
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Old 04-26-08, 02:56 PM
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pretty inspirational. some guys don't like lance, they think he was doping, but the dude is a savage rider. You also might want to check out "Heft on Wheels."
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Old 04-27-08, 12:08 AM
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"Heft on Wheels" and Lance's book, both of these are kinda what brought me to cycling. Along with some help from the weight loss before and after pics thread. I would say both books are great reads.

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Old 04-27-08, 05:43 AM
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Heft on Wheels is a good book, I'll have to check out Lance's book if it's along the same bent.
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Old 04-27-08, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by vXhanz
Heft on Wheels is a good book, I'll have to check out Lance's book if it's along the same bent.
Not even particularly close, I wouldn't think. Lance Armstrong was an elite bicycle racer when he was diagnosed with cancer. The book is about his treatment, recovery, and subsequent victories.

I'm probably going to get hammered for saying this, but most overweight and out-of-shape people are where they are by choice. Circumstances contribute, make it easy to become out of shape and present challenges to change...but most people reading this have had options all along to change. This is not true of a person with cancer. Even with the best resources and the very hardest effort, a person with cancer still only has a chance -- you can't be cured by sheer effort. Both books are about journeys, and I'm sure both have a similar "back to life" element, but there's a qualitative difference, I think.
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Old 04-27-08, 11:03 AM
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You make a good point and I am not going to hammer you for your position, however, some of us (and the writer of heft on wheels) may have addictions that could be considered diseases that will always be with us and could be as life dehabilitating as cancer.
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Old 04-27-08, 01:03 PM
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Has anyone read the book Bike for Life by Ron M. Wallack? I almost picked it up the other day, however thought I would ask for reviews here first.
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Old 04-27-08, 06:43 PM
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Just picked up Heft on Wheels. Only read a few chapters so far. It was only $13.00 at my local Barnes & Noble.
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Old 04-27-08, 08:28 PM
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A true Clyde isn't overweight, just big. I'm just overweight.
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Old 05-06-08, 09:02 AM
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It's not about the bike, My journey back to life is a great book. I read it cover to cover in 2 nights. I was diagnosed with stage II testicular at 16 years old. That was back in 1988. For me reading this book was kind of like looking the mirror, well only the cancer part. I’m new to cycling but I found the chapters on training and racing very interesting. They definitely held my attention. To see Lance battle back against cancer and then go on to win the TDF both against great odds is inspiring to say the least.
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Old 05-06-08, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by lil brown bat
Not even particularly close, I wouldn't think. Lance Armstrong was an elite bicycle racer when he was diagnosed with cancer. The book is about his treatment, recovery, and subsequent victories.

I'm probably going to get hammered for saying this, but most overweight and out-of-shape people are where they are by choice. Circumstances contribute, make it easy to become out of shape and present challenges to change...but most people reading this have had options all along to change. This is not true of a person with cancer. Even with the best resources and the very hardest effort, a person with cancer still only has a chance -- you can't be cured by sheer effort. Both books are about journeys, and I'm sure both have a similar "back to life" element, but there's a qualitative difference, I think.
Perhaps not close in the type of story but they can be close in the inspiration they provide to people. Don't over-think it.
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Old 05-06-08, 11:20 AM
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Choices may get us to where we are, but making the choice to take up a sport that wears lycra all the time and is highly visible, is a brave choice indeed for the Clyde-type rider.

It may sound as heroic as Lance's struggle, but for the person in the saddle, it's their struggle - and for some, it's a tough one. It's hard to overcome years / decades of poor physical conditioning and bad eating habits (I know it's tough for me).

Also, some of us have inspiring stories, too - while I've never had cancer or any life-threatening disease...I've had to overcome a challenge...

In July, 2004, I was learning to ride a motorcycle - kind of a 'lite' mid-life crisis. I got a little Honda Rebel, and was practicing in my neighborhood, and actually getting fairly good at it. While I was doing some S and Figure-8 turn practice in an empty parking lot, I decided to practice my stops. I'd start at one end of the parking lot, throttle up, then clutch and brake hard at the end - to get use to some hard stops.

On the 3rd or 4th run, I hit some sand in the parking lot, and my hand slipped back on the throttle, causing the bike to accelerate out from under me. I hit a curb...and normally, it would have bounced up onto the grass, throwing me over the handlebars, with the net result of me swearing and saying 'ouch.' Unfortunately, the place where I hit, the pavement sloped down towards a drain, so the bike bounced me up and off....and with my back directly onto the corner of the curb, fracturing my L2 vertebrae.

According to the ER doc, 'exploded' my L2 is more like it. It was fractured along 3 axes, and there wasn't much left of it. A neighbor saw the accident, and called 911. When the paramedics got there, They asked me if I could move, and I asked to be put on the back board, because I couldn't feel my right leg. At all. X-rays showed that there was a 60% compression of my spinal column, and my right leg was paralyzed for some time. After 3-days of stabilization, they (finally) performed surgery, fusing my T12-L3 vertebrae.

At that point, I was in a chest-to-hip brace, and couldn't roll over in bed, let alone stand or walk. I had to be physically helped for everything, and had to wear a diaper - it was not fun at all. After 1 1/2 weeks in critical care, I was shipped off to a rehab hospital, and had a huge setback, where I was vomiting all sorts of stuff that had collected in my stomach - they had to intubate me, and came very close to moving me back to ICU. After 18 hours of the tube, I asked to have it removed, because I couldn't breathe or swallow.....and I didn't care if I died as a result. I wasn't going to walk again, so why bother?

For some reason, I didn't die. I got put into rehab, and (slowly) learned to pull myself up in bed, get into a wheelchair, and stand with assistance. Slowly, feeling came back into my right leg, even if it had no strength. I eventually learned to stand with parallel bars, then walk with a walker, then a cane, then I was able to take 2-3 steps without a walker.

After they took my catheter out (thank you!) I found myself needing to go to the bathroom, and still had trouble getting out of bed. I rang for the nurse, but none came. Slowly, carefully, I got into my wheelchair, and struggled to the bathroom.....and despite 20 minutes of physical effort to get there, I was able to go by myself. That level of independence really helped spur me on.

Over the next month, I got stronger, and was eventually able to walk 100 feet by myself, get in and out of bed, up and down a step or two, then after 6 weeks in the hospital I was discharged, and had to figure out what to do with the rest of my life.

I decided to take up cycling. When I first started, I could ride about 3 miles, and it was exhausting. Over time, though, I built up my distance, and switched from a comfort bike to a 'real' road bike, and eventually started commuting 2X a week to work (43 miles RT), and riding long distances on the weekends. Last year I did 3 century rides, and put about 5K miles in. This year, I'm commuting a lot, and did 101 last week, and 53 on Sunday (with 5000+ feet of climbing). I'm (allegedly) doing Mt. Mitchell this year.

....so, you could say, that I got better.
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Old 05-07-08, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by kenseth03
Has anyone read the book Bike for Life by Ron M. Wallack? I almost picked it up the other day, however thought I would ask for reviews here first.
I enjoyed it. It has a lot of useful information you don't find elsewhere, or at least in most cycling books. I was surprised some of the exercises I use for scoliosis, such as 'wall slides', they recommend for 'normal' people too. And it was refreshing to read a cycling book that didn't assume roadies were the only 'real cyclists.'
 
Old 05-07-08, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by WhaleOil
I was at the bookstore before work to get caffeinated and found Lance Armstrong's NY Times bestseller: It's not about the bike, My journey back to life. Haven't gotten to it yet.

I just got off the steroid pills for the C and just had to pick it up for reading.

Anyone read it yet?
I have. I recommend it to people who want to better understand cancer, and overcoming cancer. However, compared to most autobiographies, it's rather graphic. Many of the photos in the book, for instance, are of Lance undergoing chemo, in the hospital, etc. Lance wanted to demystify cancer by showing everything, it seems. A friend of mine who survived cancer in her brain refused to read the book; "Neil, I've already lived with cancer once. I don't need to live with it again."
 
Old 05-07-08, 03:06 PM
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Regarding "Heft on Wheels", I have met and ridden with Mike Magnuson. Coming from a similar background into cycling, it struck a cord deep within me. It is a great read. Mike is the real deal.

Think I'll reread it this week!
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Old 05-07-08, 04:43 PM
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I absolutely enjoyed "It's not about the bike". It felt it was beautifully written, and the storyline was masterful. I read it purely because I wanted something to read while on the trainer during the winter, turns out not much after, my aunt was diagnosed with lung cancer and didn't survive and then 6 months later (jan '08) my mom would be diagnosed with Luekemia (blood cancer) and she didn't survive. So the cancer part of the story really hits home for me. I am quite glad I read it. I tried getting both my aunt and my mom to read it, to boost their spirits in fighting, but neither were interested in a biking book, and that is not what it is.

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