At a young age, Armstrong was very athletic, he began running and swimming at the age of 10 and took up competitive cycling and triathlons at the age of 13. He became a professional triathlete at 16. But he chose to focus on cycling which it’s his strongest event as well as his favourite.
Armstrong soon rose to an international cycling star. Winning cycling’s “Triple Crown” – the Thrift Drug Classic, the Kmart West Virginia Classic and the CoreStates Race (the U.S. Professional Championship) in 1993. In August of that same year, 21 year old Armstrong won his most important race yet, the World Road Race Championship in Oslo, Norway. It’s a one-day event covering 161 miles.
As the leader of the Motorola team, Armstrong overcame difficult conditions to become the youngest person and only the second American ever to win that contest.
“Whatever your 100% looks like, give it.”-Lance Armstrong
His life took a twist at age 25 when he was diagnosed with advanced testicular cancer. Doctors gave Lance Armstrong less than a 40 percent chance of recovery. Tumours were discovered in his lungs and stomach along with multiple lesions on the brain.
“Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.”-Lance Armstrong
His cycling career was over, or so everyone thought; but no one counted on the extraordinary belief Armstrong had in himself as well as the lessons which his mother, Linda Walling had taught him. One of the first things that he did was to acknowledge the disease that had him and leant everything he could about it. He devoured books, resources and found help in support groups with people going through similar difficulties.
Lance sought strength in three things his mother had instilled in him “Make every obstacle an opportunity”, “Always work hard and good things will happen” and “Don’t believe it when other people say you can’t”.
His first comeback after beating cancer was not a success and he finished fourteenth in the race. He even thought about retirement but constant support from his fiancée, mother and buddy Chris soon had him training for his next race in the Appalachians. He returned from his training a transformed man and never let the constant difficulties plough him down again.
The doping scandals may have destroyed Lance’s reputation as a professional cyclist. But one cannot but admire his sheer will power and dedication through which he turned the odds to his favour and overcame his adversity at a time when everyone thought his life was over.
“I may be in timeout forever. But I hope not to be.”-Lance Armstrong
Hope allows us to approach problems with a mindset and strategy suitable to success, hence increasing the chances we will actually accomplish our goals. I believe that if we can see hope, it can inspire you to take action. By taking positive action, no matter how small it may seem, can bring hope to exponential proportions. And I believe that such inspiring hope can change lives.
When you’re at your last break, you have to believe in something, make that something good.
And when you do, almost always, something good happens. 🙂
BONUS… Find out what’s secretly sabotaging your success or something simply preventing you from achieving your goals. (It’s free, it only takes 30 secs & could change everything for you).