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Sunday, July 25, 2004


Lance, Lance and Lance

For those of you not familiar with the name Lance it's the name of the only man to have ever won 6 straight Tour de France races - a 3000+ km bicycle race ranked amongst the most difficult of physical challenges. But why does this blog have an entry about Lance Armstrong? Because inspiration must be sought from wherever it can be.

In 1996 Lance Armstrong lay on his death bed suffering from testicular cancer with the doctors giving him a slim chance to live. Today one of the commentators on TV recalled visiting Lance in an Indianapolis hospital in 1996 and hearing from Lance's doctors that he had less than 3 months to live! From that day to this day it's been a very long journey but a journey that has inspired millions, especially those fighting cancer. And for those of us blessed with good health the burden to act only increases. Examples like Lance should inspire those of us who aspire to be of some meaning to our larger human family.

One reason I chose to write about Lance today was that Lance trains harder than any of his competitors. He does with an awe inspiring single-mindedness. Such dedication and tenacity should inspire those of us who want to change the political space for the better. Studying Lance one can learn the precision, clarity and sheer determination one needs to succeed. I am far away from achieving any of these goals but when I see a cancer-survivor winning 6 straight years in Paris it inspires me to do my best.

As a survivor of cancer Lance gives hope to the most physically vulnerable amongst us and for those of us priding ourselves as warriors of social justice the connection is simple. As the Mahatma put it democracy should be judged by the state of its most marginalized. And Lance has given hope to the ones in that position of physical marginalization. I hope he goes for number 7 and also hope that the inspiration that I feel today and so do millions other will translate into action making our world a better place thereby giving us a sense of a more complete presence here.


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