Just when you thought life is good to you, something disastrous happened. You can choose to give up and let life`s challenges get you down. Or you can decide to fight it and savor the sweet after taste of victory! Lance Armstrong chose the latter. What about you` Lance Armstrong was at the peak of his career in early 1996. At that time, he had just won the World Cycling Championships and became the first cyclist to clock the widest winning margin in the U.S. National Road Race Championship`s history. Besides that, he had just signed a 2 year contract to ride with a famous French racing team for $2.5 million. But his dream of riding for the French crashed on October 2, 1996 when he was diagnosed with advanced stage testicular cancer. The cancerous cells had spread to his lungs and brain and an urgent operation had to be arranged to remove his swollen testicle. Though doctors were not optimistic about his recovery, Lance Armstrong never gave up. After all, he was trained not to give up so easily since young. After he completed his chemotherapy sessions and was declared cancer free miraculously, he gradually went back to his first love: biking. His post cancer training proved to be unexpectedly fruitful as he discovered that his 17 pounds of weight loss allowed him to scale stage races (i.e.Multi-day and week races) much more effortlessly than he used to. Previously, he had only participated in 1 other similar race (i.e. Tour de France), withdrawing subsequently due to fatigue and injury in the other years. As he cycled through the training trails of the Blue Rider Mountains, he sensed that something was different. He was finally ready to be a world class cyclist that stood steadfast regardless of the nature of the races, terrains or weather conditions. He proved that his feeling was right when he earned the prized maillot jaune, the yellow jersey worn by the leading cyclist in the 1999 Tour de France right from the start. Though he let other riders take the lead in the middle part of the race, he slowly caught up as they ventured into the Alps, the place where he gave up in the previous races. As he cycled uphill through the freezing rain, Lance increased his lead over his second opponent by 4 minutes odd to a full 6.03 minutes. When he breezed across with the finishing line with a strong lead, he was welcomed by his wife, who was pregnant via vitro fertilization after Lance`s cancer caused him to be sterile. For the next 4 consecutive years, Lance proceeded to win the Tour de France and later wrote that he would choose overcoming cancer to winning the race because it was the former that allowed him to reject doomsday predictions by his doctors over hope and strong faith in himself. The entire world knows Armstrong's story--his remarkable recovery from what was feared to be terminal cancer, his exhausting training program, his legendary endurance, his dauntless determination, his unequalled dominance of cycling's premier event. Millions around the world properly celebrate him and his lofty accomplishments. Those of us who, physically, cannot cycle 2,000 miles or run the 100 meters in 9 seconds can still aspire to significant achievements. The vision of Armstrong's magnificent abilities and dauntless determination engenders in the best of us the questions: What might I accomplish in my field and in my life if I embodied the same degree of dedication` How high might I go in my own life-promoting endeavors if I put into them the identical indefatigable qualities of spirit that Armstrong does` The motto of the Modern Olympic Games is: Citius, Altius, Fortius--Swifter, Higher, Stronger. Lance Armstrong embodies these principles perfectly. A great athlete like Armstrong is inspiring, because he reminds us how much is possible to a human being. He is living proof that an individual can reach great attainments and that profuse exertion in pursuit of a daunting goal need not be fruitless. Below is the link to a video on Lance Armstrong, do enjoy watching it and get inspired to reach your personal goals.

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