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Every Second Counts brings us up-to-date on what happened to Lance Armstrong after he survived testicular cancer and went back to competitive cycling to win the Tour de France. If you have been away in another galaxy, he has since fathered three children (a son and twin daughters) using sperm saved from before his cancer treatments, won four more Tour de France races, become a world-renowned celebrity, been investigated for and cleared of "doping" his body, stayed clean from cancer, become a noted cancer advocate and developed a rocky patch in his marriage.
Every Second Counts is a rambling account of all this that sometimes comes across as having been dictated into a tape recorder during a long descent on a bicycle.
The book will be of most interest to those who want to know what it's like to recover from a potentially fatal cancer, live as a celebrity, try to balance a personal life with a demanding career and how Mr. Armstrong won all those Tour de France races.
Both his natural personality and his escape from death make Mr. Armstrong treasure every minute . . . and he likes to take life at full speed in demanding conditions. If he's not training endlessly, he's driving his car too fast or taking dangerous leaps into a rocky pool. At the same time, he's trying to temper that instinct with a desire to see his children grow up and have a good marriage. The book candidly explains how his retirement from racing will be required to help bring his life into a more helpful balance for his family. But he's not ready to do that just yet.
I enjoyed understanding more about why he likes helping those who have cancer, how he trains in ways that give him an edge over mere mortals (including sleeping in an "altitude" tent that simulates the thin air in the mountains), and the strategy he has used in the Tour de France. From watching the races on television, I couldn't figure out what was going on most of the time. These explanations were very interesting to me about his sports career.
I gave him one-star credit for candor in explaining his spiritual beliefs and how he relates them to his recovery from cancer. Most people would not be willing to share a set of beliefs that will not be popular with thosewho have a lot of religious faith.
I hope Mr. Armstrong finds peace to balance his life journey as he careens up and down the trying mountains ahead.
As I finished the book, I found myself wondering how hard I would try to save my own life if I had had his illness. I hope I have learned from both of his books that you must apply maximum determination (no matter what the pain and toil) and that . . . every second counts!
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