I’m about 85% into a book Tyler has lent me, Lance Armstrong’s War, not quite the war you might guess. It is a detailed account of Lance’s 2004 Tour de France journey. A war after beating cancer, after winning five other Tours. This is a detailed account of a struggle, that never quite seems to be a struggle for the hero of the story. A hero with superhuman strength and an uncanny ability to conceal his suffering. Although, if you read a little deeper, this is an epic struggle for that reason. One man’s battle, of which steepness can be measured by how effortless his triumph appears.
The climax of the story is not in the beginning, nor the end. The assembling of the ‘super team’, the winning of the Yellow Jersey; neither holds any weight to the middle of this saga: the struggle of the long road.
You see, there’s a competitive edge to the start of the race. Exhilaration from the task ahead, mental toughness setting roots, adrenaline from the new event. There’s competitive edge at the end of a race, the light at the end of a tunnel starts to shine. 5k away and you can here the crowd cheering, bells ringing, beer gardens pouring.
So how do you get through the middle?
Ask Lance. Or, ask Tyler.
Ladies and gentlemen, this part sucks. Coasting. Where you cannot see the start or the finish very clearly. When all you can use as fuel is the deepest, strongest will to triumph. This is the part of the race that separates the contenders from the pack, and this part of the race is hard, mentally and physically hard.
In the book, one of Lance’s greatest skills was his ability to hide his struggle. Stone faced and focused at all times, his race was won during each stage, not just the final finish line.
Tyler has been struggling to update this blog in the last week or so…
He is winning stages, but this one is difficult, and to this enemy- he is, and appears, strong. With superhuman strength he shocks me everyday with his urge and desire to stay as fit as possible. With his competitive drive he never lets on of his sufferings. He is a man who puts on a hat and you’d never know there was a single flaw in his body. This is a true hero.
Tyler has just finished round 3A and is now recovering at home.