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.

14 thoughts on “Hats

  1. This is very well written. Tyler, I am glad you are still fighting and know that we are still thinking of and praying for you.

  2. Adam and I are looking forward to joining Team Tyler in Fan Diego on Monday. We just want to hang out, be inspired by your strength and resilience, be a presence of moral support and strength. We are down for what you’re up for, up to, digging through. Positive energies sent your way, and on their way…can’t wait to see you home skillet!

  3. I’ve had you guys on my mind more than usual lately. So glad to get an update. Sending lots ofmlove and as usual a ton of positive thoughts and prayers. Xoxo from Maryland.

  4. 3A …yahoo, you’re clicking it off. Dare I ask how many numbers/letters in this race?? Sorry your Mizzou Tigers were a bust! Hate having to cheer on Kansas! Hang tough Tyler.

  5. Tyler,
    I used to be a swimmer in high school and a dear friend of mine who swam the “500” (the longest race all day) would jump in the pool every week and we would yell at the top of our lungs throughout the race for her to keep going…(I raced relays and sprints so I was always confused by anyone crazy enough to race the “500” at the same time, I found it inspiring that she was willing to tackle a race that just seemed to go on and on forever)…at every lap, someone would dip the lap number in the water and at about halfway through, I am sure it was just an awful reminder about how much she had left to go…it was at then that we would just yell louder…even though she probably couldn’t hear us under water most of the time, we yelled hoping she would hear us and yelling just made us feel like we were helping her through it…she would kick and kick and at the finish, come out of the pool with a beat red face and tired as hell and smiling…just know, during this time when the race seems to go on and on, we are all here yelling for you and cheering you on even if you can’t hear us all the time. Keep kicking cancer’s ass Tyler! You got this!

  6. “HATS” OFF TO TYLER AND TASH! Well written, well said…we are coasting along this journey with you and so look forward to the finish line…stay strong every step of the way. You will be triumphant! We know you will…..love Ameh

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