Sunday, August 14, 2011

It's Not About The Bike.

Yesterday, I started reading Lance Armstrong's book It's Not About The Bike. You can download it for free, it's a no-profitable autobiography about how he overcame his testicle cancer (which had spread up to his lungs and brain). I'm almost finishing it and I needed to stop for a while because it has really moved me. Sometimes, we're so self-absorbed in our own life, our own routine that we truly forget what the important things are. I mean, the really important things. For several months since I started running, all I cared about was timing, mileage, pace... I would beat myself up if I couldn't keep up with I was supposed to, I would not run if I didn't have enough time to do a proper run, I would just say I can never make it anyway if I couldn't be as fast as possible.

Today, as I was doing my long run (which is not that long after all), something hit me. I was doing the same trail I've been doing since I can remember. I didn't glance at the clock not even a single time to check my pace or mileage. I was just feeling so happy to be able to run, to be out there doing something for myself... I was feeling so in peace and I crossed a teammate running with another teammate who is an older blind guy... he was guiding him with a little rope all the way. That was such a nice moment right there. He's one of the elite runners of my group and he was sacrificing his own long run for someone else. How many times have we sacrificed our own workouts to help others with theirs? We're usually so blinded by our own numbers that we forget to see what's surrounding us. Of course we all wanna be better, quicker, stronger. We want PRs, we want to race, we wanna win. I do too. But after my injury, I've changed lots. I've learned and I've grown so much as a person. My priority now is to run. As simple as that. As long as I keep moving, I'm satisfied. All the other things are just that... other things. Sometimes in life you just have to drop all those small details and keep moving forward. I used to be so attached to those details that sometimes I would prefer not go for a run if that meant I wouldn't be able to do what I was supposed to. Lame, right?

There are people dying from cancer every day. People losing their motility. People who are just like you and me. But I'm alive today, and you are too. So let's just make the best of it, right? :)

"...I'd never ridden just to ride in the past–there had to be a purpose behind it, a race or a training
regimen. Before, I wouldn't even consider riding for just thirty minutes or an hour. Real cyclists
don't even take the bike out of the garage if it's only going to be an hour-long ride.
Bart would call up and say,
"Let's go hang out and ride bikes."
"What for?" I'd say.
But now I not only loved the bike, I needed it. I needed to get away from my problems for a
little while, and to make a point to myself and to my friends. I had a reason for those rides: I
wanted everyone to see that I was okay, and still able to ride–and maybe I was trying to prove it
to myself, too.
"How's Lance doing?" people would say.
I wanted my friends to say, "Well, he seems pretty good. He's riding his bike."
Maybe I needed to tell myself that I was still a rider, not just a cancer patient, no matter how
weak I had become. If nothing else, it was my way of countering the disease and regaining the
control it had stripped from me. I can still do this, I told myself. I might not be able to do it like I
used to, but I can still do it."
[ It's Not About The Bike, Lance Armstrong ]

"If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward." 
[ Martin Luther King Jr. ]

So, back from the deep stuff, the best thing I've been doing lately is running to/from stuff. It safes me lots of time and it is also a great excuse. Like I run for frozen yogurt. 

I run for sushi too, but that is just too obvious.

ps. My couch signed me up for a half marathon. It's in less than a month. I'm freaking out, obviously, I haven't run more than 13K my entire life. But I'm okay with that. I just want the shirt. Yeah, I'm lame this way. :) 

ps.2 I'VE BOUGHT A BIKE! And I realized my legs feel much stronger when I run after I ride. Score.

What keeps you moving forward?

Personally, I love reading about other people's experiences, specially athletes. They're so strong and disciplined, they overcome so many difficulties in life... it makes me ashamed of most of the things I usually complain about.  


  1. Wow, I am definitely going to read this! I love to be reminded of how fortunate I am to be able to run and walk and bike whenever I want... I hope to never take it for granted.

  2. Love this post---what great reflections on running and why you do it!
    I hadn't actually thought of reading Lance's book, but it does look good.

    I always find that biking makes me a better runner too! I think the strength and cardio building without the impact is key.

  3. @Laura: Hope you like the book! It's truly amazing, I've finished it in 2 days! lol

  4. @Lisa: Thanks! :) I think you should give it a try, I've really enjoyed reading it!!

    Oh I thought it was just me! I'm biking a lot lately and I've def noticed a big difference! Hope there's gonna be a biathlon in my life someday :)


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