Friday, July 22, 2005

Strong

Generally, I find Oprah an entertaining talk show, especially when Ms. Winfrey gives away free nifty stuff and when her guests are hot celebs (both make me drool ;p). But I quickly switch to another channel when she's talking about her Book Club (I'm just not comfortable taking literary recommendations from Oprah) or when her guests are bound to make the audience weepy and me depressed (troubled teens, estranged spouses, cancer survivors, etc.). The only exceptions, respectively, were East of Eden, the thickest classic I've ever read and which I devoured in less than a week, and Lance Armstrong.

Before seeing him on Oprah, I only had a vague idea that Lance Armstrong was the popular (and seemingly overhyped) American cyclist dating Sheryl Crow. By the end of the program, I had more respect and admiration for Lance than any other athlete I've known. His story seems almost too inspirational to be real: he battled and bounced back from cancer in his twenties, then went on to win the Tour de France 6 (and very soon it will be 7) times. And the Tour de France, I learned, is not just some pansy-ass bike race. It's 24 days of furious cycling through the steep French Alps and Pyrenees, with 200 competitors from all over the world vying for the coveted maillot jaune, or yellow jersey. It's not just about speed, it's about endurance, and Armstrong is a champion of both.

I am truly in awe of his grit and determination, how he not merely survived but defeated cancer-- hell, he humiliated cancer-- with all he's accomplished. He's the reason I shelled out P55 (US$1) for a piece of yellow silicone, because all proceeds of his "Live Strong" wristbands go to the Lance Armstrong Foundation, which supports cancer research and other organizations fighting cancer. Whenever I wear my wristband, it reminds me of how he's been through so much pain and the incredible will and fortitude it took to triumph over it. It also reminds me that there are people who have suffered and are suffering far worse than anything I have gone through, so I have no right to throw up my hands and give up.

And of course this weekend, I'll be wearing my Live Strong wristband in honor of Lance, who is going to ride into Paris on Sunday to claim his 7th record-shattering Tour de France title. Absolutely awesome.

4 Comments:

At Saturday, July 23, 2005, Blogger Anica said...

I've only watched two episodes of Oprah. The first one was about this woman who did something to another, which landed her in prison for a number of years. The second one was the one with Sheryl Crow and Lance Armstrong. I did not get to finish the episode, though, but that's when I knew who he was. They make a great couple. ;)

Is it true that he'll retire after his 7th win? If it is, it's better that way. No one could claim that he is better than Lance Armstrong.

 
At Saturday, July 23, 2005, Anonymous Jac said...

Wow, you've finally posted an entry about him. That's good :) Thanks for enlightening us, people like me who are apathetic, about his life. That truly is inspiring. He's living life to the fullest and being the best that he could be. :)

They aren't selling his bands here in Canada anymore :(

 
At Saturday, July 23, 2005, Anonymous kassiewassie said...

i actually like the weepy oprah episodes.. the most memorable one for me was when they featured this woman and the worst day of her life. Divorced sha, mother of 4.. tas joint custody sila ng husband niya sa kids nila, tas one day while the kids were with their dad he killed all the kids before killing himself. grabe sobrang kawawa. the youngest kid was like mga 2 or 3 years old lang.

i read about lance armstrong in my psychology book (santrock). ang galing nga niya super! idol!

btw, i like the title of ur post =D armSTRONG kc noh? hahahhaha!!

 
At Sunday, July 24, 2005, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

Ange: Yup, after his 7th he'll be retiring. I just hope he doesn't do a Michael Jordan and "return" from retirement. I was kind of disappointed with MJ when he did, diminished his greatness somehow.

Jac: That's too bad. I wish I had bought more wristbands when I was in New York.

Kassie: Well, duh. :p

 

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