Lance Armstrong’s first book, It’s Not About the Bike, has an endearing quality coveyed by the feeling you get that he just had to tell his story. Sally Jenkins does an excellent job in capturing Armstrong’s voice, that of a Texan, a jock, and a cancer survivor. It continues to sell well and is wildly popular among cyclists and cancer patients.
Every Second Counts picks up where his first book left off, covering his life since winning his second Tour de France in 2000. It doesn’t have the same resonance as the first book, but that really isn’t so surprising. Obviously, the story of going toe to toe with the big C and winning and then going on to become the arguably the greatest cyclist ever is a tough act to follow. But Every Second Counts is an easy read and still quite enjoyable. Armstrong covers three topics in this book: racing, his life, and survivorship. As a fan of cycling, I enjoyed his recounting of the last three Tours de France. His perspective of specific events and anecdotes on training and building the US Postal Service team provide a behind the scenes view that will fascinate fans and educate those not familiar with the sport. His discussion of his personal life is somewhat guarded but he does address parenthood, his thoughts on religion, dealing with allegations of doping, and the failure of his marriage. He’s his own toughest critic which is pretty refreshing in an age of athletes with multi-million dollar contracts. Probably the most poignant and uplifting passages are when he talks about being a cancer survivor and the “obligation of the cured.” The mutual affinity between him and his extended cancer family comes through the text and he makes it clear that he needs them as much as they need him.
The first chapter of Every Second Counts is available online at his website. Additional information about the Lance Armstrong Foundation, which is dedicated to those with and surviving cancer is available at www.laf.org.Powered by Sidelines