Blogging on The Brightside

"I think I can. I think I can. I think I can." -The Little Engine That Could

“When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies but the pack survives.”

Game of Thrones

Allen from the Hangover exemplifies the dangers of being a one-man wolf-pack.  The truth of the matter is, nobody achieves greatness on their own. Michael Jordan had Phil Jackson, Scottie Pippin, Dennis Rodman, Ron Harper, Steve Kerr, and Luke Longley.  Lebron couldn’t win the big one without D-Wade and Bosh.  Lance Armstrong had George Hincapie and Johan Bruyneel.  Steve Jobs had Woz.  Batman had Alfred and Robin.  Nobody would know Terry Bradshaw without the help of Lynn Swan and John Stallworth.

You might have all the talent, the drive, the passion and know-how.  If you try to do it on your own, you’re going to fail.  Sometimes geniuses and stars get defensive about sharing credit and struggle to work with other.  But why do you think that Sheldon Cooper hasn’t won a Nobel Prize?

If you consider yourself a bit of a loner, a one-man wolfpack, try to find some more of your own, and add them to your wolf pack.  Together, you can survive the cold winter.

got_wolf2a

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“If children have the ability to ignore all odds and percentages, then maybe we can all learn from them. When you think about it, what other choice is there but to hope? We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up, or fight like hell.”

— Lance Armstrong

This quote seemed to suit today’s call for perseverance, courage, and optimism. And regardless of what’s going on with Lance, the message remains the same: a call to action from a cancer survivor.

I hope this provides a helpful reminder to all those who are faced with something as seemingly insurmountable as cancer. You have two choices: give up or fight like hell.

For what it’s worth, I have faith in you. And you should always fight.

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“It’s never crowded along the extra mile!”

Wayne Dyer

The 2001 Tour De France was won, perhaps if only mentally, on the great L’Alpe D’huez.  Armstrong appeared to be struggling, sitting on the back of the peleton, and his great rival, Jan Ullrich, seized the opportunity to set a backbreaking pace at the front with his T-Mobile thugs.  Perhaps Armstrong was feigning, or perhaps Ullrich poked the tiger, but at the base of the mountain Armstrong took the reigns.  Defiantly staring back into Ullrich’s eyes (this image is one of the most famous of the rivalry), Armstrong blew the field away on the slopes of the legendary climb.  In years to come, Armstrong would again and again have his way on L’Alpe D’huez, until the Tour organizers seemed to decide that the stage gave him an almost unfair advantage.

If the image of Armstrong looking back at Ullrich is so iconic, why, then, did I choose this less glamourous shot in which you can hardly tell it is the legendary Armstrong riding?  I chose it, because for all but three weeks a year being the world’s greatest cyclist is a lonely pursuit.  This is a training shot of Armstrong, when his coach, Chris Carmichael, rode up along side of him to tell him that the upper pass of his favorite Alp was blocked by several feet of snow.  Armstrong rode the mountain four times before racing it, more than any of his foes.  On one occasion, he sent his computer data to Carmichael, who thought the file had corrupted and duplicated; Armstrong had ridden the training ride twice. Champions go the extra mile.

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“If you worried about falling off the bike, you’d never get on.”

Lance Armstrong

After his handle bars snagged on a shopping bag near the end of the 15th stage of the 2003 Tour de France, Lance Armstrong fell to the pavement. He got back on his bike and charged forward to win the stage and extend his lead over foe Jan Ullrich.

 

Even the greatest fall.

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“A boo is a lot louder than a cheer.”

Lance Armstrong

Part of the reason I wanted to participate in this blog was because I could hear the boos more clearly than the cheers.  Stick it to those who haven’t learned the lesson “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”  It’s so satisfying to make them eat their words.

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