Sunday, July 24, 2005

We'll Always Have Paris...

Rodney Crowell originally wrote these words about driving legend Richard Petty, but I think they're particularly apt this morning:

So what can you say 'bout a man built for speed?
The Master Mechanic gave you what you need
Survival on instinct
A heart that don't bleed
And a winning tradition of a vanishing breed...

I got up early this morning to watch Lance Armstrong ride into Paris, the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. Damned if I didn't tear up, too.

I raced with Lance once...sort a sprint triathlon championship down in the Florida Keys. I had the best race of my life, my bike speed average was more than 26 mph. Of course, Lance and the other pros finished in a different Geologic Era than we age-groupers. As I got to the finish line, there was Lance, shaking hands and congratulating us as we came in. Shocked the hell out of us...usually, the pros were long gone by the tme we came it, with their massage therapists or on the way out of town to the next race. We always understood — we were just playing, but for those guys, it was for real, a job.

"Hell of a job,"Lance told me as I crossed. Thank you, I said.

Cancer has writ large across my life. And it's still writing, through the lives of people I love. When I think about cancer these days, I don't see green and yellow lines etched across a life monitor, or hear the steady rhythmic beat of a respirator or smell the antiseptic stink of intensive care. I see Lance Armstrong riding into Paris.

Hell of a job, Lance. Thank you again.

1 comment:

RandomExcesses said...

I'm with ya on this one Beaverboard! My parents and a number of friends have been hit by cancer...and another is in chemo at the moment. He's definitely been an inspiration to many, including me.