Saturday, November 19, 2011

A letter to Lance

On what would have been my father's birthday, I took a break from reading and wrote a letter to Lance.

Dear Lance and the livestrong team,

Hope it’s OK to call you Lance, as Mr. Armstrong doesn’t seem to fit
among fellow cyclists.

I’ve been meaning to write to you for many years, but never gotten
around to it, knowing that you must get like a million messages, but
here’s one more.

On the day that would have been my father’s birthday I want to thank
you, you’d been an inspiration for me and my family in more than one way.

The first and most obvious is the cycling part. About the same times as
your first come back in 1999 I started to take cycling more seriously
with club level racing. Trying to emulate your style of riding with a
high cadence and loving long climbs.

Some five year later comes the second and third reason to thank you for
your inspiration, as my wife and I had trouble getting a child. In the
midst of the on setting despair I said to my wife “If Lance made it
through this so can we”. Just a few months after we began our treatments
(IUF and IVF), my father (also an active cyclist) was diagnosed with
lung cancer.
Once again I said, this time to my dad, “If Lance made it through this
so can you” and he did, or much longer than the one year the doctors
said he would. Four years he lived strong and active, volunteering at schools and
raising funds as a Rotary regional governor, until he probably felt his
job was done. The day after he died was also the day I took of my yellow
band, not that I gave up on the fight against cancer, but to focus on
the memories of my father before the illness.

Two years later we adopted our daughter, she never got to meet her
granddad, but she shares the family passion for cycling. When she grows
up, she wants to be a triathlete and reach for the sky when she crosses
the finish line like the cycling boys on TV.

Riding around on your bike really can make a difference. Thank you!

-roger & family

Dad's Texan card

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