Categories | Community Contributions | Getting Things Done | Inspiration
A Community Contribution from Chip Joyce
After retiring from being the most successful professional cyclist in history, Lance returned to the sport in his late 30s to compete, for the eighth time, in one of the most challenging athletic competitions: the Tour de France. During training, however, he crashed and broke his collarbone, was in a lot of pain, and faced surgery and physical therapy. It was the first major crash of his career.
In an article on VeloNews.com, Lance recounted, “Sitting on the side of the road in Spain, headed to an anonymous hospital… I wanted to never come back,” to the sport. His long-time team manager and mentor, Johan Bruyneel, said, “I could feel he was really down. I had a feeling he was ready to walk away.”Bruyneel, who says he and Lance have “a very special relationship,” shared several bottles of wine at Bruyneel’s home in Madrid, during which he reminded Lance of the importance of his Tour comeback to revitalize his Livestrong campaign and also remind him of one of Lance’s most famous phrases: “Pain is temporary, but quitting lasts forever.” Bruyneel recalls, “I said (quitting) is not what you stand for… I understand at a certain moment, you’re disappointed, you’re reconsidering. ‘Do I need to do this?’ No, you don’t need to do this. But at a certain moment when you go, when you make decision [sic], you have to go until the end.”
Lance’s ultimate response was, “I just spoke with Johan, and he said I have no choice, so I guess we’ll go forward.” Bruyneel said that, “from then on he started to feel better, we got into the Tour of Gila, it felt good, then he got to the start of the Giro, and he felt good, and everything started to roll again. But if I think about that moment in Paris [at the completion of the Tour de France], when he was standing on the podium, and think back to that conversation in the beginning of April, it was two different worlds.”
Lance’s renewed fidelity to his values, including his commitment to professional cycling and to the Livestrong Foundation, occurred amidst the drama of injury and a heart-to-heart talk with his mentor. In GTD terms, Lance realigned with his Horizons of Focus, and once he put into perspective his decision whether to quit or not, the decision was obvious to him.
If you invest the time and energy toward developing your Horizons of Focus, in trying times, you can persevere by drawing strength from these commitments, and remembering that “pain is temporary, but quitting lasts forever.”