Sunday, December 5, 2010

Never Give Up

    I recently finished the autobiography by Lance Armstrong called It's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life. Not only was this book quite inspirational, but it also brought up a good topic of never giving up. Is there a time in life when giving up is necessary, or should one always go for their dreams, not matter the struggle? Personally, I believe that giving up is the worst possible solution. One must always try to go after what they believe in.

    Let's take Lance Armstrong for explain. He was diagnosed with testicular cancer that had a 3% rate of survival. In other words he was almost pronounced dead in the hospital. Not only was he determined to fight his cancer, but he wanted to do so in a way that would allow him to bike once again. After reading his story it was plainly obvious that there were days that he truly just wanted to die. He was in so much pain and struggling to the extreme that it almost wasn't worth it anymore. But through all of this he continued up the very steep mountain ahead of him and soon he fought off the ferocious disease and survived.

    Armstrong was always like that, though. As a boy he was very determined to accomplish his dreams. There was a time when he had a race coming up and was hit by a car training and had to get stitches. His doctor told him he couldn't participate in the race due to the accident. This did not stop Armstrong, though. Regardless of what the doctor said he went into the race, after cutting out his stitches with a pair of nail clippers. Crazy, right? Yeah and that was only the beginning.

    Armstrong had everything against him. When he was first diagnosed with cancer, he was going through a change in sponsors and was not covered under an insurance. Cancer is not cheap, and not having the money to pay for the treatment put an even bigger burden on him. Somehow he continued to pull through.

    But I think the biggest accomplishment of Armstrong was winning the Tour de France, probably the most strenuous and tiring races in the world. Biking up the Alps at top speeds and pulling oneself to continuously win the battle had to be hard. Through all of Armstrong's battles he was able to never give up, a true winner. Someday I would like to meet Lance Armstrong, and thank him for showing Americans what fighting really means. We all know that Armstrong was a fighter and had a sense of persistence that lacks in many individuals, but the true question is if giving up is ever okay.

    As said before, I stick to my claim of no. It is those people who never give up that accomplish the most in their lives and inspire so many others. They are the ones that we look up to in society. So giving up is fine if you don't plan on making a true difference in the world, except I plan on never giving up.

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