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Every Second Counts by Lance Armstrong

Every Second Counts

by Lance Armstrong

Other authors: Sally Jenkins, Sally Jenkins (Collaborator), Donna Sinisgalli (Designer)

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English (6)  Dutch (1)  All languages (7)
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
I picked it up this book to read on the second day of the Tour de France in 2005. This book, even more than the first, has heightened my enjoyment of the nightly television coverage of the Tour. In fact, just after reading Lance's discussion of bikes not having chains, George Hincapie used the phrase in an interview. I felt so "in the know"!

I found the book very poignant, with its focus on Kik and the children, particularly Luke, knowing that while the book focuses on valuing and saving the marriage, it is now over.

And I found Lance to be surprisingly humble and human in some places, such as when he was invited to visit NYC firefighters immediately after 9/11.

Honestly, I was prepared to dislike Lance in this book as a cocky, self-impressed, philandering man. He did not come across that way at all, and now I like him even more than ever. [note: this review was written years before Lance Armstrong being forced from the Tour. ] ( )
  wareagle78 | Mar 17, 2014 |
The book continues where his first biography left off and describes his recent cycling achievements, being cancer-free for five years, and about his dedication to the foundation that bears his name, which helps cancer patients worldwide. I really liked the personal details that he gave to his Tour de France competitions and his frank discussion of what his wins cost him personally. I found it to be a very inspirational read. ( )
  JackieHancox | Aug 6, 2010 |
“Every Second Counts” is another autobiography of superstar super bicyclist Lance Armstrong. As suggested by the title, the book focuses on his bicycle racing career, picking up with his second Tour de France victory and continuing to his fifth consecutive win. There is another, perhaps even more compelling, layer and message to his story that is brought out in this book. While not as terse, in many ways, Armstrong’s book reminds me of “Book of Five Rings”. While Musashi wrote of timing being everything, Armstrong shows is it is focus that is everything.

In racing, it is true that every second counts. What Armstrong tells us, and shows by way of example, every second we are alive counts and we must focus on what is important to us. He tries to give equal time to recounting the joys of being a family man and bicycle racing. In a poignantly telling scene, Armstrong takes the newcomer Floyd Landis aside and tells him that if he is to be a good cyclist, he has to decide that is what he wants to do and focus on riding, not his personal problems. If Landis had listened better, history may have painted Landis a brighter future.

While never spelled out for us, Lance takes his own advice and places his cycling career above his family and focuses on that. While he seemingly swells with pride in describing the antics of his son, read the words a little closer. Lance is really basking in his son’s adoration. Read the other exploits a little closer and pay attention to the detail. Lance is caught up in one thing only: winning as many Tour de France races as he can. Ultimately, this is the cause of his separation from his wife, the woman that stayed with him through his cancer, even though they were not married at that point in his life.

Lance Armstrong also comes across as supremely arrogant. A lot of paper could have been saved if he simply said, “I am Lance Armstrong, I’ve won all these bicycle races and I can do whatever I what”. That is what the book boils down to. I will not try to take anything away from his Tour de France accomplishments, they are an amazing feat that will probably be in the record books for a long time, but he shows us just how full of himself he feels.

Despite this, I did enjoy the behind the scenes look at the Tour. You also have to give the man credit for living true to his word. He decided to make his cycling career his goal and gave up his family to do it. That is the ultimate message of this book: set your goal, totally commit yourself to it and make every second count towards that goal. I guess that’s where Armstrong and I part company. I feel family is more important. That is where I make every second count. ( )
  PghDragonMan | Jan 15, 2008 |
Inspirational story of a true hero. Armstrong overcomes both physical and mental trials in breaking cycling records that I don't believe will ever be matched ( )
  youngerrlc | Dec 16, 2007 |
I enjoyed this, but not nearly as much as It's Not about the Bike. ( )
  jhowell | Jan 11, 2007 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lance Armstrongprimary authorall editionscalculated
Jenkins, Sallysecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jenkins, SallyCollaboratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sinisgalli, DonnaDesignersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0767914481, Paperback)

In the opening of Lance Armstrong's memoir, Every Second Counts (co-authored by Sally Jenkins), he reflects: "Generally, one of the hardest things in the world to do is something twice." While he is talking here about his preparation for what would prove to be his second consecutive Tour de France victory in 2000, the sentiment could equally be applied to the book itself. And just as Armstrong managed to repeat his incredible 1999 tour victory, Every Second Counts repeats--and, in some ways exceeds—the success of his bestselling first memoir, It's Not About the Bike.

Every Second Counts confronts the challenge of moving beyond his cancer experience, his first Tour victory, and his celebrity status. Few of Armstrong's readers will ever compete in the Tour de France (though cyclists will relish Armstrong's detailed recounting of his 2000-2003 tour victories), but all will relate to his discussions of loss and disappointment in his personal and professional life since 1999. They will relate to his battles with petty bureaucracies, like the French court system during the doping scandal that almost halted his career. And they will especially relate to constant struggles with work/life balance.

In the face of September 11--which arrives halfway through the narrative (just before the fifth anniversary of his diagnosis)--Armstrong draws from his experiences to show that suffering, fear, and death are the essential human condition. In so openly using his own life to illustrate how to face this reality, he proves that he truly is a hero--and not just because of the bike. In Every Second Counts he is to be admired as a human being, a man who sees every day as a challenge to live richly and well, no matter what hardships may come. --Patrick O'Kelley

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:34 -0400)

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Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong chronicles his struggles after beating cancer, including dealing with allegations of drug use, finding a balance between his career and family life, and coping with the fear that his cancer will return.

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