Home > Experiential Learning, LIVESTRONG, Self Reliance, Teaching > This is a comma, not a full stop. – Ruel Bobet 10/26/2011

This is a comma, not a full stop. – Ruel Bobet 10/26/2011


For me, LIVESTRONG is not just an organization that provides support for cancer survivors and led by the enigmatic Lance Armstrong.  It is a way of life.

I believe in the LiveSTRONG Manifesto.  I became a LIVESTRONG Leader for 2012 because I wanted to use my experience leading groups through adventure and sports to learn about cancer, cancer survivorship, and its prevention.

We believe in life.
Your life.
We believe in living every minute of it with every ounce of your being.
And that you must not let cancer take control of it.
We believe in energy: channeled and fierce.
We believe in focus: getting smart and living strong.
Unity is strength. Knowledge is power. Attitude is everything.

I just read today in the LIVESTRONG Leaders group on Facebook about a young man who was fighting cancer until last weekend.  His words from last year about how he was facing his fight says succinctly a lot about why I have joined the fight.  His attitude is evident in the title of his post, which I used in my title as well.  (Thank you Ruel, rest in Peace.  You are now, in my mind, an exclamation point.  That will keep screaming out forever!)

TEXAS 4000 RIDE: This is a comma, not a full stop.

I’ve been wearing a LIVESTRONG wristband for  around 7 or 8 years now.  Long enough for it to become as fitting and natural as a watch or – really, as much as I love/hate to say it – my wedding ring.

My LiveSTRONG wristband

My LIVESTRONG wristband

I started wearing it around 2004, when I finally got one at the NikeTown Portland store. (The store was the first of the NikeTown concept, which has now been mostly phased out.) I’ve been wearing one full time since.

I started wearing the band mostly because I loved the way Lance Armstrong competed.  I have been a fan for many years, since he came back from cancer and started winning the Tour de France.  But I first started paying attention to cycling races because of Greg LeMond.  I had already been a fan of cycling itself, but LeMond’s first victory at the Tour de France in 1986 coincided with my being a bicycle messenger in San Francisco.

Then, in 1987, LeMond was accidentally hit by a shotgun blast during a turkey hunt by his brother-in-law,  nearly killing him.  But after losing two years of professional racing, Greg LeMond won the Tour de France in 1989 and 1990.  He was the first American ever to wind the race, but after coming back only 2 years after nearly losing his life, I became hooked.

Then came Lance.  His story is now legendary.  Never came close to reaching his potential (for 5 years he was projected to become a star) during his career leading up to 1996, when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer.  Spreads to his lungs and even his brain.  Surgery, extensive chemo, and a long hard rehabilitation.  Two lost years of professional racing.  Then, in 1999, Armstrong amazingly wins his first Tour de France.  Then, even more dramatically, Lance wins the world’s greatest race for 7 consecutive years.

We’re about the fight.
We’re your advocate before policymakers. Your champion within the healthcare system. Your sponsor in the research labs.
And we know the fight never ends.
Cancer may leave your body, but it never leaves your life.
Founded and inspired by Lance Armstrong, one of the toughest cancer survivors on the planet.

I’m not as big a fan of the Tour de France as I once was.  I don’t think it is because there have been no American winners since Lance.  Nor is it because of the lack of media attention.  Part of it is because of the media attention, especially the focus on doping.  But much of it is because I’m more focused on just living and doing, rather than watching others compete.

I’ll keep on riding, running, hiking, climbing, and swimming.  These things are important to me.  They are me.


Come along for the ride of your life!

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