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    Sunday, July 24, 2005

    The Seventh Wonder of the World

    Lance Armstrong is the man. For all of us who dream of donning the maillot jaune, he has worn it 82 times and won 7 tours de France.

    I was reading in Men's Health about how to get fit like Lance and listening to Science Friday on NPR where they talked about Lance's genetic greatness and his training that made him greater. He truly is an amazing person. Heart is 30% larger than a normal human. Muscles are 23% efficient in turning chemical energy to mechanical energy vs. 20% in a normal human. He does not produce as much lactic acid as a normal person, so he only needs 30-40 seconds to recover after he "pops" before he can sprint again. His maximum heart rate is well over 200 beats per minute, so not only can he pump 30% more blood, he can do it faster than anyone else.

    A lot of this came from training, which gives hope to me--the little guy. But a lot is good genetics too. Either way, he's an amazing athlete, with an iron will, good tactics, and an inspiration to millions because of his victory over cancer and on the bike.

    Today, Lance was allowed to give a speech from the podium--the first time ever allowed in the history of the tour--where he said gracious things about his rival Jan Ullrich, friend and rival Ivan Basso, and advised us strongly to stop snubbing what could be the hardest sport in the world and give it some TLC. More importantly, when he claimed the yellow jersey he had his kids with him, and that is what is truly important. All the accolades in the world won't make up for being a failure in the home.

    Here's to Armstrong's accomplishments, life after the greatest ever, and may we all have his stamina to overcome the adversities in our lives.

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