Lance Armstrong · 294 pages
Rating: (35.1K votes)
“Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever. That surrender, even the smallest act of giving up, stays with me. So when I feel like quitting, I ask myself, which would I rather live with?”
“Anyone who imagines they can work alone winds up surrounded by nothing but rivals, without companions. The fact is, no one ascends alone.”
“My mother told me...if you're going to get anywhere, you're going to have to do it yourself, because no one is going to do it for you.”
“What is stronger, fear or hope?”
“Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.”
“During our lives...we experience so many setbacks, and fight such a hand-to-hand battle with failure, head down in the rain, just trying to stay upright and to have a little hope.”
“Hope that is the only antidote to fear.”
“I wanted to live, but whether I would or not was mystery, and in the midst of confronting that fact, even at that moment, I was beginning to sense that to stare into the heart of such a fearful mystery wasn't a bad thing. To be afraid is a priceless education. P 99”
“I believed in belief, for its own shining sake. To believe in the face of utter hopelessness, every article of evidence to the contrary, to ignore apparent catastrophe - what other choice was there? We are so much stronger than we imagine, and belief is one of the most valiant and long-lived human characteristics. To believe, when all along we humans know that nothing can cure the briefness of this life, that there is no remedy for our basic mortality, that is a form of bravery. To continue believing in yourself...believing in whatever I chose to believe in, that was the most important thing.”
“For most of my life I had operated under a simple schematic of winning and losing, but cancer was teaching me a tolerance for ambiguities.”
“The question that lingers is, how much was I a factor in my own survival, and how much was science, and how much miracle?
I don't have the answer to that question. Other people look to me for the answer, I know. But if I could answer it, we would have the cure for cancer, and what's more, we would fathom the true meaning of our existences. I can deliver motivation, inspiration, hope, courage, and counsel, but I can't answer the unknowable. Personally, I don't need to try. I 'm content with simply being alive to enjoy the mystery.
A man is caught in a flood, and as the water rises he climbs to the roof of his house and waits to be rescued. A guy in a motorboat comes by, and he says, "Hop in, I'll save you."
"No thanks," the man on the rooftop says. "My Lord will save me."
But the floodwaters keep rising. A few minutes later, a rescue plane flies overhead and the pilot drops a line.
"No, thanks," the man on the rooftop says. "My Lord will save me."
But the floodwaters rise ever higher, and finally, they overflow the roof and the man drowns.
When he gets to heaven, he confronts God.
"My Lord, why didn't you save me?" he implores.
"You idiot," God says. "I sent a boat, I sent you a plane."
I think in a way we are all just like the guy on the rooftop. Things take place, there is a confluence of events and circumstances, and we can't always know their purpose, or even if there is one. But we can take responsibility for ourselves and be brave.”
“Evan Handler is a man who’s looked into the abyss and laughed. His book, It’s Only Temporary, made me laugh along with him. He covers love, lust, showbiz, triumph, and despair – and he manages to be both funny and inspiring about all of it. It’s an important book that I think can help to spread goodness around the world. Something we desperately need.”
“We each cope differently with the specter of our deaths. Some people deny it. Some pray. Some numb themselves with tequila. I was tempted to do a little of each of those things. But I think we are supposed to try to face it straightforwardly, armed with nothing but courage.”
“Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever”
“I’ve learned how to take out my own stitches: all you need is a pair of fingernail clippers & a strong stomach.”
“Make every obstacle an opportunity.” And that’s what we did.”
“Quite simply, I believed I had a responsibility to be a good person, and that meant fair, honest, hardworking, and honorable. If I did that, if I was good to my family, true to my friends, if I gave back to my community or to some cause, if I wasn’t a liar, a cheat, or a thief, then I believed that should be enough. At the end of the day, if there was indeed some Body or presence standing there to judge me, I hoped I would be judged on whether I had lived a true life, not on whether I believed in a certain book, or whether I’d been baptized.”
“Your past forms you, whether you like it or not. Each encounter and experience has its own effect, and you're shaped the way the wind shapes a mesquite tree on a plain.”
“If there is a defining characteristic of a man as opposed to a boy, maybe it’s patience.”
“Make every negative into a positive,” as my mother says. Nothing goes to waste, you put it all to use, the old wounds and long-ago slights become the stuff of competitive energy.”
“THERE ARE ANGELS on this earth and they come in subtle forms,”
“I'm nuts about him, i've told him everything there is to tell about me, and he spends every night balls deep in me and it's GREAT, and i love him, and I look down at him when we're fucking...and it's like looking in an empty house.”
“Ugh, I swear I'd rather stab myself in the eye with a spoon repeatedly than be nice to some idiot, which means pretty much anyone I come in contact with. Damn, I'd be stabbing my eye a lot.”
“Paul. Look at me. You need to understand this. The worst thing that could have happened to me already happened."
He looks up.
She swallows, knowing that these are the words that stall; that may simply refuse to emerge.
"Four years ago David and I went to bed like it was any other night, brushing our teeth reading our books, chatting about a restaurant we were going to the next day...and when I woke up the next morning he was there beside me, cold. Blue. I didn't...I didn't feel him go. I didn't even get to say..."
There is a short silence.
"Can you imagine knowing you slept through the person you love most dying next to you ? Knowing that there might have been something you could have done to help him ? To save him ? Not knowing if he was looking at you, silently begging you to..."
The words fail, her breath catches, a familiar tide threatens to wash over her He reaches out his hands slowly, enfolds hers within them until she can speak again.
"I thought the world had actually ended. I thought nothing good could ever happen again. I thought any thing might happen if I wasn't vigilant. I didn't eat. I didn't go out. I didn't want to see anyone. But I survived, Paul. Much to my own surprise, I got through it. And life...well, life gradually became liveable again."
She leans closer to him.
"So this...the painting, the house...It hit me when I heard what happened to Sophie. It's just stuff. They could take all of it, frankly. the only thing that matters is people."
She looks down at his hands, and her voice cracks.
"All that really matters is who you love.”
“Cease being intimidated by the argument that a right action is impossible because it does not yield maximum profits, or that a wrong action is to be condoned because it pays.”
“Present company excluded, this looked to be the most pleasant detention ever experienced by mankind. Further proof that librarians should run the world-or a least be in charge of detention at Bathory High.”
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