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It's Not About the Bike - Supporting Modern Day Heroes

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It's Not About the Bike - Supporting Modern Day Heroes

It's Not About the Bike - Supporting Modern Day Heroes
June 2005 - by John Waiveris

"The universe is made of stories, not of atoms." – Muriel Rukeyser, 1913-1980, American Poet

Pop Quiz: What do Greg Lemond and Lance Armstrong have in common? Answer: They are the only two Americans to win the Tour De France. Extra Credit: They both recovered from near fatal setbacks to achieve international success.


I set out to write this article about the value of a good story and how to jumpstart your marketing. Stories are the things that get people to buy newspapers, watch television, and read books. They inspire us to step out of our lives to something greater.

In a sense, it's better to be in the "story" part of the newspaper than the overpriced ads next to it. I also figured it would be a great time to write about bicycling because the Tour De France is this month.

However, after reading about these modern day heroes, it's not enough to make a good story about yourself. Instead, seek out your own heroes and support them in their efforts. You might end up in the story page too - but more important is the lasting effect you will help create.

"When you almost lose your life to cancer, and then win the Tour de France, and then become a father, it grows you up fast. I'm more thoughtful, and I resist saying the first thing that comes out of my mouth. Before, all of my questions were directed toward the "me," as in "Why me?" or, "What are my chances?" But now I've started looking at other people." - Lance Armstrong


So what makes for a modern day hero? Certainly, more than a brave or self sacrificing act. It starts with an ordinary person with a big goal. We relate to their setback and the challenge in front of them.

Greg and Lance are internationally known athletes, but we relate to the simple goal of riding a bicycle. Sure, it takes a different nature when you train 6-10 hours a day. But in the end, it's still just pushing pedals on something we had as a child.

Alex from Alex's Lemonade is another hero. She was diagnosed with cancer by her second birthday. She started a lemonade stand to raise money for her hospital, "because all kids want their tumors to go away".

"Alex's lemonade stands began four years ago when the family was living in Connecticut. Alex told her mother she wanted to sell lemonade and give the proceeds to the hospital where she was then being treated. She personally ran her stand and raised $500." -


Winning the race and raising money are big goals, but the stories are different because of the obstacles. We are inspired because they picked themselves up and kept marching toward their goal.

Greg was shot in a hunting accident, lost almost 3/4 of the blood in his body, and had 30+ shotgun pellets still in his major organs. Lance had cancer in major parts of his body and endured chemotherapy. Alex was just four years old and already endured cancer for half of her life. We can relate on a personal level.
"Lemond started the last stage, a short 15 mile (25km) time-trial, with a nearly insurmountable 50 second deficit from Laurent Fignon, the Tour de France winner in 1983 and 1984....Miraculously, Lemond won the time-trial by 58 seconds over Fignon, giving Lemond a victory in the Tour by 8 seconds, the smallest margin of victory in the history of the race." -


At some point the story takes on a life of its own. It is told and retold. Others around carry the flame and make it into something bigger. Money is donated and research funded.

However, more important is the hope that it gives people - diagnosed or not. I hope you take the opportunity to support and enjoy the presence of heroes in your own life.

"Each year since, Alex has held an annual lemonade stand in her front yard. As word has spread, donations have poured in from around the world, and she has raised over $1,600,000 for pediatric cancer." -

John Waiveris writes about small business and online marketing for Invisible Gold, LLC. For more information call 860-285-0172 or visit - Your Website Should Be East to Edit.

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