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Every Second Counts Paperback – June 1, 2004

3.6 out of 5 stars 111 customer reviews

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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School-In It's Not about the Bike (Putnam, 2000), Armstrong related his battle with cancer and his incredible Tour de France victory. In this book, he gives a gripping account of his second through (record-tying) fifth victories at the Tour. (His latest triumph might be missed by less-than-thorough readers-it's at the very end, following the afterword.) One sees that Armstrong has grown up quite a bit since his first book. However, he still has a reckless streak, as witnessed by his fondness for diving into a place called Dead Man's Hole. There are glimpses into his personal life and reflections on his illness, but this memoir is unabashedly about the thrill of racing and winning with the U.S. Postal Team. Armstrong talks about his teammates with humility and admiration. He also deals frankly, yet with remarkable restraint, with the accusations of doping by the French. The cyclist still works with his Lance Armstrong Foundation against cancer, but readers get the sense that he is definitely looking forward. Warm and informal in tone, Every Second Counts is a must-read for cycling fans.
Sheila Shoup, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press; Reprint edition (June 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767914481
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767914482
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,522,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Color: No Color
I loved the first book he wrote and this one is just as good! Lance Armstrong's books are honest and direct. He really tells it as he sees it with no nonsense. The first book chroncicles his humble childhood as the child of a teenage mother and the relationship he describes with his mother is moving and inspiring.
The new book, Every Second Counts, is written mostly about his own children and his struggles to balance family life with his arduous training schedule and his Foundation, in addition to charity work and public appearances.
I admire Lance Armstrong for being a seeker. He is not a person sitting on the sidelines. He is truly living his life with gusto and passion. He has his rough-edges, but all in all he is a seemingly warm, honest, real person with all of the complexities and complications that real people face.
I wish him all the best and I hope he continues to write books in the future. I feel he has much to say and I like the way he says it!
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Color: No Color
All the other reviews are true! From one star to five star, each one is true. The book does ramble a bit, it is a very easy read. A person can take away so many things from it, or can become totally discusted with Lance.

I read the book soley and purposefully to see how much information I could get on how the US Postal team became such a dominant force in cycling. The book lets Lance's devotion, dedication, and ability to focus on goals, discipline shine, it gives more in depth conversation between Lance and Floyd Landis on what it takes to succeed at that level of sport. So I found what I was looking for. I am a diehard cycling fan and a die hard US Postal fan. The message is hard work, working when others are slacking, sacrifice and attention to detail come thru strong. These are all traits I can look up to and admire.

If you are looking for marital details you will be dissapointed. If you are looking for how he overcame the bad christian example he saw as a child and now is a believer, you won't find it here. He beleives this life is all you have, does not believe in God and yet maintains he is a spiritual person. If you want to have a happy ending for the family, and for Lance to realize that his career is taking too much time away from the family, think again. You will not find it here.

If you are looking for details on the doping scandal, there are plenty. There is also a lot of details on cancer and his struggle, and what drives him to do what he does.

I will not make personal judgements on his personality, I have never met him. Some say he is egotistical, thinks more of himself than he should. If so, it would not surprise me. Name on fighter pilot who isn't the same way.
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Color: No Color
I recently got Every Second Counts by Lance Armstrong with Sally Jenkins at the library. Seemed a timely read with Lance winning the Tour de France. I'm not sure this is a great book, but it was interesting in a number of ways...

The book picks up after the end of his first one It's Not About The Bike. There is less of the cancer struggle in this one, but more of the drive and fight to win the Tour race. The underlying theme here is that you aren't guaranteed anything in life, and life is precious. So you should live life to the fullest and make each second count (and hence the title).

There's a certain "rambling" element to the book. You'll start a chapter with one story that illustrates some point he wants to make. Before you get to the end, you're someplace else entirely. Not that it's a good or bad thing, it's just seemingly a little scattered at times. There are some excellent points to make you think, such as what it's like to be "thrown back" into life after being at death's door.

While I can admire what he's done and his drive and accomplishments, I don't know that I'd like Lance as an individual. I think the book gives you a good sense of who he is and what drives him, but I'm not sure I could exist long around a person who is that intense and driven.
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Color: No Color Verified Purchase
Straight up, I am a huge fan of Lance Armstrong. I am thrilled he won the TDF for the sixth time. I wear my LiveStrong bracelet proudly... and he is still as handsome as ever....

However, after reading "It's Not about the Bike", this edition was a bit of a letdown. Perhaps my question is this... how do you write about yourself and your accomplishments without inserting some level of self-aggrandizement? Further, how do you square the miracle births and lives of three glorious children with trotting around the world "like a rock-star?" I now understand how Lance's marriage suffered. And that saddens me... if only for the fact that I want this real-life fairy tale to have a happy ending where the children get to have a father who is really there for them.

I did enjoy his narratives that describe the teamwork and commraderie of U.S. Postal. I do believe this is a group who really does enjoy the pleasures of each other's company; that is so important in any working organization.

And I do believe he is committed to the Foundation that bears his name. I guess I am waiting for the installment that speaks to life after the glories of the TDF and all the endorsements. He is correct: every second does count... and as his children grow and change each day... he needs to charter that jet to get back to Austin, as soon as possible, and as fast as possible to be a part of three "Tours de Life."
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