Testicular cancer? No problem

There are many tough, challenging times in life, but the critical component in all of them is choosing how we are going to respond. In the silly movie Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story there is an exchange in a bar between Peter La Fleur the star player and Lance Armstrong the seven time Tour de France winner.

Peter is near the end of his desire to hang in there. His team is losing and his performance on the Dodgeball court has been abysmal. He is nursing a beer confiding to Lance Armstrong (A dodgeball fan by the way) that he has just quit.

“Quit?” Lance replies. “You know, once I was thinking about quitting when I was diagnosed with brain, lung and testicular cancer, all at the same time. But with the love and support of my friends and family, I got back on the bike and I won the Tour de France five times in a row. But I'm sure you have a good reason to quit. So what are you dying from that's keeping you from the finals?”

Peter with his head bowed low answers that it feels a bit like shame.

“Well,” Lance added, “I guess if a person never quit when the going got tough, they wouldn't have anything to regret for the rest of their life. But good luck to you Peter. I'm sure this decision won't haunt you forever.”

Giving in to the extremely tough times will haunt you forever. Getting up from them, gritting your teeth, and becoming stronger will bring a fullness of life and depth of accomplishments you couldn’t get any other way.

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Posted in Attitude, Change, courage, Depth
2 comments on “Testicular cancer? No problem
  1. Lance says:

    Like the old saying goes… “that which doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger!”

  2. Jon Hokama says:

    Thanks for this great story of resilience, Jeff!

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Jeff Vankooten is a speaker and author focusing on the power of resilience to effectively engage the challenges of change. He helps leaders, businesses, and organizations develop the skills necessary to thrive in an increasingly unpredictable business environment.
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