"Living on the edge wasn't about danger, he realized. It was about curiosity; audacious curiosity, like the kind Lance (Armstrong) had when he was chalked off for good and still decided to see if he could be a world-beater. The way Kerouac did, when he set off on the road and then wrote about it in a mad, carefree burst he never thought would see the light of print."
— Born To Run
Think we all know, sort of, the Lance Armstrong story. Good bike racer got cancer, bounced back, won seven Tours de France. But here's how close to death he got: he had tumors on his brain, lungs and testicles. Treatment left him too weak to walk, and in this state, he made a decision: he turned down the opportunity to cash in a $1.5 million insurance policy to try to rebuild himself into the athlete he believed he should've been.
"Take the payout," McDougall writes in Born To Run, "and he'd be set for life. Turn it down and relapse, and he's dead meat; he'd have no money, no health insurance, no chance of seeing age thirty."
We all know what happened next.
Live on the edge. Be audaciously curious. None of us can predict the future. But we can see options, and we can choose to believe in the good ones, and if a dead man can win seven Tours de France, then what can we healthy ones do?