Armstrong Embraces His Pain

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 25, 2009 4:26 PM CDT
In this photo provided by Elizabeth Kreutz, Lance Armstrong listens to Dr. Douglas Elenz before surgery today.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Lance Armstrong underwent surgery today to repair his shattered collarbone, and Sally Jenkins, in the Washington Post, says he seems almost happy to be “reunited with his old friend”—pain. “Most people’s natural reaction is to avoid pain, to anesthetize it, dull it, or kill it. But Armstrong frankly welcomes it. His relationship with pain, his ability to tolerate it, cope with it, and even use it, is the single most interesting aspect of his character.”

Jenkins, who collaborated with the cyclist on his autobiography, says Armstrong finds it clarifying. “He’s at his most pure when he’s in pain. He believes it has a basic purpose: It’s supposed to improve us.” Jenkins has no doubt Armstrong will compete in the Tour de France this year: “The only issue is how much it will hurt when he does.”