Linda, a "natural blonde" with a bombshell attack on life, has put
together this behind-the-scenes look at life with Lance Armstrong,
a miracle kid who became one of America's favorite heroes.
Linda was a single mom who had Lance when she was still in her
teens. Her reckless and desperate pursuit of happiness in marriage
is part of her story. Women will empathize with her attempts to
make relationships work out for the sake of the child she adored.
Loneliness and insecurity make the smartest of us blind to the
consequences as we plunge ahead into yet another bad partnership.
Throughout, the kid kept her sane and was her anchor. Without him
she undoubtedly would have made worse choices.
Once Lance began his youthful pursuit of victory in triathlon
events, Linda became a fan who cheered him and a supporter who
wrote the checks, no matter how pinched her finances. He started
getting sponsorship and that helped. Then he was offered a full
college scholarship for his swimming ability. He refused, saying he
believed he could make it in the big-time world of sporting events.
She went along, with her usual encouragement: stay focused, and
I'll be there.
Linda found her personal self-esteem in the world of business.
Beginning at the most humble level, shredding paper on weekends to
make extra money in her first secretarial job, she moved up quickly
to a series of administrative positions in which her vibrant
personality came to the fore. She needed money to keep Lance on his
bike, but in the meantime she was racing to her own victories as a
successful corporate somebody.
Her father was a major influence. Having given up drinking as soon
as he had a grandson, he protected Linda and Lance and made their
way as smooth as he knew how. It was hard for Linda, however, not
to repeat the patterns she'd observed as a little girl. Though she
didn't get trapped in physically abusive relationships, she was a
doormat --- first for a philanderer and then for another alcoholic.
It wasn't until she was older and Lance was independent that she
finally found a man who could care for her without his own
unwholesome agenda playing out.
So that's where life finds Linda now. Lance, as the world knows,
survived Stage 4 (the worst) cancer, including brain lesions. He
won the Tour de France a whopping six times and has fathered a son.
His mother says, "I still love to stand there and watch him
This is a believable story of the power behind the throne of
victory, because Lance Armstrong undoubtedly is made of tough
stuff, and it had to have come from somewhere. Linda's story will
inspire moms and perhaps help some other lonely mother to let some
other kid go the extra mile.
Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott on January 13, 2011