Tour de France Rest Day

Ok, I didn’t think I’d be posting about the Tour today either. But today I have another reason to respect Floyd Landis.

Floyd has been doing great this year – he won 3 major races before the Tour, and now he’s a minute out of the yellow jersey after a great performance in the first individual time trial. He’s always had a reputation for hard work and for never making excuses or complaining. But now I find he’s a fellow chronic pain sufferer. He’s just admitted that for 4 years he’s been suffering from osteonecrosis in his hip, and he’s going for hip replacement surgery soon after the Tour (to maximize his recovery time for next year’s Tour). The New York Times has two stories, here and here. (Registration required, use BugMeNot.)

One of the interesting facts I learned from the articles: his extreme forward position on the seat on his time trial bike was chosen to create a wider angle between his trunk and his femur to help his hip work.

Some of the quotes from the articles:

He walks with a limp. He sits as often as possible and cannot cross his right leg over his left. He takes elevators instead of stairs, valet-parks at the shopping mall and sometimes has difficulty sleeping. Running is out of the question. Like many of the 216,000 Americans who will receive hip replacements this year, his life is defined by chronic, debilitating pain.

Yeah, I can relate.

Later, back at his house, Landis would finally open up a little about the pain. He would say: “Everybody thinks you can overcome pain if you want to enough, and let me tell you, you can’t. This isn’t some Jean-Claude Van Damme movie, where somebody can get shot in the leg and keep going. There’s pain that makes me stop, makes everybody stop.”

Here’s hoping you don’t have to stop, Floyd.