Here is Lance Armstrong, reflecting on the day he learned he had testicular cancer: “Athletes don’t tend to think of themselves as human. They’re too busy cultivating the aura of invincibility to admit to being fearful, weak, defenseless, vulnerable or fallible; and for that reason, neither are they especially kind, considerate, merciful, benign, lenient or forgiving to themselves or anyone around them. But as I sat in my house alone on that first night, it was humbling to be scared. More than that, it was humanizing.”
When I was six and seven, I pictured myself as an invincible pitcher on his way to the major leagues. In the zone marked by chalk on our front stoop, I threw hundreds of perfect strikes, just the way my hero Bobby Feller would have. But then there would be a pick-up game like all the others: I’d be posted in right field where there were fewer fly balls for me to drop. I quickly learned to admit, “I am in over my head.”
There is an 80 percent chance that later in this century a megadrought will plague the American Southwest for decades, according to a study released by researchers at NASA and at Columbia and Cornell universities. The drought will be caused by reduced precipitation and changes in evaporation rates. The researchers say other factors, such as the El Niño weather pattern, could interrupt long periods of severe drought. The researchers say there is time to reduce the factors contributing to climate change (Washington Post, February 12).