Balanced Beings

Jan 1, 2004
Outside Magazine

Tyler Hamilton//32//Cyclist
Lance beat cancer, but Hamilton may be the toughest man in cycling. He's most famous for finishing second in the 2,081-mile-long Giro d'Italia stage race in 2002—with a broken shoulder—and for breaking his collarbone in a crash during the first stage of last year's Tour de France yet finishing the overall race in fourth place.

While Hamilton takes advantage of daily massages as well as frequent chiropractic adjustments and acupuncture to revive his battered body during racing season, it's his mental fortitude that carries him forward. He credits his capacity to work through pain to his childhood days skiing and racing down the windblown, subzero slopes of New Hampshire's Wildcat Mountain. "When you're skiing in that kind of weather, if you can't grit your teeth and suck it up, you're gonna have a hard time," he says. "When you accept that you're in pain, you can free your mind to go on to other things. If all you concentrate on is the negative, then you might as well quit. Take a deep breath, relax, and move on."