Friday, February 1, 2013

Say There's No Chance, Lance!

Say there's no chance, Lance!  Actually, Lance Armstrong recently did just that: he said that there is no chance that he had been telling the truth these last years about not cheating.  It is tremendously disappointing to this former admirer.  I tend to believe people when they tell me about something, especially if they are adamant.  And Lance sure was adamant, again and again and again.

I wasn't sure that I was going to post about Lance, but obviously decided to.  I didn't watch the interviews on Oprah.  I saw a few highlights, and read a little.  I loved the part about having to look up "cheating" in the dictionary! How does someone who was that convincing for so long just be able to finally admit the truth - and maybe not the whole truth - and expect that to be that?  It would be like if one's spouse denied cheating for years, and then finally said "Oh, about that?  Actually, I did sleep with your best friend four days a week for 10 straight years.  I threatened everyone I knew to not come forward, and bullied them into lying for me.  I did have to look up 'sexual relations' in the dictionary, though, just to be sure.  But I haven't done it in the last few years, trust me, so don't worry.  And, hey, everyone was doing it, and I just wanted to level the playing field so I could keep up with what my friends were doing.  Let's just put it behind us, okay?"

I don't like cheaters.  Every kid five years old and up knows what cheating is - they don't have to look it up in the dictionary.  I don't like liars.  I especially don't like it when liars attack people who point out their lies, as if it is those who are the liars, and not them.  Lance was right when he said that he was a flawed individual.  But we all have flaws.  What he did was so monumentally wrong on so many levels that it goes far beyond "flawed", and frankly, his word has less value than a cup of warm spit - something which I have no use for.

That being said, Lance Armstrong did a lot of good with Livestrong.  And I hope that organization continues strong without him.  He was an inspiration to many, including me.  When I had cancer nearly 11 years ago, his book "It's Not About the Bike" was one of the first that I read.  I am deeply disappointed in Lance now, but am grateful to him for the work that he did with his organization.

So here's a question for you: what if Lance had been clean?  What if what he says is true - that virtually every other elite cyclist dopes?  What if he had not doped and and finished no better than 20th in any given Tour de France?  Do you think that that he ever would have had the fame and fortune to start the Lance Armstrong Foundation, which became Livestrong?  Given society's priority on winning at any cost, I kind of doubt it, actually.  It would truly be ironic if Livestrong, and all the good it has done and will hopefully continue to do, would never had existed had Lance Armstrong been an honest man who played by the rules.  What do you think?

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