Friday, January 18, 2013

Lance's Admission: My Take

Chances are you've heard about Oprah Winfrey's interview with Lance Armstrong this week and his admission to using performance enhancing drugs. Stripped today of all his Tour de France titles and his Olympic medal, Lance is still but a man...a beat up man as the arrows fly toward him today like never before. I'd like to offer my take on this subject and perhaps offer a view not often portrayed by the majority of the American public and world, for that matter.

I am one of those people who watched more than one of his finishes at the Tour. It was awesome...seeing him riding in to the city, dressed in yellow, and American flags waving everywhere. Not only did he win multiple times, but he beat testicular cancer, too. His LiveStrong organization has raised millions and there was a time, I think more people wore his bright yellow rubber wristbands than didn't. Since then, those rubber bands are used by countless organizations in promoting their cause or product...all because of him. What now, though? Now, human nature says:

"STONE HIM!!!!!"

Do we? Do you? Surely, he'll be the topic of countless conversations at the water cooler, a main topic for stand up comedians, and the media will be ruthless. Strip away his medals and what is he? He's a man. Like me. He's also selfish...like me, and like you, too. As human beings, every single one of us is born that way and we have to make a deliberate decision to NOT be. In fact, I was just talking to my little girl this morning about a person at school who is just ripping her heart out and the root of it is "what about me?" selfishness. If you look at what Lance told Oprah, you'll see that he did what he did in order to stay competitive since the others were doing it, too. Instead of holding himself to a higher moral authority, he focused on SELF instead of doing the right thing. Normal? Yep. Is he REALLY different than anyone else? Doing whatever it takes to get ahead? I suggest he is not and he is simply one more person (on a world stage) who looks at life with the question: "What can I get out of it?" instead of "What can I do for others?"

Here's the thing: until Lance figures out that his strength does not come from himself nor anything he puts inside of him, he will never be happy and won't ever recover. So many people look to "nature" for strength or their "inner being" for strength. Friends...that is all finite. It has an end. It is not a...

...cup over-flowing.

So I challenge you with this. Don't jump on the Attack-Lance bandwagon. Did he mess up? Sure did. Was he a huge role-model for countless people of all ages, colors and creeds? Yep. Did he take a world stage, an American flag, and people's emotions hostage for his own gain? Absolutely. Is he human and therefore born selfish and bent towards making mistakes and failing?

YES.

If you do anything, pray for Lance. Pray that he will find the One and only true source of strength. I have no reason to believe he has nor seen any evidence. He can turn this into something even greater than what once was, but he has to turn from self in order to do it. Same goes for each of us, too.

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