Monday, February 04, 2013
Having made my own mistakes, perhaps I am more willing to forgive someone who has, not only made their own mistakes, but also has them played out for all the world to discuss and debate. One could argue that Lance put himself in the spotlight by the life he chose to live, and thereby deserves his public flogging as well as the praise he received I ask you to consider this... Is
this really who we are--the kind of people who mock,judge and ridicule ? Who we want to be? As Americans? As humans? As children of God?
In my short non-professional running career, I have tried several things to improve my running times; better, more supportive shoes, non chaffing clothing, different hydration drinks, music playlists and types of food/energy gels. When telling a friend one time about an experience with an energy gel, she commented to me that she thought that using Gu, or power gels was cheating. I found this an interesting comment and inquired further asking where she thought the line was. Did she consider eating bananas or oranges before/during the race cheating? Gatorade? Water? She considered for a while and then conceded she didn't know where the line should be drawn.
While I can assure you that Gu, and Gatorade are not cheating for marathon races, they do increase one's ability to run them better. Therefore it is a natural progression of thought then to consider that when the stakes are higher, (ie endorsements, teammates, and business ventures) the pressure to perform becomes more substantial and a competitor would seek all the physical advantages available. The pressure of performing under these circumstances might also make the lines of right and wrong seem more blurry from a competitive standpoint. (Even though the rules, and lines are spelled out VERY clearly for the professional competitors.) When you also consider that many of the people you are competing against are crossing those lines, and your ability to compete with them is based on evening out the field of play, I can see how one could succumb to cheating.
I do not agree with what he did. It was wrong. He cheated, he bullied, he lied.
Watching Oprah's interview with Lance Armstrong opened my eyes to a few notable things.
I was surprised and touched not only by Lance's desire to speak honestly about the cheating and mistakes he had made, but also his desire not to drag others in with him--either to blame or justify his responsibility. He has been stripped of his titles, he has cheated, he has made wrong choices, risking everything he has built professionally and personally--and he has lost.
I appreciate that he recognized that this was only the beginning of the process. Making things right would take more than a 20 minute phone call to each person and a few thousand dollars sent their way.
He can never undo what he has done, because it effected so much more than himself.
What brought this man to an honest appraisal was not a review board, thousands of fans, a committee, attorneys pursing his fortune, nor reporters working around the clock to catch him in his lies. Rather it was his 13 year old son, who stood toe to toe in defense of his father, that finally cracked his armor, and allowed him to see the damage he was doing to the people he loved and the people who loved and trusted him. Our kids make us better people.
I commend you for taking an honest look at your life and choices you have made. For taking a stand--albeit late--for what is right, and fair--even though it is quite possibly the most difficult time for you to do so. And for sending the message that what defines us is not what others say about us, or what we have done in the past, but the person we chose to be.
"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."
The only one who can ever truly see what lies with in us, is God and ourselves.
Labels: Life Lessons