What are YOU on? How Lance Armstrong let me down.
“I don’t really following cycling, unless they’re in my lane when I’m driving” – Ellen.
Couldn’t have said it better myself. So I didn’t even try. But that’s the beauty of the Lance Armstrong era: He managed to make cycling cool. So much so that as a kid I used to watch (let’s be honest: just pieces of) the Tour de France: to see Lance. I used to watch and wonder “Geez, how many times IS this guy gonna win this thing?”. Well it turns out with one ball and two wheels he was gonna crush it seven times. Not several…SEVEN. And with every win he would capture a bigger audience, stand for something bigger and become an even bigger inspiration and rolemodel to millions of people, including myself. Here was this guy who’d beat cancer, beat the odds and beat the world’s toughest race seven times. Seven friggen times. Not once, not 3 times, seven. The first time he was considered a winner, the second a pro, the third lucky and by the seventh a legend.
It was really difficult to pity yourself in the Lance era. Am I a cancer survivor? No. Have I only got one…let’s say boob? No. Have I overcome the odds and won the Tour de France? No. So stop complaining and count your blessings. That was my mantra. And I’m an avid supporter of the underdog, so when the allegations started, I felt just as defiant as he was. I was sure it was just a witch hunt. I mean, us humans have a history of trying to keep a good man down… you do too well and there’s obviously no way you could’ve done it. Like there’s no way William Shakespeare could’ve written all those masterpieces, obviously he was picking Francis Bacon’s brain. Or that’s what the conspiracies say. You see how messed up that is? So I fight for the underdog coz my stance is this: “Why the hell not?”. Why the hell can’t people be amazing? It’s what we’re wired to do. So I was team Lance. He was hounded, but he stayed strong. Livestrong, right? And as the accusations got stronger, so did his retorts. Until it reached the pivotal point, the moment that changed my life. The French had accused Lance of doping (again!) so he came out with an ad…the one that changed my life. It’s the ultimate “screw you”!
In it Lance says: “Everybody wants to know what I’m on. What am I on? I’m on my bike, 6 hours a day, busting my ass. What are you on?”
Well he just admitted (to Oprah, no less) that he’s been on EPO, testorone and human growth hormones since the mid 1990’s.
Well, screw you Lance. Because for all of those years I believed you were the exception. That you were exceptional. That you were the guy who beat cancer, beat the Tour de France. You were a friggen hero. But now it turns out that you’re just a druggie who likes riding his bike around France. Thanks Lance! Now every time I think someone is exceptional, I’m going to ask them to pee in a cup. That’s your legacy.