Today, I read a couple of things about Lance Armstrong within 10 minutes of each other. The second was the attached article which tells of a 60 minute interview with one of his former team mates – Tyler Hamilton. Hamilton divulges information about Armstrong’s use of performance-enhancing drugs. Whether this is true or not remains to be seen. Other acquaintances have corroborated the facts whilst Armstrong continues to deny using drugs as a cheat. I am not interested in speculating whether this is true or not. I believe it’s one of those things we’ll never be completely sure of. The closest we’ll get is a ruling in the court of law. For me, the bigger concern is what this will do to the Armstrong brand, or more specifically Livestrong.
Currently, Lance seems to be a big part of my life! I can see the yellow wristband bobbing up and down on my arm as I write. I am reading “Mile Markers” by his ex-wife, Kristin Armstrong – it is supposed to be an inspirational read about why women run. So far, I have come close to getting up at 5:30am to go for a run, (I usually go at 9am when the kids are in school), but haven’t actually taken it further than the thought – does that count as inspirational? “The Lance Armstrong Performance Program” sits on my coffee table – my husband’s guide as he takes his cycling up a notch. Livestrong has been a source of support and advice as my husband, Barry, goes through aggressive cancer treatment. Armstrong is somewhat the ideal role model in this situation. Like Barry, he is a fighter, he is strong, he has determination and a positive outlook – all winners in this battle!
Maybe he did cheat. But, his strength and grace when dealing with cancer is exemplary. Unfortunately, one can’t cheat in that fight! Believe me, if there was a way I’d condone it – wouldn’t we all? I accept that cheating in an athletic race is unacceptable but that is one area of Lance’s life. Let Livestrong and his work for raising cancer awareness stand apart from racing and doping. I, for one, will continue to wear my wristband and I will continue to use Livestrong for advice and inspiration.
Oh, the first thing I read about Armstrong today. It was a quote that Team Ortho have used on one of their inspirational banners for those running the Minneapolis Marathon in a couple of weeks: “Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.” I am going to hold on to this first thing and let the second drift from view.