Thoughts on Lance…
If you have been following the endurance sports world at all, you know that Lance Armstrong gave up his fight against USADA.
When the news came out, I felt like I took a punch to the stomach. Granted I never met Lance, but in many ways I felt like I grew up with the guy. As a kid, I only needed to look in the mirror to realize that I would never play in the NBA or NFL. I simply was never going to be big enough, tall enough or strong enough. However, starting in 1999, there was a guy who looked like me who was kicking ass and taking names. I knew cycling was never going to be my calling either, but I could identify with what Lance was doing every July. Pushing hard and never giving up. He was my childhood sports idol.
For seven years straight, my dad and I would sit mesmerized in front of the TV as we watched Lance win with bravado and a certain Texan panache. Those evenings are still some of my fondest memories with my dad. We would laugh at Bob Roll, shake our heads at the wimpy French and sit transfixed as a kid from the middle of Texas beat the Euros at their own game.
While the memories I have from those years can never go away, there does seem to be a certain cloud that hangs over them as I think back on them. For a guy who inspired me by his “never give up attitude” to throw in the towel makes me feel like I just discovered there is no Santa Claus all over again.
Perhaps, it truly was a witch hunt. Perhaps, he wanted to focus on his foundation. Perhaps, he did not want another dollar going into a lawyer’s pocket. Or perhaps….