I have watched lately with great sadness about the demise of Lance Armstrong. Lance finally came clean with the world through his interview with Oprah Winfrey about his drug use and cover-up of it.
For years the public has watched the media report on the accusations of Lance’s drug use. Teammates, commissions, panels, doctors, and more continued to state Lance Armstrong was using drugs and earned all his wins because of it. And the world waited with bated breath each time there was an accusation only to find out each time that there was no proof. Lawsuits, counter-lawsuits, denials, and more denials.
To watch bicyclists on television race in a foreign country seemed rather boring to me for most of my life prior to Lance Armstrong. But he became an inspiration to me with having battled cancer and then winning year after year at a race that Americans rarely won or even placed in the top three.
The news continues to report on how Lance Armstrong let the world down and how people are very angry and hurt because of his lies. I don’t feel that way.
Lance is still an inspiration to me. Why? Because he finally told the truth.
Until the last few years of my life, where I have made a stand to be honest, open-minded, and in integrity with all my thoughts, words, and actions, there were many times I lied. It was just several years ago that lies were commonplace for me. A lie is such that if one gets away with it, it becomes easier to lie again and more difficult to be honest about the truth. And when one lies enough, it’s easy to begin to even believe one’s own lies. That was me. And for the really big lies, that affected many people, the last thing that I ever wanted was to be exposed as a fraud.
I’m not sure when Lance first lied about his drug use. But I’m positive that after his fame started spreading, that when his dream to spread hope to other cancer patients and survivors expanded, and where children everywhere had begun cycling to aspire to become him, that it became next to impossible to tell the truth.
Lies are like poison within our bodies, minds, and souls. They eat away within us and tear away at the very fragment of our existence. I give Lance a lot of credit for going as long as he did with the lying. I’m sure that everyday the news reported on someone publicly announcing that Lance was using drugs, it gnawed at his soul.
What would you do if you were famous and the whole world had changed on some level to now loving a sport that once wasn’t so popular, to how cancer patients now had more hope, to how people in general began having the “little engine that could” syndrome? The argument is that he never should have lied from the beginning. In fact most would say he never should have done any drugs in the first place as well.
Hindsight is 20/20 or so the saying goes. The point is that he lied and he got away with it, for a very long time and the world changed for the better with his lies. And now the world seems to be hurting with the truth.
This brings me back to my point of why Lance is still an inspiration to me. He told the truth and placed his whole life on the line. He brought to the surface all the cover-ups and admitted his drug use.
Lance has been stripped of everything because of telling the truth. He’s lost his titles, he’s lost his golden boy status of fame, and he probably will lose a lot of money before all this is said and done between the sponsors dropping him and lawsuits. But he told the truth knowing this was all going to happen.
That takes a lot of strength to do. Lance can now heal. Truly heal. Spiritually. The poison can leave him now. And he can move on in his life and be an inspiration to others on a different level. What is that inspiration? Well the main one would be telling the truth and being honest. Another would be not taking drugs to excel in a sport. But more importantly, Lance doesn’t have cancer and millions of people still do. He can still provide hope to others through honesty about where his demons took him and how he rose above that and healed not only physically from the cancer but also mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Lance if somehow you should ever read this. I’m proud of you. It takes a tremendous amount of spiritual strength to do what you did. While the news may report on how so many look disapprovingly on you, know that one still finds you to be an inspiration.
Peace, Love, Light, and Joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson