|With Lance in 1999|
There is a big part of me that did not want to ever admit to what happened. Deep inside I wanted to him to remain on the pedestal his legend created. After all, Lance and I did go through our cancer experiences around the same time. I even met him in person back in 1999 as I too was working on my personal comeback from cancer to start a life changed forever by the experience. Like millions of others, I wore the bracelet and felt inspired as he won tour after tour. Most of all, I saw firsthand the inspiration and good work that would become Livestrong.org.
Now thanks to piles of undeniable evidence my one time hero has fallen and my defense for him has come to an end. I want to believe that he did not do it. I want to believe that it was not all just a lie. I want to believe Lance was a product of his cancer experience not of a sophisticated marketing machine. I want to believe that no man could look a balding child of cancer in the eye and lie. I want to believe in the Lance Armstrong that inspired so many people to do more and so many survivors to Livestrong.
Unfortunately the facts far exceed the want of my heart.
Wish I could sit down one on one with Lance and ask him to tell the truth but I am not sure even he knows what that truth is anymore. Lies are like that. We sometimes tell them so often and with so much passion that we grow to believe them ourselves. The hole becomes so deep that there is just no way to crawl out of the darkness that has enveloped us into the light of truth. This is especially true when the lie of the moment seems to be helping others be better and to do more.
Like with his return from cancer, Lance once again is in a position to show courage and move to the front of life as an inspiration to others. He can do this by admitting he indeed is human like the rest of us and he made a mistake. We are so used to people on pedestals falling that I know most would find forgiveness for him.
Lance—Show your courage again and just tell the truth. Only then can you move forward continue to help the millions of people that look to you for inspiration. Be human and you will be forgiven.
Meanwhile, I will keep on surviving and striving to remember the lessons cancer taught me. I will press forward and I will strive to Livestrong.
What do you think?
Does it matter to you that Lance and his team led a complex system of cheating?
Do you think he should admit the truth?
Do you think the 1,000 pages of evidence are still not enough to convince you that he doped?