Hope Is A Legacy

So I went on a bike ride Wednesday.  When I finished my ride  I called Husband who told me that  Nike let Lance Armstrong “go”.

Wow.

“Why?” I asked.

“The drug stuff.”    I’m paraphrasing the answer he gave me.

Since I have no knowledge of, or proof of, or information pertaining to the truth of the matter I will continue to know what I know.  And I don’t know.

What I know, basically,  is that an organization was created by a man who would eventually win seven Tour D’ France titles.    Woot!  Come on, that’s a feat.  Grant it I have no understanding of the crazy ass (sorry) technical jargon that went in to how a person actually wins that (or any other) bike race.   A race used to consist of :  get ready, get set, go!   First one to finish wins.  So I don’t know how anyone actually wins.  But, he did.  And I loved it.

I did not love that he had cancer.   I did not love that he (or anyone) suffers this horrible disease.

I do know I was impressed he not only survived cancer, he returned to living life with a vengeance.  He had the great gift of not only surviving and healing, but the gift of life renewed.   And he smashed it.

I do know that the organization he started has created a huge amount of attention to, money to, and support to cancer eradicating causes.    Woot !  Woot!

I don’t know if this man “doped”.  I don’t even truly know what that means.  I don’t know Lance Armstrong.  I have never met him.  I have never spoken to him.  I know nothing other than what I read, you know, like the other seven billion people on earth.   And I don’t know those accusing him.  I know nothing about this at all.

What I know may be over simplified for those either claiming he is a villain or  those defending his honor.   But very simply I understand that  he won races and people are accusing him of winning against the rules.   But I don’t know of proof that he did cheat.  If he did, he shouldn’t have won.   If he didn’t, he should be left alone.   I know, way too simple.  But until there is proof showing he cheated than he is “innocent”.   At least that’s a theory I was raised on.   I read one comment that said “isn’t 26 people testifying against him proof enough”?     My answer: not really.  Because I can say right here:   he is innocent and that does not mean anything.  I can say he is guilty and that doesn’t mean anything.   What I say does not matter.  What happened, matters.   The truth of that,  is what is needed.

What bothers me most about all of this is the impact on what really does matter.

LiveStrong.

Riding a bike will never be a man’s greatest legacy.

Giving hope to anyone is a legacy.

Possibly being part of finding, or promoting the find for,  a cure for cancer is a legacy.

Two other things I know, that may be over simplified, but no less true:

The next time I ride my bike the craziness around the bike racing world won’t matter.  Maybe they need to stop the madness anyway and go back to:  Get Ready, Get Set, Go!   See who finishes first.   Celebrate.  Give them a trophy.   Stop making it sound like this is what matters in life.  It’s a great challenge and a great win.  Woot!  That’s it.

The next time someone I know is diagnosed with cancer, what treatments and technologies that have been developed to save a life and give hope, will matter.

I’m still wearing yellow.

Because life, quality of life, and being given a chance to smash it on the bike trail.   That matters.

24 thoughts on “Hope Is A Legacy

  1. I don’t know all the facts about Lance and what he did or did not do. All I know is he showed that cancer is not a death sentence. Livestrong to me means go for it, all the time. I mean why would someone choose to live weak?

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  2. This is a stunningly lovely post. I don’t know if Armstrong deserves it, but the writing here rocks. I don’t know for sure that he doped, but from what I’ve read and heard in the last couple of days, it seems nearly certain he did. The testimony of his team mates has been compelling. But that’s neither here nor there. This post rocks, my friend. Ride on. Live strong
    Hugs,
    Kathy

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    • Oh! More chills! 🙂 Thanks Kathy. I haven’t looked in to reading the testimony of his team mates. I do know “Husband” has given me some points that I have missed this week. Though this post is really about the hope that has been created and administered to so many, it surely touches on people’s opinions about the man himself.

      I do question the methods that are being used to “acquire” this testimony. If it’s true, why did none of these riders come forward when they were benefiting from it? Why is their guilt or innocence any less a matter of concern than his? There are just so many questions surrounding the entire mess.

      I admit that I am a fan of Lance’s and likely have a ton of bias. But again, I just get saddened that anyone would think LiveStrong has less value. True, it is a direct result of his wins that garnered him attention, and OPPORTUNITY. Opportunity that was put to very good use. But the biking it’s self is not what LiveStrong is about.

      I know I need to read more. But I don’t know how to differentiate between fact and fiction. I do believe both exist in this story.

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  3. So Lance cheated at a competition. Take away the yellow jersey, lion and flowers and give to rider #2. No one got hurt, no one got killed and we can all move on. Who cares anymore who wears yellow . Lance is many things , some great. i in fact Dont much care for or agree with how he lived his life outside of making money for cancer research.
    NO ONE GOT HURT! Wait… I believe he may , in fact, saved lives.
    You are a wise woman ChatterMaster, we agree!

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    • Master Flash, I don’t know about wise….I’m just chattery. 😉 The difficult part about all of this is the not knowing who “did” or who “did not”. Strip all the winnings from all of the persons who “did” so the those who “did not” are the true victors. Of course the spot light is on the multiple winner. But he is not the only one. According to the people giving ‘testimony’ there are MANY, and those testifying are admitting to much more than Armstrong doing, so do we strip everything from everyone who has someone “saying” they know someone did something? Or do they wait for the facts.

      I don’t think any rider who got to the tour can be accused of not working hard, I would believe every single one of them have worked very hard to get to the starting line. Doping or not. I don’t think doping got them there. They can dope me all they want, it ain’t going to make me a tour rider! (or winner). 🙂

      Don’t we need to have lunch for JUST this topic alone? 😉

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  4. Hope IS a legacy, it so IS, Colleen. This was a great write on the subject.
    I understand him no one wanting to sponsor him though – yes, YES great were his 7 feats, but you just don’t want to sponsor a cheat, to condone a cheat. I agree with Master Flash that no one got hurt (except the blood, sweat & tears of rider #2, who put in unenhanced time & effort, & didn’t get the glory & consequent support & sponsorship) – but in all, no one got hurt. It is great if he has saved lives, that is true.

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    • Hi Noeleen!

      I do think any one who “doped” should be stripped. But I think that means all of them. From what I started to read last night, there are a lot of accusations out there that include an awful lot of people “saying” that others doped. A lot of others.

      I still think they should line up the riders, shout GO and see who gets to the end point in France first. That guy wins.

      Give him a trophy. Maybe some prize money.

      Come back next year. 🙂

      I just ‘hope’ the “hope” continues. The good works of many should not be diminished or stopped.

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  5. You wrote so well of a very difficult subject… A true battle between what you were led to believe (an “idol”) versus what the facts may have actually been. A skirmish between what is legal, what is “right” or what is “wrong”, or what is illegal. It is a shame, though, that so many professional athletes are doing in pursuit of records and money. Long gone are the days of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.

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    • Very well said Mustang.Koji!

      Husband said the very same thing about legalities, right vs. wrong. It does come down to, though, the rules of the race. If you sign up for a race knowing the rules and agree to that when you sign up, and then knowingly go against those rules to improve your chances…. that is cheating.

      I will be honest. I do not want to believe he cheated. I don’t. And I will still keep my doubt until it is “fact”, which it is not yet.

      But again, it is the hope that was created from all of this, that may sadly be affected.

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  6. Read his books, you will get an interesting perspective of what him and his family had to endure so that he could be the greatest cyclist of all times. I am not a Lance fan, not because of the doping allegations but because of how he has treated his ex-wife and “first” family…he even admits it-he was a schmuck! As for the doping allegations, he looks pretty guilty but my guess is, so are the majority of super -athletes that perform at that level. Let’s face it-I average 3 15 miles rides per week and some days I would like to do some doping to survive those!!

    Was listening to an ESPN radio talk show this week and the host of this sports talk show was begging his listeners to NOT allow themselves or their children to idolize athletes…..Tiger is not the only wife cheater and Lance is not the only doper…he sounded pretty confident when he said “if only I was allowed to report on all of the cheaters out there! Who you think is a good guy, is not a good guy!” I get a small taste of that at work…the media IS manipulated to report only what certain powers want the public to know. As for the Babes and the Lou Gehrigs, and all of the past presidents and politicians that people want to idolize…remember, they were human too and probably not as perfect as we would like to think, but they did not have a camera or hidden tape recorders in their face 24/7 like the “idols” of today do. I agree with radio host, children should be encouraged to idolize their grandparent or their neighbor…someone who gives 100% every day to their job, their family and their community, knows that they are not perfect and not the best at everything they do, but always does their best, someone who can make a mistake, admit it and learn from it….someone who is a super human, not superhuman!

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  7. I looked at this last night and then I had to look again today.I too was so sad when this story came out.Love Lance Armstrong and frankly don’t know what to think.It brought back memories of Magic Johnson.My daughter and I were true Magic fans and so devastated when he made his AIDS anouncement,not so much because of the disease but because of his reputation.We were heartbroken because we didn’t want people to think badly of him.I know he didn’t cheat at basketball but his good name was affected.I kind of get what you mean.

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    • It is heartbreaking. Whenever we learn something “bad” about someone we “liked”.
      And I do like Lance the cancer survivor, Lance the man who envisioned LiveStrong, Lance the man who gave so much hope. I do recognize his ‘human-ness’.

      Thanks Lexiesnana, I am appreciating everyone’s feedback. I’m glad we can all talk about it and try to learn from it.

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  8. Very nicely put! I read a poll that most people who contribute to the Livestrong organization aren’t impacted by Lance’s decision not to fight the charges and will continue supporting. As you pointed out, Lance Armstrong is much more than riding a bike…he beat cancer and began a wonderful organization that I refer to on a regular basis for my many medical problems. It’s a shame our society only focuses on the negative and kudos to you for pointing out what is truly important!

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    • THank you Marsha. 🙂 I worry about LiveStrong and I hope it can continue to do what it has been working on for years. There’s something to be said about the hope and courage someone helps others with.

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  9. Colleen, watch this little video – so interesting and how my hospitals are working for the whole world against cancer. http://youtu.be/L6lUtg_K0S4 – how to tailor make treatments for all of us. I have my small scars to wear and my aftermath problems to live with – but I’m very happy that I’m one of the survives. My treatment was tailor made …

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  10. I read somewhere that LiveStrong can and will go on without Lance Armstrong. So many people have drawn strength and hope from the charity that it is unlikely to fold because of one person (Armstrong), and it has grown so much that it really isn’t “just” Armstrong’s organization anymore. That’s a very good thing in light of everything else.

    Another great post, Colleen. 🙂

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