Note: This is my response to the Daily Prompt for 1/13/2013 of the Scribbler’s January Writing Contest. Please read and comment, telling me what you think!
01-13-13 Today is open forum – Fall from Grace
Heroes are usually mere mortals who suddenly realize they are working without a net. To me Lance Armstrong is the prime example. Years of believing his own hype convinced the man he simply could do no wrong. I am usually very careful not to elevate any man, especially in light of my belief that God is the only perfect being. Setting anyone on a pedestal takes aw from the focus I desire to train solely on God. With lance Armstrong, i felt a special kindred relating to his battles with Cancer. No, I am not a cancer survivor, at least not in the traditional sense.
Instead, my survival comes in the form of witnessing the loss of my family members to the horrible disease. To see a man not only best the beast but succeed in an arena demanding super-human feats of strength mesmerized me. I cheered for Armstrong each time he crossed the final stripe at each of his seven consecutive Tour de France bicycle journeys. I wanted to believe he was everything he purported to be. But alas, he is not.
His fall from grace has been a long one. The accusations began even during the midst of his historic dominance of one of the most grueling examples of endurance known to mortal man. The sheer strength he exhibited climbing the mountainous roads in the Alps and Pyrenees probably screamed a warning that i chose to ignore. I have such a hatred for cancer that I refused to allow any detracting thought to muddle this warrior’s success. At his point (January 16th, 2013) he has had hi “couch session” with Oprah and soon we will all hear his explanation. I am not sure i want to at this point.
It is still true he beat some significant cancerous invasions to his body. he certainly completed the physically taxing rides that delivered a tremendous amount of fame to his name and helped launch a foundation that serves cancer patients very well. Even the fact that he probably used performance enhancing drugs is not my biggest problem with the man. The fact is he lied about it not once, but multiple times, believing his own press that he was some bicycling God that could defy the laws of nature.
I am thankful for the impact Live Strong has in the world of cancer research and treatment. No patient or family of one ever has too much support. My sincere hope is that the foundation can weather this personality issue and continue to make a difference in the lives of those needing it most.