Tag Archives: Lance Armstrong

Tuesday Morning Press #13 — I’m Not Going to Talk About This & 3 Items I Love

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Yes I am. I can’t help myself. But I can. No I can’t. I’m merely human. Ok you made me do it.

Lance.

Crickets. Click if you want to hear them.

I have yoga today, but I’m still on the mend from my trifection; so this isn’t a true Tuesday Morning Press and last week’s was posted in the afternoon so for 2013, I’m 0 for 2.

Back to Lance; but he’s really just a reference. Damn it. I will sum up, here’s what I posted on my Facebook status this morning. I’ll opine (lucky you) with my sagacity and how we are all suffering from the same Human Condition shortly thereafter.

I was never on Team Lance, but I respected his efforts. I thought what he accomplished was stunning and beyond human potential. Apparently I was right. All this does, from his cleat-digging, epic vehement denial, to his silence, to his publicity-seeking admission and now his interest in getting back his reputation (whatever the what that was) is tell me what I suspected all along from the First Minute I saw him: It’s All About Lance. It always was. It always will be. We are merely inhabitants of his planet. He is a disgrace and I wish Livestrong well, but he can suck it.

We don’t live in a world of authenticity anymore. Everyone wants their 15-minutes of fame; everyone wants to Cash In on their Story. Everyone wants to Be Someone.

We are witnessing a time when merely breathing, doing your best, living well, paying your taxes, honoring your vows, obeying the law and honoring your limits isn’t enough anymore. I don’t know what got me started on this rant, oh yeah, Lance, but I can tell you this much: I won’t stop living the best I can. Lance is a turkey. He was a model for lots of people; ‘cept he wasn’t: what he “achieved” is a lie. No human can achieve it.

Ironically, in his vast and storied attempts at proving himself beyond humanity he showed us his craven depth of humanity: he is just as needy as the rest of us. He is just a scared little boy afraid of not measuring up.

Here’s what I’m getting at: WE ALL FEEL this inadequacy at times. You can’t deny it. It’s good, actually, that we do feel it: it keeps us going to try for better, work smarter.

The problem arises when we hit our apogee and we find it unacceptable. That we are somehow above it; HA! Above our best possible achievement! For some, that’s not enough or it’s scary; it shows them their mortality. So they cheat. They borrow, they lie and they steal. This happens every day and it’s as old as mankind. Now I see that I’m wasting my time talking about this because Lance doesn’t read my blog (he’s never commented…) and neither do the plagiarists and thieves and liars… I guess. I don’t talk about what they want to read. I don’t enable.

I tire of this “condition,” frankly, because I’ve had enough of people not being happy with what they’ve got, the ingratitude, the constant complaining.

Here’s me: I’m all for wanting more and better as long as you’re not a jerk about it. As long as what you DO do to supposedly improve your circumstances is ethical, legal and fair. Then I’m OK with it; I might not know who you are, you might not become a household name to me, but you’re good in my book.

What good is a life lived if it is lived inauthentically? We are all born weak, crying or moaning about something, we will all die the same way: weakend by something that takes us over: be it a bus at 40mph, a virus, an act of violence or war… the circumstances really don’t matter because in the FINAL moments, we will have met our match: we are vulnerable to what takes us. Our limits have been reached. We have achieved: Truth. Wouldn’t it just be better to achieve it while you’re living rather than be a disgrace?

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credit: The New Yorker.

If Armstrong, Sosa, McGwire, Jones, Baranova and all the others came out and said, “Although yes, I’ve trained my buttocks off and behaved single-mindedly for years in pursuit of this one goal, I’m not an authentic badass, I’m totally pumped up full of enhancers and I’m doping and changing out my blood because I’m that craven and greedy and needy,” I’d be, “Ok, s/he’s owning it. Let her/him compete with people athletes others who do the same thing and see how s/he stacks up. Let’s have an all-doping Olympiad every two years and let these sorry sonsabitches figure this stuff out and you can watch like they did in Rome at the Coliseum during the gladiator days…. go for it. It’ll be rad, arms tearing off and veins bursting an’ whatnot. Go for it.” To paraphrase Scrooge, “let’s better be quick about it and reduce the surplus population!'”

I’ll be home reading a book, gardening, writing a book, watching my beloved Vincent D’Onofrio, walking my dog, playing with my kids… I’ll do anything but watch these attention whores. If one can’t get by on a honest day’s work, on a level playing field, with their own ingenuity and talents and skills: they need to go. Honoring our vulnerability is to me, The Most Gutsy Thing Anyone Can Do. Ever.

As for Armstrong, after 15 years of denial and vitriolic rage at people who accused him, rightly, of his deeds? I hate to say it, but schadenfreude never felt so right.

I’m done.

Next subject: Consumer Items I love.

I don’t do ads, I’m not being paid, but I love these three items and I like to talk about good stuff when I encounter it.

1) My new water bottle. It’s all glass but surrounded by a fantastic non-gooey rubber sleeve. It’s pricey, but the water tastes great and the bottle is very easy to maintain. Best of all it’s almost completely USA made, save for the glass which is made in France (I’ve written about that to the manufacturer … uh, Corning anyone? Throw a little business to my home state…). I got mine at Wegman’s. It’s purple. They have tons of cool colors. Here’s the link to the company: http://www.lifefactory.com/adults/22-oz-flip-1.html

2) My Genie Bra. It’s the best thing since fat pants. There. Get one for yourself or your special female in your life. It’s awesome. I simply can’t say enough about it.

3) A pen (I know! People still use them!) I found in my desk (from the pen faery?): A Pilot Dr. Grip pen. It’s got a supple sleeve around the base of its barrel (I guess I’m all about the sleeve these days, it is winter…) that feels like …   …  … pudding that isn’t disgusting. That’s all I’ve got on that analogy. It’s comfortable. Here’s the link. Decide for yourself: http://www.pilotpen.us/Categories/1-Ball-Point-Dr-Grip.aspx/1/80000010%5eDr.+Grip I’m sure you can find one in your desk or at least at Target.

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Its one flaw so far: it doesn’t write upside-down (I mean, it can write the words, “upside down” it just can’t write in the upside-down position for very long), but it could probably write a check… do you still write checks? I do.

That is all I have today.

Thank you.

Doping & Masking

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I don’t follow cycling. But I do know the name Lance Armstrong. I do know that he likes yellow. I do know that he is competitive and I do know that today I read an article about his refusing to combat the charges levied against him by the United States Anti-Doping Agency for doping in his cycling competitions, most notably seven (SEVEN!) Tour de France titles and a bronze Olympic medal.

According to the article, ten of Mr. Armstrong’s teammates were willing to testify against him.

Many people have suggested that Armstrong’s refusal to fight indicates that he is guilty.

In America, we have the presumption of innocence before guilt is proven. It’s one of our favorite legal tenets. It actually separates us from a lot of crazy countries.  I think it has an official latin name or Constitutional article number, but I don’t know that stuff. I know about things like great vacuums, how to make a killa PB&J, which are the best pencils and why I hate to do laundry or clean my house.

I don’t care about Armstrong, frankly.  My impression of him is one of a vain guy whose family and marriage were sacrificed at the expense of his vanity and glorious pursuit of greatness. He shacked up with Sheryl Crow. I don’t have a high opinion of her either. I say this because I am the Universal Arbiter of All That is Honorable, Just and True.

No, I say this because I’m sad that he let this shit get to his head. That’s what happens sometimes.

That said, before we start judging people — and I know this is a quantum leap — be careful: did you have coffee this morning? How much? Did it make you more effective at work? Do you take vitamins and supplements for your health or your ability to stay healthy? What about viagra? What about lunesta? What about sudafed? What about aspirin? How about “Five Hour Energy” (if you take that stuff, you can stop following my blog because just the ad campaign alone is not worthy of my snarling lip)?

We are an insatiable species. We are also hypocrites.

The thing is, we as humans have always looked for something outside ourselves to make us feel, do, perform, look, act, seem better than what we really are. Even if that means pointing fingers. I have no problem popping two Advil for my headaches or cramps. I have no problem taking calcium if it helps me fend off osteoporosis. I have no problem using mascara if it makes my lashes look fuller, plumper and healthier. The problem however manifests when the lashes get wet and I end up looking like Tammy Faye Bakker.

Tammy Faye Bakker – remember her? She believed her press too. And cornered the market on mascara.

I understand that athletic / performance-enhacing drugs, blood transfusions and steroids are completely different than what I’m talking about.

Sort of.

If Lance did it, and we suspect he did (along with so many other empty and vapid athletes out there) for money, fame, glory, whatever shame on him. And shame on us? People looked up to him. Maybe they shouldn’t? Do we need heroes? I like to think we don’t…

People don’t look up to me (well, maybe my kids do) but they don’t look down on me either if I take some aspirin to fend off pain or an extra cup of coffee (now) to supposedly ward off fatigue. I know the medicinal effect is false, and that in the case of caffeine the side effects are dubious. The aspirin is not actually solving the problem of my headache (stress) nor is the coffee helping my sleep-deprivation (don’t let child sleep on floor after 2am, he breathes like a dying flounder) but what they offer does keep me out of the newspapers.

Not so much with Lance.

I had to tape up my palms last night after rowing just so I could drive myself and my son home without stinging pain.

I have tape on my hands and fingers due to all the blisters I’ve gotten while sculling lately. Does it make me more of an “athlete” if I row without the tape? No. But I want to row, the tape helps it not hurt so much and I get to continue. Totally different than taking drugs, but still: masking.

So what do to now? Lance maintains his innocence and I have to hand it to him, if he’s lying, he’s got that denial streak going strong. May he live to 200 and build a boat to save humanity during a big storm. If I am still alive I will try to row for him. Do we support him and believe him or do we look sideways, wondering if it’s possible: seven times, historic, ten people alleging doping (jealousy on their parts?), supposedly irrefutable evidence and an aggressive USADA… the evidence seems compelling. He’s fought every other charge, why not this one?

At the finish line (sorry, had to go there), none of this matters to any of us on a personal level; what matters is Character and if we do what we say we do and we do our best when we try. So you only get to point at Lance if you’ve never done anything extrinsic or supplemental to make yourself “better” than what you actually are, feel or think.

Again, a quantum leap, but essentially not. Be authentic. That means: stop the vitamins, the supplements, the prescriptions, the meetings, the meditations, the drugs and the negative self-talk… easier said than done I’m afraid.

Maybe admitting that what you/we are is enough is a start. Maybe seeing ourselves as heroes is asking too much? Seeing others as heroes could be Masking too much…

Thank you.