What Message Does Lance’s Takedown Send to Our Kids?
I’ve never written a sports-related post here on CTWorkingMoms but I felt compelled to address the news about Lance Armstrong.
So many kids and teens watched Lance’s comeback after fighting cancer. So many of us have been inspired by his sheer determination and will to persevere. This man, who won 7 straight Tour de France titles has been a hero to so many.
In case you haven’t noticed, there have been an incredible number of false allegations brought against Lance since 1999. Some believe that his incredible performances are tainted by performance-enhancing drugs. I, on the other hand, believe that when people look death in the face and fight their way back to life – they are changed in ways we can’t even comprehend. They find a new level of strength and will-power because they survived the unthinkable.
There’s been an absolute witch hunt against him for as long as I can remember and he has ALWAYS fought back. He’s taken hundreds of urine and blood test throughout his career and he has never once been found to have any drugs in his system. Yet the hunt to burn him at the stake continued.
He has said he will no longer fight against any allegations that he doped during the Tour. The toll that the years of false accusations has taken on him has become too much to bear. My husband works in the cycling industry and we talked about this as we ate breakfast this morning. Lance is someone who came back from his deathbed to win the Tour. He is someone who has an above average ability to fight through pain. For him to QUIT working to clear his name says volumes about the impact all of this has had on not only himself but his family as well.
He is likely to now be stripped of all of his Tour titles. To me, this is a horrible tragedy. All of our children that look up to Lance, all those kids-turned-adults (like myself) that have idolized him now have to watch one of the most incredible athletes in history give up everything he rightly earned.
I can’t help but wonder what kind of lesson this teaches our kids? We want our kids to tell the truth. We reward them for not lying. We tell them that as long as they tell the truth everything will be OK. I believe Lance has told the truth. He has never, ever been found guilty of doping. And yet everything is being taking away from him. This whole things begs the question – does telling the truth even matter then?
It’s a really, really sad day for those of us who choose to have faith in people, to believe that people are telling the truth when all evidence is on their side. It’s a sad day for our kids to watch the unjust takedown of an American hero.
To Lance: if by some slim chance you’re reading this – the poster we have of you hung on the wall in front of our treadmill will never come down. I still believe in you. I have to.