By Lori Hanson
I seldom speak my opinion about public issues and celebrities, but this one hit hard. Especially after the post I did last week on Keeping It Real.
I was a believer…I really thought Lance Armstrong had a special gift. I cheered him on watching tour after tour and was impressed by how cool this was…seven Tour de France wins in a row. He’s one of the few celebs I followed on Twitter. Then the accusations grew, I waited for his response and was certainly swayed by how strongly he retorted to the “witch hunt” of the USADA.
When the word came out that he was going to stop fighting I was confused. But I still didn’t think he did it. I made a point to watch the interview with Floyd Landis and read more articles to get a feel for what was happening. But until he lost his sponsorships and was forced to step down from Livestrong I still held out hope that someone was just after him.
I watched his interview with Oprah last week. I was unable to find any sympathy or compassion for him. I stared at the screen and wondered who this guy was sitting there. And noted how he calmly admitted not only to doping, but to lying about it and being a bully to anyone that challenged him. All I could think was, wow what a convincing liar. And the comparison that rose in my mind was with another of my previously beloved celebs, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
How exactly, do you tell lies that blatant and think you will never get caught? How do you become so big, so out of touch that you think you can skate it? I guess with the same level of brashness that made him think he could come back out of retirement and win – thus setting himself up for the final round of investigations that bled him dry.
I don’t have any capacity for understanding that level of bullshit, and developing an air about yourself, a complete fairy tale that is so out of touch with humanity. Not even considering what it would/could do to your family, your non-profit and your ability to make an income and your reputation. Lance, you beat cancer with weeks to live and this is what you chose to do with your life? This is the legacy you’re leaving to your kids, fans and all those fighting cancer that believed in you and what you stood for?
We all make mistakes, but this is far more than a pity. And while I can certainly look at what he did with Livestrong and the people he helped, it’s just so outweighed at this point I don’t even care. What wasn’t fake? Did he really care about any of those people or was it just a way to keep himself in the limelight? The man has some serious soul-searching to do.
Alas it’s hard to see hero’s fall. I followed the Tour de France in the early days long before Armstrong’s time. I loved watching Bernard Hinault and Greg LeMond compete in this grueling sport. Lance isn’t the first and likely won’t be the last athlete to lie.
Truth is, we are all here on this earth for a purpose. We have all come to fulfill our destiny and leave behind our legacy. What kind of legacy you are weaving in your life? Will you be proud of your accomplishments when you leave this earth? If nothing else, this experience can teach us three things:
1. You really don’t know someone who is a celebrity when watching from a distance—and perhaps even from the inner circle.
2. Be honorable, be real, make decisions consciously. Be someone you would like to know and hang out with. Be someone you can be proud of—no matter what.
3. Pick your heroes carefully.