Lance Armstrong Lanced.

yellow textSpoiler Alert – this blog places boils and Lance Armstrong in the same sentence.
A few, ok quite a few years ago – all right then, back in the day when I was a teenager I went through a “boil phase.”
Without any advance warning, boils appeared on my body as painful unsightly super-sized reddish bumpy lumps filled with hard-to-stomach icky gunk.
“Right then,” Mom said. “Let’s get you to the Doctor.”
“Hmmm, yes I see. This is most definitely a boil.” he said. “Right then, I’m going to lance it straight away. Now it will hurt….but….”
Until that moment, I thought Lance was one of the boys at my school, not a medical term tantamount to pain, boils, draining, healing, and scar tissue.
Some of you reading this blog are quite possibly thinking – “Yucko! Come on, I’m about to eat – enough already about boils, and lancing!”
But, I have a point.
Watching the Lance Armstrong – Oprah Winfrey interview was akin to Dr Oprah making a house call, or in this case a hotel room call to lance a boil filled with insidious residue of banned substances, and years of lying and cheating.
The difference is, my Mom paid the Doctor for his services.
Without a shadow of doubt, Oprah paid Lance quite a hefty sum of money for his world exclusive, and history defining confession. I’m guessing the “figure” would be enough to cover the salary and bonuses of at least one of the army of lawyers Lance will be calling upon.
Side bar here. Imagine an army of lawyers?
This is the guy solely responsible for giving middle-aged men a solid reason to squeeze into brand emblazoned Lycra, and wear clicky-clacky shoes into café’s post ride.
Heck, Lance was the modern day super-hero, a “bonanza” character for all things bike. He even had me believing that I too could wear yellow. For the record, it looks hideous on me…washes me right out.
As the rumors of drug cheating grew from a few intermittent column inches, to frequent murmurs culminating into a crescendo of media noise, and damning reports, all backed up by people recounting their own Lance association stories. Unless you were busy trying to pump air into your bike tires, or god forbid squeeze into that Lyra, it was hard to miss the obvious. Like a pesky mosquito, the doping allegations against Lance Armstrong just wouldn’t go away.
At the same time, the usual legal “shut up, or I’m going to unleash my legal dogs” noise from the Lance camp petered out to a deafening silence.
Something had to give.
Thanks to Oprah’s therapy session, masquerading as a two-part (why?), 90 minutes interview, Lance finally came clean.
The extent of his drug use, cheating, lying, deception and bullying is mind-blowing. By the time the credits rolled I was left thinking, this guy is, or should I say, was deluded enough to believe his lies to be his reality. I’ll leave it to the Professionals to dress it up in fancy names like pathological, sociopathic, and narcissistic.
Either way, he skilfully masterminded the creation of an inspirational man, one injected with the goodness of all things we like, admire, respect, aspired to, and trust.
He was smart enough to know the ingredients needed to become a great “one of a kind,” but he was dumb enough to think his legacy could survive being built on the shaky and tenuous foundations of lies, and deceit.
Corporations, and major brands lined up to invest vast sums of money in the yellow tinged image of the man. His remarkable journey from teetering on the precipice of a cancerous hell, to the glory of winning the world’s most prestigious, and gut-wrenching Tour de France, a phenomenal seven times, is the stuff money can, and can’t buy.
As Lance now plans his very own Tour de Redemption, with Oprah as the leader of the peloton, at least we know the old clichés ring true…“all that glitters is not yellow, and “the truth will always prevail.”
Oprah’s interview didn’t go far enough in asking the hard questions…I’m guessing too many sharks were circling for Oprah to even try dipping her designer shoe clad toes into the murky waters of naming names, and navigating the subject of how Lance managed to pass hundreds of drug tests….
Sure, the first one-minute and forty odd seconds of the interview was all about the confession. The following ninety minutes revealed the true character of the man as a self-confessed control freak. As a firm believer of winning at all costs, lying, cheating, bulling, and manipulating the truth all in the name of podium glory, and sponsorship fiscal adulation, was “just another day on the bike” for the man formerly known as Lance Armstrong, seven time Tour de France winner.
Even as Oprah in her good cop voice spoon-fed Lance a diet of sugar coated questions to answer…it was difficult to find an ounce of his genuine remorse, warmth or empathy. And to all of “his people”, no amount of coaching can teach this.
Try as she might, Oprah didn’t succeed in filling the gap with warm fuzzy’s left by the void of Lance’s emotional disconnection.
Lance Armstrong became his own version of the truth. Who knows, maybe the great George Costanza had secretly mentored Lance. With little knowledge of what it’s like to function in the real world, George famously said to his buddy Jerry Seinfeld, “it’s not a lie, if you believe it.”

This blog is my personal opinion, and for the sake of my own sanity I made the conscious decision to separate the great work Lance has done for the Livestrong foundation.

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