I believed Lance Armstrong …

On February 1, 2013 by Aimee

The Tour de France biker doesn’t know me from the mouse in the crawl space of his house. So why did it bother me so much that I was wrong in believing, truly believing, he told the truth about the whole doping thing? Is it because I wasted hours working for his foundation? Nope. Watching him bike the races? Nope. I have no tie, no connection, nothing relating me to this man whatsoever.

But I read his book.

And it made me a fan. A truly, amazed, in awe, full of ‘wow’ fan. From that moment, I followed, not closely, but followed his career and at the mention of doping (years ago, but after I read the book), I remember telling my husband how awful it was that people accused this athlete of that. This man who fought cancer and won. The second, third and fourth times I heard it, I stood up for him … to the only other person in the room. I did, too. Not for recognition, but because I’d been so moved by his book. So touched by it. He’d earned his place. I believed that.

Because if I didn’t believe that, how could I believe the rest of his story? And that was amazing.

This past year, as his world crashed down upon him, it sorta did me, too. Many times, I looked to my husband and said, “Why would he lie?” and added “How could I have believed him?”

Yes, me, who again, doesn’t know this man from Adam, felt betrayed. I’m sure many, many, many fans did.

Was it the lie? The delayed admission? The fact he did it at all?

I’m not really sure. Probably all of the above. But I’d put him on a pedestal, one built on a foundation of truth and belief. It’s truly amazing how far one lie can go, how it can branch out, grow, morph and snowball as the old expression goes.

Hurt. Yup. A lot of people.

For me, all because I’d read a book and decided he was awesome and needed to be revered.

We do that, don’t we? To celebrities, to athletes, to people in government. We believe what they say, what they promise, we even forgive them when they fail … repeatedly. Why?

Is it because we want, somehow, at some point, to learn it was all a joke? Or, that if they just try harder they can and will ‘get better’ and do the things they promised?

When there’s concern surrounding a public figure, why don’t we dive into that even more? Why don’t we finally get answers on questions about backgrounds, histories and even corruption with our leaders? Aren’t THEY supposed to be the ones we revere? Are they more important to our lives that a celebrity bike rider?

Are we so naive to think Lance’s problems, which affect NO ONE but himself (because really, DID they affect me?) are worthy of all this media attention but the actions our President, our Congress, our House of Representatives take aren’t? Isn’t what they do DIRECTLY affecting us?

But we don’t. We get mad at Lance. We burn his reputation in effigy, and we forgive all our leaders, thinking, I believe, that some day, SOME day, they’ll get it and fix the problems they’ve sworn, with hands on bibles, that they would.

Guess what?

If you were saddened by Lance? You should be more saddened by our government because no matter which way you lean (left or right) they aren’t doing what they said they’d do, and plenty of lies and untruths have been told, and it’s been going on far longer than Lance’s doping.

Remember … I believed Lance. I forgive Lance. He’s human … like us all. His foibles aren’t any worse than the rest of ours. They’re just made on a grand scale.

I’d love to be able to say the same about our leaders, but I fear that’ll never happen. I’m still going to hope. Just like I did for Lance.

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