Lance Armstrong…what can we learn?

Anytime a major story breaks, whether it be a headline for the entire country, or even on a much smaller level, such stories are a primetime opportunity for others to learn lessons. Of course the obvious is to scrutinize and decide what the individual should or should not have done. As for Armstrong, some may say, ‘he didn’t invent the culture of doping in the sport of cycling, he just took advantage of it, as did many. At least he won’, some may say, adhering to the saying -if you choose to do wrong, at least have something to show for it-. Should we have more of a problem with those who doped and didn’t win anything? So many sides, so many opinions, yet the most important, the opportunity to learn something, to gain wisdom, most will fail to accomplish.

If cheating on a level as prominent as the level Lance Armstrong experienced can bring disaster, shouldn’t we take heed in our own personal lives? While in the moment, whether that moment be years, as with Armstrong, or over a few months, or even in one night, cheating is cheating and we do live in a universe of reaping and sowing. But maybe we already know that, we hear it all the time. Could the lessons be much more deeper than the understanding of what cheating brings?

There was a story that mentioned Armstrong’s resentment of his biological father leaving when he was 2 years old. Armstrong said he never asked his mother about the past. They never discussed his father. Wow. Could that be where the root lies? To even mention such a revelation at the age of 41 must mean something. As a society, have we become too comfortable insisting that once people become adults, they should be able to get over what took place or didn’t take place in their lives beforehand? Are we blowing off one another too much? Forgive and move on? Why doesn’t that seem to be working?

While Armstrong may have had many many many opportunities to fess up, come clean, and change the game, he didn’t. Not only did he continue his web of lies, he continued to present himself as being adamant and frustrated with the so called lies of others. It’s easy to questions how anyone could live that kind of life for so long. Where does that come from?

When we don’t address the most fragile issues of our being, they eventually take a life of their own. While all may not be on the same level as Armstrong’s, some of these abandoned matters show up in other areas that may not appear as brutal. Some could be hidden in overweight, physical illnesses, the detrimental use of the tongue, among many other facades. It even becomes easier to hide behind these unnecessary facades than to admit to ourselves that we are indeed worthy of the truth that God sees in us and then actually live that truth.

Although authorities, parents, and those who have any kind of authoritative position in our lives at any point can abuse such power, the negative issues that result must be addressed ‘in the mirror’. For those who experienced these years with Armstrong, whether they be teammates, family members, or any level of work, personal redemption will not be found in Armstrong’s confessions and apologies. No matter how bad we want anything, as adults, we do become responsible for our own actions, which is why it becomes of the utmost importance that we address the fragile issues of our lives. And while we’re cleaning up our own truth, it would behoove us to also learn how to alleviate from passing on so much ignorance to those behind us; the ignorance of remaining so hush about the issues in our lives.


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