We don’t do news. We do better humans!
However, I feel that Mr. Lance Armstrong’s recent bout of honesty leaves us with some valuable lessons to be learned. Sometimes learning who and what to NOT be like is a more valuable lesson than who and what TO be like.
*Disclaimer* some of this post will be spoken in sarcasm…
Lance has shown us that integrity is, in fact, subjective in nature.
You know integrity, the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. But without getting into a huge ethics conversation or debate here, morals are different from person to person. Sure each country has it own framework for morals and a “generally accepted” level of moral uprightness, but if you, to your core, believe in a different set of morals that does not fit in with the mass populous, your integrity is not infringed when you…lie, steal or cheat…if you truly believe those things to be acceptable.
Not now, but during his 7 Tour wins, Lance Armstrong didn’t think he was doing anything wrong, as he said in his Oprah interview.
Is that subjective integrity??
…goes both ways
Generally, when you hear of a “determined individual” you think of a person who is set on achievement no matter the costs. However, some will take that ALL THE WAY, a.k.a Lance Armstrong using every method and substance to gain an advantage that he could.
Lance Armstrong’s determination reminds me of a quote from the Joker in The Dark Knight Batman movie:
You know what I am? I’m a dog chasing cars. I wouldn’t know what to do with one if I caught it! You know, I just… *do* things.
Lance Armstrong was just doing…He had tunnel vision created by his overwhelming desire to win. This desire led to a determination that would do ANYTHING to achieve.
3.) Don’t be an Underachiever…
Long before any of these drug accusations and confessions, Lance was a true model for doing something great, or he was someone who may have inspired you to not be an underachiever.
Well, not of that should really change. Lance has, and never will be, an underachiever. He shows us this fact, not by cheating, but by the sheer amount of cheating.
Here are the questions Oprah asked:
“Did you ever take banned substances to enhance your cycling performance?”
“Was one of those banned substances EPO?”
“Did you ever blood-dope or use blood transfusions to enhance your cycling performance?
“Did you ever use any other banned substances like testosterone, cortisone or human growth hormone?”
“In all seven of your Tour de France victories, did you ever take banned substances or blood dope?”
He answered YES to all of them.
Simple lesson here. Go big or go home….right? I guess Lance never does anything half way.
4.) Be Steadfast…
Countless people accused Lance of cheating, claimed he admitted it, etc. Lance didn’t stop at saying, “No, that’s not true”. No, Lance set out on defamation cases and ruined lives. He wouldn’t budge. He was a liar and did a lot of it.
5.) Morals are…
…found in the dictionary
In his interview with Oprah, Lance said at the time of all this cheating, he looked up “cheat” in the dictionary and said it was “to gain an advantage over the opponent” . However, Lance thought everyone had these same advantages, therefore…not cheating.
That’s like a lawyer getting a criminal money in a lawsuit for breaking into your house and hurting themselves in the process…It just doesn’t make sense.
Rule of thumb here: If you are ever in an extremely questionable ethical situation and you think “Let’s see what the dictionary has to say about it”, you are already wrong.
Morals are not created by Merriam-Webster.
6.) Training hard…
…is training hard
This is the only place I will give Lance Armstrong credit. You can debate whether or not he would have won one, two, seven or zero tours without performance enhancers, but you can’t debate that he trained his ass off.
This is where I may differ from many on the view of performance enhancers. While I do not endorse or advocate for the use of performance enhancers, I do know that they are not magical.
What do I mean by that?
Take average Joe and Lance Armstrong. Give them both all the drugs they need and the same training schedule for five years. Yes, average Joe will be in pretty good shape, but Lance would still dominate him in every race.
Mental toughness and tenacity do not come from performance enhancers. It is only the truly mentally elite, already at an elite physical level who take performance enhancers and become someone like Lance Armstrong.
Training hard is training hard. Always.
I would love to get your opinion on this topic and on Lance Armstrong, so…
What do you think??