Lance says “Move On”

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I was hiking last weekend up in the mountains above San Diego where Lance was winning a triathlon at the same time. I was thinking about his current situation and how hard it must be for him to continuously go out in public and face the questions. I think would be so unbelievably energy zapping that I’d think it would be nearly impossible to progress.

I have to give the guy credit. He seems to be going full tilt, doing athletic events throughout North American. Last week in San Diego, they were doing an after event event, and that the VIP tickets were selling for a grand. It seemed so strange that he didn’t want to just fly in and fly out.

The guy doesn’t lack any cojones in his ego department. Actually, it’s not really an ego deal, it’s a “fuck you world” deal. In this article he says that his “conscience is clear”.

I did an event back in the early 90’s that was called Challenge of the Champions. It was a Laguna Sega in Monterrey, where the Sea Otter is held. It was the predecessor of Sea Otter put on by Rick Sutton. Anyway, Rick brought a lot of us in from different aspects of cycling and triathlon. Ned, Lance, Brian Walton, Mike Pigg and a few others. On Saturday you pick 2 out of 3 from a road race, mountain bike race and 5 km run. Then on Sunday was a biathlon, 5 k then bike a few laps of the race track and another 5 k.

Anyway, I don’t exactly remember where I finished up there. I think I was 5th. I don’t think Lance won overall. I know the guys name that did, but can’t remember it right now. (Somebody help out here?)

I have this video, I’ll have to look for it, and when Lance is getting interviewed, he says that “Every sport needs a John McEnroe and I’m the John McEnroe of cycling.” This was 1991, before the current Lance. Amazing.

Lance wasn’t lacking any self confidence over 20 years ago and that seems to be the way he’s dealing with this situation. It is pretty amazing to watch.


Lance racing the Challenge of Champions back in 1991. Photo by Rich Cruse.

24 thoughts on “Lance says “Move On”

  1. chris

    Nice photo there. Lance using equipment innovated by Greg Lemond. Irony can be such a suffer-fest sometimes.

     
  2. John K

    Looks like he’s wearing that new Giro helmet with less vents for that aero advantage in RR’s. Old is new again!

     
  3. BeeDee

    Yeah, if you believe his book the Cancer therapies caused him to reshape his body and made his LT abnormally high…
    Or he could have been doped to the gills along with the rest of the podium contenders….

     
  4. VCScribe

    Not lacking cojones. John McEnroe. The Last American Hero just needs to say the wrong thing to the wrong guy, and I don’t mean on Twitter.

     
  5. Bob Augello

    Steve,

    I was down in Coronado watching the Super Frog Triathlon when you were hiking. Prior to the event I was thinking the same things you did about how uncomfortable he must feel. I talked to him while waiting for the awards to start then presented him with his SEAL Paddle trophy. He was completely at ease, even cheerful. The only time he wasn’t clearly enjoying himself was when he jabbed me for having a full head of gray hair. I was more uncomfortable than he because I was thinking about what it must be like to be the center of what we all see as turmoil. He couldn’t have been more relaxed and cheerful. When I watched him start the run heading south on the sand, about 50 meters behind a great runner, I was struck by his form. It screamed strength and confidence. Very unexpected, but also very evident. He killed a run that included 5 miles of soft sand. When I watched him cover the last half mile of soft sand I said something as he passed. I said “You are one hard mother f$%#$r.” He smiled a smile that said “You’re damned right I am.” Everything he did and said after the race struck me as being the mental equivalent of what he had physically displayed on the run. Mentally, he is one hard mother f$%#$r! He is not like any of us that think it must be hard to be in his position. He is a different animal alltogether. He can and does compartmentalize everything. He makes a decision and then moves on. That’s it. He’s made his decision about how he will manage the aftermath of a lifetime ban. Job done. Amazingly, he has moved on. That decision and his general behavior drives how everyone in his entourage behaves and even reaches out to influence the crowd that surrounds him. I didn’t see or hear anything at the event that would suggest there even was a ban. He was mobbed for autographs as he left the awards platform just as he has been for 20 years. Whatever the reason, Lance is not behaving like you or I would if we were in the same spot he is in and won’t for the remainder of his life. In the same way that he has appeared physically, for want of a better term “superhuman” in the past, he appears mentally superhuman as well. The same rules that apply to the rest of us just don’t seem to apply to Lance. He is made of different stuff. This was true 22 years ago in his first year of cycling and last year of triathlon. At 18 and 19 he was clearly on a different plane, physically and mentally. Knowing this I shouldn’t have been surprised by what I witnessed last Sunday, but I was just the same. People will say what they want about the doping scandal and what it had to do with his major accomplishments, but I truly think he could have done 90% or more of what he has accomplished without help. He is just that much stronger physcially and mentally. Now that’s a truth that will chew at his haters in the future as he continues to demonstrate his laser like focus on the road ahead. Perhaps he understands that they will be doing themselves more harm while having no impact on him whatsoever. So, strangly enough, it is likely that he will continue to dominate his opponents in the years ahead regardless of the circumstances… If he is alive, he will do everything he can to defeat them. If that means flipping a switch in his head that turns out the lights on the past, then I’d expect that’s what he will do. Having said that, it does make sense for those that have him in their sights to move on. Failing to do so will only sap time and energy in a futile attempt to affect his life. They can’t. He won’t allow it. Everyone has an opinion about the ban and his past but you can’t attribute his mental strength and fortitude to anything that can be found in a pill or syringe. Mentally, he is just one hard mother f$#%$r!
    Cheers!

     
  6. Pete

    Yeah. that’s one way to look at it. another is psychopathy . dude is
    as prsonality-disordered as the day is long.

     
  7. Zach

    Psychopathy is definitely a spectrum, and interestingly enough it seems a bit towards the pysho side is needed to be a contender/champion/success at the highest levels of most sports and business. Its very interesting. Normal people cant do that because they have higher degrees of empathy and connection with their fellow humans, and are unable to act in such a continually selfish way.

     
  8. Marc

    No one has mentioned the possibility that Lance is enjoying a drug testing free ride right now. Don’t you think once an arrogant doper always an arrogant doper?

     
  9. chris

    Nice paragraph, Bob.

    “The same rules that apply to the rest of us just don’t seem to apply to Lance.”

    How very true.

     
  10. Roberto

    Zach, I don’t know what world you live in, but most Americans behave in a selfish way. And if you aren’t blind, you see it every day. How about all the people that speed, because they’re late. How about the one’s that speed through lights, that have already changed to red, because they’re thinking about how much, sitting at that light would slow THEM down. Most Americans think about just themselves. The ones of us who think about our fellow human beings, are in a huge minority.

     
  11. Jpete

    Roberto, you are stumbling down a slippery slope with hasty generalizations. if you really want to apply logic to relativism, you might say that all behaviors at their basic level meet the need of the individual, even “selfless” or altruistic acts are an individual’s efforts to maintain a sense of self that is consistent with their worldview. Most people behave in ways that are consistent with their self interests at some level. Example of a truly selfless act- jumping in a river to save a drowning child may be explained as a selfish act to preserve one’s self-image as someone who does the right thing, or to preserve one’s standing with respect to their religious beliefs, to avoid the guilt of behaving in a manner counter to societal expectations, etc. or a higher level of understanding might be to believe and act on the notion that if we all do better, then we all do better, that we are all interconnected by the web of life. Of course, if your cogitive and social development is stunted then you may not be able to see past your own percieved needs. Trauma and stress also produce this kind of regression in most “normal” folks. In LA’s case, you are looking at need for approval and to prove himself, probably stemming from childhood abandonment and abuse issues, a probable combination of Cluster B personality disorders, anti-social, narcissistic, and borderline traits all appear consistent with his behaviors. I suspect a fragile kid that learned to bury it under a facade of badassedness until that just set in as his personality. Damn right he can compartmentalize. cut people right out and never look back. by anecdotal stories from a variety of sources, people are all good or all bad in his eyes, no grey and no forgiveness. Your either with him, or getting his wrath.

     
  12. channel_zero

    He’s passed from tyrant into late-stage demagogue and doesn’t even know it. His conscience is clear because he doesn’t have one.

    The guy is beating up on age-group weekend warriors and probably relishes it because it’s all about him. Having experienced it with other much larger celebrities, it’s a very difficult personality to be around.

    I feel sorry for the kids. No Dad on a regular basis and if he’s around, it’s all about him. He’s passing crazy onto them.

     
  13. Zach

    Jeff summed it up quite nicely. That’s what the continually meant, and its really the lack of shame, guilt, and real connection to others that makes his selfish different than most people’s.
    most of us wouldn’t be able to enter events due to the shame alone, he has none.

     
  14. Jason

    I have been wondering these same questions Steve. Not just about Lance, but about so many of the athletes that have got busted.

    I’ve really been enjoying your views on this.

     
  15. Reid Rothschild

    bob augello,

    As others have stated, Armstrong is a sociopath and he’s still jacked.

    Reid

     

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