Thursday, March 6, 2014

Old news...but still.

I'm reading, off and on, a book called "Wheelman."
It is the polarizing story of Lance Armstrong,
which documents his courageous struggle with cancer,
his successes in the most difficult bike race in the world, "The Tour de France"
and the battle he fought for years against the public opinion
that he was successful by illegal means.


He's a cheat and a lier.
If you have lived above ground at anytime in the past 5 years
you have heard about the accusations that he used performance enhancing drugs.

I did.
I figured, before I read this book, that he dabbled in the dark side
possibly to be able to keep on winning these races.
Looking on from a distance,
meaning the 3 minute spots ESPN would dedicate to the story
while Lance was fighting one court battle or another,
that he was looking for that edge that would slow the aging process.

What I have learned is this.
It was much more than a little dabbling.

When Lance Armstrong took his first crack
at the mountains of France during his first Tour de France as a young rider,
the word around the water cooler was this kid wasn't a climber.
 He learned very early that if he was going to be successful he was going to have 
to think outside the box.

What followed was years of using EPO.
( Erythropoitin )
He started doping before he won his first race.

A person who injects himself with a artificially made EPO substance,
increases his red blood cell count.
The more red blood cells, the more oxygen that is carried to the muscles,
increasing ones aerobic capacity.

What this all means is 
if you take EPO, you too can become the winner of the 
Tour de France.

Competitors of Lance Armstrong remarked once,
that Armstrong just finished climbing a steep mountain at full speed
for hours and his breathing was almost normal.
They wanted what he was taking.

As I think back to all the sound bites,
of Lance proclaiming his innocence I am reminded
at just how naive I was. 
I wanted him to be great.
Lance said over and over that he was the most tested rider on the Tour
and he never failed a test....not once.
Good point Lance.

He sucked me in.
What I didn't realize was that he had this cheating thing
down to a science.
He knew when to stop doping before a test,
he knew how to dope so he wouldn't get caught.
Blood transfusions were the norm.

As great as he was at riding a bike,
he was an even better lier.

here's some birds.....


ain't for city gals said...

I believed him also until the bitter end....He had lying down to a science too....I wonder if he actually believed it himself after a while.

Joey said...

I love how you changed the subject! LOL. My ADHD son is FAMOUS for that and my husband and I look at each other and say "How 'bout them Knicks?"

Yes - Lance...I wanted so badly to believe in a super hero - especially in a sport I loved to participate in (at a very low level - mind you). But as a trainer of triathletes, I was always talking about how Lance's Anaerobic Threshold was so close to his maximum heart rate that it made him just about the fittest human on earth. Now? Not so I say it and then have to crack some sarcasm...sadly. I guess if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Busy Bee Suz said...

I wonder how he slept at night, what with all the lies. I'd be a wreck myself. I too wanted to believe that he was all that and a bag of chips, alas, he is just a big liar. So sad for his family I think.
The birds are adorable and I don't think any of them 'juice'….but then again….

Formerly known as Frau said...

Lance use to be my husbands hero until his lies came out every book he owned about him in trash...I said donate them to the library and he said NO he is a cheat! Love the bird picture! Have a great weekend!

Marilyn said...

Love the birds,
so disappointed in Lance.
I was such a believer, but
then I was working for Nike
at the time and he was a Nike boy.