Please Lance, Man Up & Live Strong!

Lance Armstrong doesn’t believe he should be part of any ‘witch-hunt’ type investigation of illegal doping because, “I have done too many good things”. Wow! Though a witch-hunt is not a valuable use of time and money, his argument suggests that he is somehow above being investigated.

As I read on in the USA Today article, there were concerns from others that if Lance is found guilty this could cause deep distress and possible setbacks for cancer survivors who have been inspired by Lance. This is the most ridiculous defense, in my opinion. First, if Lance was illegally doping to win bike races, he should be identified as such. Illegal doping has nothing to do with overcoming cancer. The two are not related. It is as though he and his legal team are using surviving cancer and doing good deeds as a reason to let him off the hook.

Lance Armstrong used his story and his image to inspire people. That’s great. Of course I will be sad if the evidence against Lance indicates illegal doping in months ahead. But I would not be surprised. Let’s face it, the world of sports is filled with heroes that have fallen because of these type of charges.

Still, the Livestrong campaign is not about winning bike races. It is successful because Lance Armstrong put his face on the program. And Lance’s cancer story makes the news because of his bike racing. But anyone who survives cancer, I believe, is inspired by the story not because of winning bike races, but because someone else lived, battled and engaged in life after cancer. That part of the story will not change even if Lance is found guilty of illegal doping.

The people who invested either their money, their time, or their story into the Livestrong campaign were not supporting bike racing or Lance—they were fighting cancer. That has nothing to do with these doping charges. The fact he has bought that into the picture is what makes me angry and less confident in Lance.

The odd part about doping is that we are the ones who make winning so important. We pay tons of money to put athletes up on high pedestals and then wonder why someone takes an illegal substance to stay on top. When we make Superheroes out of mortal men and women, and we are setting them and ourselves up for a fall.

I don’t want to make excuses for Lance Armstrong. I don’t even care if he is investigated or not. However, I don’t like that he is playing the cancer card and his few good deeds to get out of the spotlight. Lance, man up. If you are innocent, great, and if you are not, well, it just proves you’re not any different than other human beings—you make mistakes.

I still believe in Livestrong, no matter what happens to Lance Armstrong. I simply wish he would live up to his own tagline—Live Strong. Don’t hide behind a few good deeds and drop the cancer card in order to get out of being investigated. That is not Living Strong!

Fireworks, Patriotism And Turkeys

With Canada Day behind us, and the Fourth of July tomorrow, my thoughts are on fireworks, patriotism and turkeys. If this were an SAT question about which word doesn’t fit, I am sure you could guess, turkeys.  

Every year at this time, the wild turkeys that roam around our yard have their little turkeys.  Usually this is not a huge issue, but this year Bailey is not quite as smart about the turkeys as Sooke and is going after the little guys. Anyone who knows turkeys can guess the real concern here is not for the babies, but Bailey.  Wild turkeys are serious about protecting their young. So far we have been able to stop any harm from happening. But any love I had for the wild turkeys is long gone. I just want them somewhere else.  

Besides dealing with Bailey and the turkey issue, this is also the first year Bailey has been around for fireworks. Here in Montana, fireworks are like guns, everyone is loudly shooting them off well before the 4th.  I am guessing there is some law that encourages (I say encourages because it is not that effective) folks to wait until the 4th for the big stuff.  So far the occasional pops are causing Bailey to bark and become alarmed, so I imagine the 4th might be a long night.

We don’t usually go anywhere. Our outdoor fire pit area provides an excellent view of the the various displays and a small circle of friends is much more appealing to me than the crowds and parties down by the lake.

This is the biggest weekend for tourists in our area.  It officially marks the opening of Glacier National Park’s Going to the Sun Road and folks start flocking to the park and the lakes that make this area very special.  It is the first summer I will be here. The last couple years I was heading off to Gabriola for the Phase.  I am excited about being home for what’s considered our best months and hopefully getting out to discover some off-road adventures.

I feel very fortunate to have two great nations to call home. On Canada Day I was a part of a wonderful event at The Green Tea House.  The event was a fundraiser for a Peace Garden.  It was very successful and seemed a perfect marker for me to celebrate Canada.  I do think of Canada as a peaceful nation. I doubt many there realized the importance of the date. But Canada seems to like a low profile, so that fits.

Not so with the USA.  Our holidays are big and generally known well beyond our borders.  Sure, sometimes the narcissism and  grandiosity is a bit much, but I am grateful to live here even with all of the issues and controversy.  

I am definitely of two nations and enjoy the opportunity to celebrate each during this first week of July!  

Now back to turkey patrol.