Fitness Magazine

Doping (More Stuff)

By Xmarkm @matthews_mark
Dope.  I've done plenty of Dope in my life, and had to come clean as well. Of course, this wasn't performance enhancing dope, and this wasn't during televised interviews, but was more likely in group meetings or smoke-filled rooms full of styrofoam coffee cups.  And yes, a history of lying means others aren't going to believe what you say anyways. (How do you know an addict's lying? Their lips are moving.  And, of course, beware of the crying addict. They are the most dangerous of them all.)

All of this to say I watched day one of  the Lance Armstrong interview.  I'm not going to pretend to know all the players, or be fully educated, or to have spent a ton of energy making an opinion, but here's a hodge-podge of thoughts;

Oprah was at times a prosecuting attorney, drilling with the facts and such, but on the human side let him off easy. I have seen how Oprah did James Frey from "A Million Little Pieces" and how she verbally castrated him  (which she later apologized for). From the previews, it does seem that the more human and emotional side is coming out tomorrow.
Yes, Armstrong was trying to play the victim quite a bit and search for sympathy.  Yes, he was coached by both his legal team and a PR firm. Yes, he still seems like a wilted, watered down version of an ass. It wasn’t amea culpa, and he seemingly made the worst attempt at humor in the history of anybody anywhere who was ever tried to look for humor. ("But I didn't say she was fat...."  What was that?)   Cold, calculated pauses seemed to proceed each of his answers, and there was no sense of abject remorse or regret.
But I tried to keep asking myself what my daddy used to ask me to get me to think:  "Would you want to be judged by the worst thing you ever did?"

As for doping to enhance one's performance rather than to get high, the only way I can relate on any scale is marathon running and my ten year attempt at a Boston Qualifier. I was obsessed at times to qualify. It became the one thing that would make me feel worthy, the penultimate validation of my worth and power. I spent hours of training, even more hours of mental preparation revving my engines and studying training plans. I would do anything to accomplish this goal, but after falling short again and again, I was starting to think I was going to my grave with this goal unachieved.But would I have cheated to get there? Would I be okay to run a BQ time if somehow they had shortened the course for me and nobody else could ever know? 

Hell no, there would be no satisfaction whatsoever in that.

Would I be okay to somehow electronically mess with my runners chip to take off 5 or 10 minutes off my time? 

Hell no

But if I  could put something in my body that would have allowed me to run the BQ time, where it was my body and my legs that were doing it, running the full 26.2 with my unadultered timing chip on my shoe, I might be able to convince myself that I had done it. It was me, and it wouldn't have felt like cheating.

 Had I gotten my BQ that way, however, I do not believe I would have enjoyed it the same way. Sure, the fear of "not doing" it would have been gone, that ghostly shroud of spending years trying to accomplish something but all for naught. (wisdom tells us the journey always brings great treasures, whatever the destination, but don't tell me that if I don't get my Boston Jacket.)  But I would always have wondered what if I just kept on trying the natural way.

And as I sit here today, with legs that are still deadened from training, waiting for them to recover by foam-rolling and spinning on the bike to flush them out. If instead, I could walk to the fridge and get an illegal substance that would  make my legs feel fresh again, and I could bust out  mile intervals tomorrow, 15 seconds faster than I hoped. Well, I don't suspect I would, but until the opportunity is in front of me and I decline, I won't be too harsh a judge.As a therapist, I've told many a client who has made horrible choices, that had I been where they were and experienced the sum of their experiences and then been at that same moment in time, I may have made that same horrible choice or even done much worse.

What bugs me most about the Armstrong situation, as is usually the case, is the cover up.  His counter attack of destroying and suing and using the full powers of the 'LanceStrong' office to go against anyone who threatened his regime with the truth.

Lance said again and again he's issued apologies, but an apology is not an amends. Lance's amends will need to show up in deeds, not in some words on a chair. Personality disorders, such as Armstrongs apparent Narcissistic Personality Disorder (as is true with the whole Axis-2 cluster-b spectrum) do not disappear but rather, they endure and persist. They can be managed so that they cause less harm, but I don't think this man below is capable of the kind of apology and amends that may be deserved.

Doping (More Stuff)

Armstrong's Tweet to his detractors, from many months ago.

So, tomorrow is day two. "They're selling postcard of the hanging", said Bob Dylan in his first words of Desolation Row, and it is from Desolation Row Armstrong may be sending all his letters from from now on.
And then on Sunday, many of us will spend hours watching athletes doped up on the same drugs Lance has been using.
**Here's an interesting CNN interview with Betsy Andreu, who's quite unhappy with the interview.
An interesting video on his body language

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