Today was a rough day. “Life” and all that…
But 20 miles on a beautiful, warm night with a friend helped… a lot.
I found the most intriguing picture on Lance Armstrong’s Facebook page today.
I find it to be an interesting commentary on his life right now; a man riding alone, no crowds of adoring fans, no media motorcycles zipping past, no peloton of riders hoping in some way to be seen riding with the champion. Instead we now see a lone man riding a seemingly endless road in a world devoid of color. Is it a purposeful statement? I don’t know, but it says a lot doesn’t it?
It will be lonely. It will be long. It will lack color and beauty. He will learn a lot about himself…whether he wants to or not. Some of it (maybe most of it) he isn’t going to like. He has greater decisions ahead than he has left behind. It will be the most precarious road he has ever ridden… but necessary.
My prayer for him is that a few miles down the road he will find that he is not alone. Lance Armstrong is about to discover what true and lasting friendship is all about. He will learn the value of a handful over the masses. Not all of his friends are gone. In fact, none of his true friends ever left. What a powerful lesson this will be for a man who has spent so much of his life using others for his own victories and decimating those who stood in his way (necessary virtues for a world-class cyclist by the way).
My prayer for him is that the sun will peek over the horizon and the richness of life will return. He will find new dreams, new aspirations, and hope. He will compete again at something, for Lance Armstrong is nothing if not a competitor. (You don’t climb the Pyrenees on legs alone.) As any rider knows, a goodly portion of distance riding and climbing is MENTAL. Intestinal fortitude and mental toughness don’t come in a syringe. His battle with cancer proved that it was not all “doping” that gave him strength. I hope his dreams are in some way connected with the LiveStrong campaign and organization. Defeating cancer is a finish line worth pursuit.
My prayer for Lance Armstrong is that in all of this he keeps riding. (This should be an easy answer for God. I mean, really… Lance Armstrong NOT riding a bike? That would be like Noah without a boat! I believe God rolled His eyes at me just then.) The element of competition is gone. It has been “stripped” from him, as those doing the “stripping” seemingly like to say. BUT… perhaps this greatest punishment is, in reality, the greatest blessing. For now Lance Armstrong is an amateur again. Just like me! Ok, well maybe not JUST like me, but he is back to riding only for himself, for his passion, for the fun of it!
In his interview with Oprah Winfrey tonight Lance said it best, “I lost myself in all that.” Well Lance, my friend, I believe you just might find yourself again! All those who sought to shackle you for life have (accidentally) given you the greatest freedom of all! You are free to find that kid inside who loved to ride his bike for the fun of it!