It’s 11:00am-ish Saturday morning.  Let the record show that this is the first Saturday in no-way-can-I -remember-how-long that I’ve not run.  According to some female “P.A.” at Fort Wayne Orthopedics, my left foot has some bone which is broken.  Whatever x 2.  There are like 1,000 bones in the human foot and you have initials after your name lady, not before.

So here I sit.  Yes, sit.  With my left leg, in its Transformer-looking boot, flung over the neighboring bar stool.  Hey – Optimus Prime…you wanna go out?  Good.  Something to look forward to.

But this is not even what I want to write about.  I’ve reconciled the situation; I’m good with it.  Went to see Evan at 8:00am this morning.  I sent him a text from the exam room on Thursday, inquiring if he could be creative with the workouts for 2 weeks (poser doctor told me maybe 6-8 weeks in this thing, but all I saw were italics).  And if by “creative” I actually meant render my arms disabled, his answer was yes.

What I intended to write about this morning was Lance.  Given the coverage, I’m over it already, however there are a few high points to note.   After first seeing the headline pop up on my computer screen, my immediate reaction was simply disappointment.  For him – not necessarily in him.  My shoulders slumped, a little breath and grunt came out, and my gut was sucker punched.  Those were my natural reactions to reading one line about some man that I don’t even know.

But do I know him?  Have I ever known a Lance?  Some of the lessons I’ve learned on this crazy journey would indicate a resounding YES.

Lance Armstrong is arguably one of the best athletes that has walked the planet.  No question, he is the best cyclist of all time.  Was his performance always on the up and up?  I have no idea and neither do you.  His teammates might, but that’s neither here nor there.  Lance knows. 

Here’s what we do know:  what we see.  All that we’ve seen, read, discussed, debated.  We know the image and persona that he wanted us to know.  And in that respect, we are all Lance’s.  Just check with Oscar Wilde…

Will the stripping of seven Tour de France titles cause me to change my opinion of Mr. Livestrong?  No.  Would anyone with a brain in their head ever race the guy on a bike?  Of course not. 

I will continue to respect him for all that he has accomplished, because as a poser athlete, I know with certainty that he trained and trained and trained some more.  That he ate, slept, and breathed training.  Preparation.  Endurance.  Dedication.  The kind of hard work and discipline that very few people are ever willing to do. 

Lance Armstrong is a fierce, fierce competitor.  A warrior.  A survivor.  One that some people try, with epic failure, to emulate.  And when they find out they don’t have it in them, they do what most jealous second-rate human beings do:  tear him down to make themselves feel better. 

At the end of the day, what is in him – legally or otherwise – is something he and he alone will have to live with.  As someone who not only has known a Lance or two in her lifetime, but is perhaps the female version of one can attest – there is nothing that anyone can say, do, or think that will make him feel any worse about himself than he already does.

If he does.

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