Thursday, January 17, 2013

Say it ain't so Lance

I wrote this last summer and never published it.   Well, now we know what we already knew....

"This is my body. And I can do whatever I want with it. I can push it. Study it. Tweak it. Listen to it. Everybody wants to know what I'm on.  What am I on? I'm on my bike busting my ass six hours a day. What are you on?"~Lance Armstrong    

August 2012.

Hey Lance, what's up?

The Internet lit up last week informing the world that you were walking away from a fight. I was shocked that you forgot to check with me first.

The United States Anti Doping Agency(USADA) said they would strip you of your seven Tour De France titles. 

You said you had enough of this nonsense and you would no longer talk about it. 

This is not the Lance I knew. 

Twitter and the sports talk airwaves went wild.  What did it all mean?

Since you are no longer talking about it, we were left to come to our own conclusions. Believe me; everyone has an opinion about this.

Was this a de facto admission of guilt?

You have never backed down from a fight.  You called cancer out and gave it a beat down.  A truck would force you off the road on a training ride and you would hop back on your bike and chase the trucker down.  No quarter given, ever!  Now silence.

Is this your own version of a Nolo Contendere?  You still deny the charges, but will now accept the penalties for the crime without protest.  The penalties are steep.  Seven Tour De France titles, an Olympic bronze medal, financial penalties, loss of influence in the fight against cancer.

You once had the ear of the President.  You would ride your bike with President Bush on his ranch.   You had a bully pulpit in the war against cancer.  Are you willing to give that up too?

We live in a country where we celebrate excellence and above everything us, we celebrate winning.  You know this.  Do you have the same influence if you never won a tour?

Win a national title and the team is invited to the White house.  Win the Super Bowl and expect a call from the President.

Here in Colorado we are celebrating Missy Franklin’s, five Olympic medals.  Do we celebrate her fourth place finish where she missed medaling by .one one hundredth of a second?  No.  Most of us couldn’t even tell you what race that was.

On the bike every second mattered to you. 

I went back and watched my favorite moment of your Tour De France stage wins.  It was stage 16 of the 2004 Tour. 

Phil Liggett announced prematurely “the race has been won here by Andreas Kloden.  It’s all over.” Everyone else is riding for second.

Floyd Landis kept working, closing the gap and at the last possible second you attacked and passed Kloden at the finish line.  You stole the stage win.  

That is the Lance Armstrong I want to remember, cunning, courageous, unstoppable.

Phil Liggett asked the question, “Can anyone stop Lance Armstrong at the Tour De France?”   The answer back then was no. 

Now it appears to be the USADA. 

I am no fan of the USADA.  If they have evidence that proves you were blood doping in 1999, have they gone back and tested every rider, ever A and B urine and blood samples.  If they haven’t done that my question to Travis Tygart is why have you not done that?  If they have only applied this standard to you then it truly does look like a vendetta, “heinous acts” as you have stated.

Personally, I have been a huge fan of yours.  I have my Livestrong wrist bands, cycling jerseys, running apparel.  I have worn them proudly while I am out on the bike or at road races.  For crying out loud, my dog has a Livestrong leash.

I believed in you Lance.  I love what the manifesto of your organization stands for.  Twenty eight million people worldwide live with cancer.  You provided hope and inspiration about what could be possible for them in their lives. A cancer diagnosis is not a death sentence. 

I had a spirited argument on Twitter the other night about whether accepting sanctions from the USADA was an admission of guilt  and I was told “you would have to ask him.”

So here goes Lance.  If you won’t talk about this publicly anymore, you can tell me.  You can tell me what you didn’t tell Oprah Winfrey when she asked you on her show years ago.  Now is your chance to come clean once and for all.

This is what I need to know before I put my Livestrong Jersey and wristband back on, before I go walk my dog Rocky.

It is a yes or no answer.

I don’t need to hear that you are the most tested athlete in the world, that you have never failed a drug test or that you have never taken a banned substance.  That leaves the door open that you might have taken a substance.  There are rumors that you paid off the UCI (International Cycling Union) to cover up a failed drug test.

Is it true that you never took performance enhancing drugs, never took a substance of any kind? 

I need an answer that doesn’t depend on what the meaning of is, is.

No more non-denial denials.

Did you dope? 

Say it ain’t so Lance. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

No worries with this Fox in the Hen House

As a rookie quarterback for the Denver Broncos, Tim Tebow led his team back from a 17-0 deficit in the 4th quarter against the Houston Texans to an eventual 21-17 victory.

Late in the game he ran the entire way across the field after running for a first down to tell interim head coach Eric Studesville., "There's only one person who carries the ball right here".  When he got back to the huddle he told his teammates, "dead-set, Were winning the game right here, trust me".  Tebow ran for a touchdown on the next play.  That is leadership.  Give me a chance, give me the ball.

On the first play in overtime last year in a divisional playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Tebow through a slant pass to Demaryius Thomas which resulted in an eighty yard touchdown play.  One and done from the 20 yard line.  The Broncos advanced to the divisional round where they were promptly waxed by Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

Tim Tebow had led the Broncos on a magical fairy tale ride from a 1-4 start to the playoffs, an unlikely playoff win against the top ranked defense in the National Football League.

John Elway desperately looked for an exit strategy to rid himself of young Tim and found the perfect escape hatch when the Indianapolis Colts released Peyton Manning, arguably one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time.

Elway began his courtship of Manning and eventually signed him to be the quarterback that will lead the Broncos back to the Super Bowl.   The fans extolled, Peyton Freaking Manning!!!

After eleven straight wins, The Broncos ended up with home field advantage throughout the playoffs.  The road to the Super Bowl runs through Denver.  The city was giddy with excitement.  The only thing they had to do was to dispose of  an aging Baltimore Ravens team with a second tier quarterback at the helm and the stage would be set for an epic Television rating bonanza featuring Tom Brady against Peyton Manning.

On Saturday in a divisional playoff game, the Broncos snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by allowing a 70 yard touchdown pass to be completed in the waning seconds of the game.  Rahim Moore, admitted that he was playing for an interception so he could be the hero and hold the ball up in front of 75,000 fans.  He badly mistimed his effort and fell on his back helplessly, gifting the easiest touchdown catch in history.  The television announcers were stunned.  Apparently none more so than the leadership of the Broncos.

31 seconds remained in the game.  The Broncos had two timeouts left and Peyton Freaking Manning to move the ball down the field for a game winning field goal.  Peyton Manning has led more game winning drives than anyone in the history of the game.

John the ever crafty Fox, decided to take a knee and run out the clock rather than take a chance at winning the game with the quarterback that was brought here for that reason. 

The coach of the Broncos, John Fox has publicly stated his reasons for taking a knee and still having two timeouts with 31 seconds to play was due to the fact that his team was stunned by the touchdown and needed time to regroup.

One year earlier, he took a chance from the 20 yard line with a Quarterback he had no confidence in and that play call won the game.

Peyton Manning threw the ball 43 times during the game on Saturday.  Only two of the passes were longer than fifteen yards.   There wasn't enough time left to dink and dunk their way down the field to get into field goal range so rather than attempt a pass and see if Demaryius Thomas might be able to break a tackle, make a play, maybe win the game John Fox decided to fold his hand.  Nothing to worry about with this crafty Fox in the hen house.

The lack of courage that Fox showed didn't change the outcome of the game.  The Broncos were done.  It was inevitable that an untimely, ill advised throw by Peyton  Frozen Manning would lead to an eventual Baltimore field goal. 

Now John Fox and company head to Hawaii where he has an entire off season to regroup. Enjoy your time in Hawaii John, coaching the Pro Bowl.

Maybe next year you can show the city of Denver what leadership looks like, if you can figure out what it means to be a leader.  Most likely your tenure as coach of the Broncos will be remembered for a playoff win with Tim Tebow and being unable to win a playoff game with Peyton Manning.

Hey, Elway, I heard on the whisper that Tebow might be available.  Give me a player that hates to lose and wants the ball in his hands at the end of game. Oh wait, I forgot.   You ran him out of town first chance you got.

Well at least you will have plenty of time to work on your golf game in the off season. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Happy Birthday Kelly

Dear Kelly,

I got this for you on your birthday.  I always had so much fun buying Eeyore items for your collection.

For Kelly on her 24th birthday

Sue and I were talking last night about the marathon we ran for you on your 16th birthday.  It is hard to believe that it has been eight years.  That was Sue's first marathon and it was my 9th marathon on the 9th.

You have been on my mind a lot lately and in fact we have been spending a lot of time together during my mediation practice.  When I inhale, I say your name silently and when I exhale, I say the word love.  Kelly and love.  The words belong together.  

I am so grateful for all that you have brought to my life.  I so miss your sweet smile and long to hear your voice again.  In my heart, my love for you burns brightly. 

Happy Birthday Kelly.  I love you, always and forever.  

Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen

Dear Cassi,

I saw this the other day and I thought of you. 

My birthday wish for you is that you will always share your beautiful voice in the world.  The world needs you to be you.

Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen!   ♥♥♥♥  ♥♥♥♥  ♥♥♥♥  ♥♥♥♥ 

With much love to you on this special day

Monday, January 7, 2013

Mindful Writing Challenge Day 7

Harley stands at the top of stairs, wagging his tail hopefully.
It is past his bedtime and he waits for me to get off the computer.
He surrenders and falls asleep on the couch.  I continue typing….

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Mindful Writing Challenge Day 1

Start 2013 by clearing a daily space for beauty 

Here's how: 

1. Notice something properly every day during January.
2. Write it down. That's it! 

A brother and sister riding an electronic horse at the grocery store.  The same horse my children rode so many years ago.  It still costs just a penny for the ride a quarter of a century later. The brother and sister hold onto the horse with unbridled excitement.  Their mother looks indifferent to their joy and yet through her detachment makes sure they are safe.