Thursday, November 20, 2008

Stuff, Items and Things

I am just finishing the book: From Lance to Landis, Inside the American Doping Controversy at the Tour De France. It has convinced me that Lance Armstrong doped his way through his career starting in at least 1999 but probably before his bout with cancer. There is too much damming evidence to see it any other way. That makes me sad and it makes me feel ripped off. It makes me think of the culture of lying that so many in public life have resorted to. I feel like I have been lied to by my favorite sports figures as well as the people running my government for the last 10-12 years. Clinton lied, Bush lied, Colin Powell lied, Lance lied, Floyd lied, even innocent Tyler Hamilton lied like a rug. We the people seem to just roll over and accept the lies, like it is just part of the game. This is hardly new news but what the heck, I just read the book (thanks for the loan Ray).

I still have a ton of respect for Lance. After all he has done to help people with cancer, I just give him a pass. At the same time I feel sad for him. He seems like a classic addict. Perhaps that is what the peleton needs; a 12 step program for performance enhancing drugs. I can just see Jonathan Vaughters leading the group sessions. "I am Jonathan and I am a power a-holic." Well just like so much of the rest of the world right now there is healing happening. Team High Road (Columbia) and Garmin Chipotle are running transparently drug free programs and doing quite well. Wow! Come to me for the latest in cycling news. Well, maybe this is interesting for my non-cycling readers. Hey non cycling readers! Let me know if you give a darn. I am pretty sure I am just rambling.

On to more stuff. Recovery report: I am more and more nimble. I am using the cane less and less. The pain in my legs is lessening. The other night, I saw myself in a mirror naked for the first time in a long time. It freaked me out. I mean I started crying. My upper body legs and butt are completely emaciated. I am trying to put on weight by eating so I have a roll of fat around my middle so I sort of look like a cross between a alien from Close Encounters and a concentration camp survivor. This made me realize that it is time to start a real training plan to bring my body back into shape. It is time to start thinking like an athlete again. My big hurdle is working out a time when I focus on fitness. I'll report back about this once I've worked it out.

Other recovery news. I started tapering my prednisone dose again. Yesterday I experienced fatigue like I have never felt before. I ended up sleeping from 2PM to 5PM. I woke up feeling awful; tired, depressed, and like I just couldn't do anything. What a drag... It is kind of hard to accept that there are days like this when I have been doing so well. There are up days and down days... I'll take 'em both. That is life.

I exchanged emails with Lars Holbek! He is an old friend that was diagnosed with some form of Lymphoma by my understanding. He first felt pain while on a raft trip on the Grand Canyon and had to be helicoptered out. His comment to me in the email was that he is probably the first person to be e-vaced from the canyon with Liver Tumors. That is just another river running first for Lars. He is recognized as the pioneer of California Whitewater. He explored and was the first to descend many (most?) of the difficult Class V whitewater in the Sierra Nevada as well as the rest of the state. He is also a heckuva god guy who does not deserve to get cancer. My heart goes out to him and his partner Nancy.

OK here is the last bit of items: I got a great link to an article about David Weins, the guy who beat Lance Armstrong in the Leadville 100. Just a regular guy with a wife and kids and a job(?).
Click Here to read the article and see the video (Thanks Bill B.)

Bert Wells sent me another link about the End Of Wall Street. It reflects just how incompetent, clueless and out of control many of the people that are running our financial system are. It is a great read. Click Here to check it out.
Thanks for reading.


Anonymous said...

I guess i have to read the book, but i can't believe Lance doped. He has just been tested so many times. by so many people who were really trying to find something.
But, i probably won't read the book, because i do not want to know. I'll keep my illusions. There are so few left.

Judi said...

hey spencer! i don't know if lance doped or not. it is sad though if they ever do prove he did. he sure was tested a lot.

hey, google "muscle memory". your body is going to bounce back fast. watch and see.

Pedaldork said...

Your killing me Spence. I too refuse to believe that Lance was a doper. He was great when he was 15 and continued to be great. I think he is a genetic miracle as well as I believe he works harder than his competition.

bikesgonewild said...

...i certainly haven't read the book & i honestly don't know what to think other than the man was a inspiration to me personally when i was in the hospital during the '02 tour & while his organization has raised a lot of money for research (despite their "efficiency rating"), lance himself has inspired a lot of cancer patients & their families...folks who know nothing about the inner machinations of the cycling world...

...i won't say "i refuse to believe that lance was a doper" but i agree that like certain other athletes, lance is a "genetic miracle" & i fully agree that he not only works harder than his competition, i'd venture that he's always been mentally stronger than 99% of the guys he's ever raced against...

Anonymous said...

Yo vecino!
So glad you are fired up to start getting back in shape.
You are the best inspiration, forget about Lance, YOU KICK ASS!
All my prayers go to you and our buddy Lars.
Looking forward to many rides together with both of you.
Love, pantani.

Anonymous said...

if everyone else was doping, and he kicked all of their asses for seven years, it is hard to believe he wasn't. he has taken a brilliant tactic since all of it, one that roger clemens used as well...counter-attack. he goes on the offensive. as for him never popping positive, well, somehow o.j. got away with double murder. it is possible

Sorelegs said...

Below is a comment that I recieved via email. I thought it might add to the conversation. It is from MC @ BP.
"Hi Buddy!

The idea is not amazing that drugs were used—it’s amazing that so many need to believe in a Texas high school educated one-balled megalomaniac. I was talking about George Bush but guess that could apply to Lance as well.

Tyler, Floyd, Ian, the Basso, all the Euro’s and the Americans and the Australians and the Canadians and the Chinese—all of them reeking of back hair and fear and cigarettes. Pro cycling is not healthy. Weighing food. Calculating the potential for success based on watts per kilogram. Making your job riding a bike. Nuts. Who’s the most to blame—the riders who demonstrate secretive, compulsive obsessions to a degree that would terrify Hannibal Lector?

Cycling is an amazing sport that compels belief because we can see and measure and relate to their effort from the side of the road. Blame the fans? What about the directors and sponsors who protest that the cheating is a complete and total shock? Many of them used whatever extra help they could get to win—and are happy to give a contract to new riders willing to do the same. What about the journalists and promoters who shill, maintain close access, but never speak the truth? Are teams using ‘transparent’ testing programs to ensure micro dosing and medical enhancements aren’t detectable during race testing? Call me Mr. Cynical.

Professional sports is weird--when did it become ok to coop measurable success to validate a sponsor and pay the winner? Are athletes artists or whores? Is sport the business of winning? Do athletes make anything that lasts? Do beliefs last? How much is a belief in something worth? How can an athlete be turned into a brand, be valued and measured like a commodity, and be expected not to cheat?

I don’t have any answers for pro cycling. Riding a bike is too much fun to get all psychotic about it. It doesn’t matter if the American Psychiatrist Council declared that if a group (3 or more) believe in something--then they’re not exhibiting delusional behavior. I am glad Lance set up a foundation that helped you. "

bikerchick said...

Hi Spencer! So glad to read of your return-- you sound fabou. One crank at a time...

Okay I'm a little late to the party here but I read the book and I have to agree with you. You hit the nail on the head with your observation of Lance the Brand and how many people he keeps in gravy. It's just too lucrative to take down, so they all must agree to a cabal to keep it that way. Skeery stuff. I think he successfully slipped the doping tests because he employed the best docs to keep him one masking agent away; one small step above the detection. What a sorry state. But I do look forward to watching him try to duke it out in the pro peleton this season with the young bucks. I will watch his athleticism, and try to ignore the inevitable drama and soap that's part of the Brand. Sorry to ramble on here. But thanks for the thought provoking post, and keep em coming!