Allow Armstrong to do his work
F. Scott Fitzgerald said, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” The paradox of Lance is the paradox of other talented and flawed icons – Steve Jobs, Bill Clinton and truly all of us.
When my tough Sicilian boyfriend was at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, wilting in January under the ravages of combined chemotherapy and radiation, he pushed himself forward by reading Lance’s book “It’s Not About the Bike,” the story of his personal battle to overcome Stage 4 testicular cancer and a metaphor to keep fighting to the finish line.
I have never seen two human beings face serious illness or death identically, but all of us, when confronted with great pain or potential loss, benefit from an inspirational story such as Lance’s. And his work will continue to keep on giving because we all need some help getting to the finish line, both in sport and life.
Schadenfreude is not an appealing or enduring concept; redemption is. Hopefully some day Lance will become a highly vocal anti-doping advocate – he owes that to our children and his own.
In the meantime, those of us caring for sick patients need all the help he can give us, so let’s let him do his work.
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