Lance Armstrong finally backed down from a challenge. After beating the all competition in Triathlons, The Tour de France, and Cancer, he finally met an opponent he couldn’t whip, himself. This is not going to be yet another article on whether or not he doped, whether or not it should be legal, and whether it was okay because everyone else was doing it. I think we all need to assume he did it.
Lance finally admitted defeat to himself. He was unwilling to admit this to anyone else. His main defense has always been that he was the most tested athlete in history and never failed a single drug trust. He refused to admit he had taken performance enhancing drugs and decided that he was unwilling to go to trial and defend himself by calling his former teammates and assistants liars. Instead he decided to change his goals and turn his full-time attention to raising money to fight cancer. He has refocused his energy on what he is capable of being successful at and hopes to get joy from that.
For someone who has beaten cancer and every cyclist on the road, this must have been a difficult decision to make.
So what can we learn? At some point, as we age, we need to look deep within ourselves and refocus our goals. We need to realize that we can still get joy out of being active. Some of us are “Better After 50,” but at the same time we need to accept our limitations and still enjoy what we are capable of doing and being successful at. We may not be able to play sports at the same level, or ski the same slopes we did 10 years ago. But we are still active and successful in other areas.
So let’s be like Lance, let’s understand when we need to accept our limitations but still enjoy the challenge and fun that activity brings. Let’s find new areas for success and enjoy the challenge that expanding ourselves brings.