These past few nights I've been waking up about 3 o'clock in the morning and can't get back to sleep until about 5:00 or so. I wake up and go get something to eat maybe turn the TV on for a minute while I eat and then get back into bed only to lay there thinking about going back to sleep and whatever else comes to mind. Being a cycling enthusiast and frame builder the bicycle world is usually one of the main things I think about while I'm laying there. Most everyday I check Velonews or maybe some other cycling related website to see what the latest activity is and here the past few days it seems like everything is Armstrong related. I've said at the least 3 times that I wasn't gonna talk about Lance any more so I've already broken my word a couple of times which is something I try not to do and I don't do it often. Anyway, this isn't really about Lance Armstrong so much as it is about me. The Armstrong saga makes me think things and then I in turn start realizing stuff about myself, things I don't like, things I would like to change and so I thought by confessing them out loud that maybe this Armstrong thing will eventually disappear completely from my mind. Ok, thats a bit far fetched because my life will have to change quite a bit before I can get completly away from Armstrong's name because every cyclist out there is gonna be subject to his name on any given day. I'm just so sick of it all and would like it to end, to go away.
I don't have a problem with him doping. Big deal, everyone was doing it, I understand why he did it to some extent, and I don't even care. I do want the truth to come out though, and its rapidly coming, day after day. My problem is that I don't, and never did, like Lance Armstrong as a person. I didn't like his cocky, Big Tex attitude and I didn't like seeing him just destroy everyone in the races with a smirk. There was one moment that I remember thinking that I was happy for Armstrong and it was after he won his first Tour. I still didn't actually like him but I thought that it was a good story that a man who battled cancer had come back from the deathbed and not only raced again but won the Tour de France. Lets face it, thats amazing. Thats the only slight moment I ever thought, "Good for him." Then, during the second one, I wanted him to get beat. Jan Ullrich was one of my favorite riders because of his time-trialing style and because I thought he could actually do it, or so I thought, and so he was my only hope to put Lance in his place. Josephe Beloki was good, and I was pulling for him when Ullrich wasn't around but I kinda knew that Beloki wasn't quite man enough to do it, or thats what I felt anyway. I just hoped anyone would beat him, I didn't care who, anyone, Iban Mayo, Pantani, just anyone. I truly disliked Armstrong. During the month of July every year for six straight years I sat on my sofa watching the tour, sometimes falling to my knees and praying, "Just let someone crack his ass on this mountain!", and then he'd attack and drop everyone like they were nobody at all. I ached all over. I hated him and thats my problem. It takes a lot of energy out of you to hate or to genuinely dislike someone, hate is such a strong word. Everytime something bad comes out against Lance, the old me rejoices inside a little, I feel happiness in his misery and failure and I know its wrong. Let me remind you that I've been working on this for quite a while and I'm far along and away from what this little story will make it sound like, it truly doesn't bother me much anymore, I've moved on for the most part but there is still a part of me inside that feels good and probably will continue to get some satisfaction out of his falling. After Contador beat him at his own game I was pretty much ok after that. The king was dead and I began to heal. But now its going much further than I ever anticipated and it almost feels like, "The king is dead and no longer a threat but lets cut off his head too." I understand that people want to get to the absolute bottom of this and its really the only way that the sport of bicycle racing can move forward. Burn it to the ground, clean the slate, and rebuild. I want this for myself too so that it might kill that little bit of my former self that still remains inside of me who enjoys seeing Lance fall. Its already happened but I think that until he confesses it will never completely heal. This isn't the end of my story and its in no way, shape, or form the end of my problems. Lance is not my problem, I'm not sure what is but its not Lance.
The last year or so I've been reading a couple of books and listened to some audio books as well as other things that has put me on a mission to find my higher self. I'm not trying to get to deep or anything but I just want to be working on being the best person that I can be at everything that I do as I grow older. Let me just stop and say, dude, I'm a long way away, but the thought is in my mind and I want to just make as much progress as I can in a reasonable manner, try to tap into as much of that positive energy out there that I can. It kinda feels like, "I know I'm not gonna win this race, and I don't know exactly where I'm gonna finish, but I want to do the best that I can." I want to learn as much as possible about myself, others, and the world in general as I can, what else is there to do. Keep in mind we're all mainly concentrating on making a living for ourselves and our families, and thats priority number one, but whenever I can work on learning something new I want to take advantage of it. I don't plan on entering a new dimension or anything but it would be neat to find a step or an entrance into some sort of energy source that is available to anyone that tries to find it. You know, kinda like Jesus did. He truly loved and forgave everyone for their imperfections and he rose above it all, of course he also got crucified. Imagine you're out in space looking down on the Earth, now imagine all the people in the world, and all the crazy things that are going on, imagine life and death. Now what importance does the Lance Armstrong saga really have in all that. Not much, but if you're into cycling or bike racing it just won't go away. I can't imagine how much weight must be pressing down on his shoulders right now. He is a strong man, a great athlete, but I bet that if you got to his core he's no different than you and I. He's just another person in the world, just like us, although he's got a ton of problems right now. I think he's stupid as I've always thought he was stupid, not in racing or in competition, not in being number one, he is a master of all those things, but I think he's stupid because for all that he's done and been through he can't see that all he has to do is say, "Yeah, I did it.", and everyone will start to forgive him, they'll start to embrace him again, and he can start to rebuild that empire that he so loves.
Like every amateur bike racer has done at one time or another I used to think that I would love to be a pro. Get paid to ride and race your bike every day, travel the world, and maybe get famous. I never got closer than Cat 2 but I'm just thankful that I had that opportunity and also that I'm still able to ride. I could even start racing again if I wanted. I love riding now more than ever, although I do a lot less of it and I'm quite a bit slower. Alot of times when I'm riding I burden myself with these thoughts that I'm just not going fast enough, and worse, I'm getting slower. I try to make peace with it and I'm ok with it to some degree but it still bothers me when I feel like I'm just not going hard enough. How fast am I supposed to go? I'm not training for anything, I don't race anymore, but I just think I'm not going fast enough. Why am I mad at myself for this? If it was really important to me I would be out there working at it trying to get faster but now I'm more interested in frame building and trying to find my higher self. Anyway I'm pretty sure I've gone as fast as I'm gonna go, but from time to time I still get that urge to give it a dig and after 30 seconds of "SUFFERAMA" I'm disappointed in myself. Is this why I'm taking enjoyment out of someone else's failure because I'm not fast enough? I don't want to do that. For the most part I don't feel like that toward people, I'm fairly sympathetic toward everyone and everything but not with Lance Armstrong and I feel that its pathetic on my part and thats one of the things that is preventing me from tapping into my higher self. Everything is energy, positive and negative energy. Remember all that crap in school about atoms and molecules, nuetrons, protons, nucleuses and all that stuff that makes up everything? I don't, because I was probably sleeping or day-dreaming during that time. I never really wanted to be at school and seldom paid attention except in P.E. I just went because it was what you were supposed to do so I went. Luckily my parents made me go and I thank them for it but usually all I did was just dream about motorcycle racing. All I wanted back then was a Suzuki RM80. That was the answer to all my problems. What happens to all that energy? Where does it all go? The body is a container for life's energy but when the body dies where does all that energy go? Does it go to heaven?
Today I realized that I have so much more respect for all the 'weekend warriors' out there, myself included because I used to be one too, than I do for the professional bike racers. Sure, if I meet a pro bike racer I imagine that I'd get that feeling of admiration inside and wish I knew what it felt like for a day and they would deserve some respect for all the hard work they put in to get where they are but the 'weekend warrior' is where its at. They're the foundation for all racing. They drive hundreds of miles in their own car, pay for the gas and hotels, pay for the entry fees, tear up their body and their equipment, spend all their extra money on just getting to the races to have a shot at winning. And don't forget all the training they do during the week before and after work, even on their lunch breaks. Most everyone is doing it clean too, and I think that its super-cool, its positive, its love for riding and racing, and thats what the cycling world needs and I want to help spread all of those things one bicycle at a time.
Oh yeah, I wrote this whole spill and I forgot to say that although I know I'll probably never be a Armstrong supporter, and I hope that he has to confess and pay for his wrongdoings, I want to say that I hope he comes out of it a better person and I hope that others do forgive him and that he can resume a normal, happy, peaceful life. I want to wish him well, I hope he finds his higher self.