Does anyone else feel saddened by the Lance Armstrong story?
After watching both of Oprah’s interviews with Lance Armstrong I agree he’s not a likable guy. I watched him squirm and offer surprisingly vacant insights into himself, I heard him admit he was a bully to anyone who threatened the life he had built on a shifting sand of lies. And I realized why terms like pathological liar, narcissist, and even sociopath are being thrown around in discussions all over the internet and cable news.
But I’m not a Lance basher.
Maybe it was my years as a psychotherapist that left me permanently altered. That helped me understand the complicated layers that make up a whole person. And left me feeling compassion for those who unconsciously create their own hell here on earth.
Or possibly it was my work in the eating disorder field that made me wary of people trying to pass off a perfect looking story for their real life. Because working daily with beautiful, thin women who hated their bodies taught me that behind every beloved hero, every glamorous celebrity, and every glossy photo shoot there’s only a mere human there. With flaws in their personality and pain in their story, just like you and me.
Whatever the reasons, I know that nothing is ever what it seems from the outside.
But still, hearing Lance Armstrong acknowledge that he cheated his way through seven Tour de France wins made my mouth drop open. And listening to his admission that he was a bully to anyone daring to tell the truth, was a sobering moment. But one that left me with a strange sense of relief.
I actually thought, thank you Lance. Thanks for reminding parents to be careful what dreams and wishes we have for our children. Thanks for the reality check.
Because Lance Armstrong is an glorious example that racking up achievements, and wealth and world-wide fame do not guarantee one’s inner peace or happiness or a well-lived life.
I’m sure you already know this. But when it comes to raising our own kids this means something; it means we need to be careful about over-focusing on our child’s achievements. At the risk of neglecting the heart and soul stuff.
And for all those sports-driven parents out there, Lance is a wonderful reminder that developing into an elite athlete and developing a moral compass and character are not the same.
And while we may know our child’s baseball stats or mile time, we should definitely know the statistics on the important effects of family dinners on addiction and relationships. Because this is the stuff that has lasting value.
Lance Armstrong reminded me once again that it’s much more important to raise a great kid,
than a kid who is great at something.
And that teaching morality and empathy for others, is key to raising a kid who tells the truth, even in the toughest situations.
Because qualities like integrity, curiosity, grit, perseverance, work ethic, and gratitude have been linked to a fulfilling, successful life. And THIS important book about character and success is something we all should know about.
There are lots of thoughts I have about Lance Armstrong. And his win-at-all-costs lifestyle.
Mostly I felt bad about those deeper voids inside him, and his admission that he’s never talked to his mother, about the biological father who abandoned him. That’s some powerful avoidance.
But when the dust settles, I’m left with this truth.
Lance Armstrong showed the world you can be the best athlete in your sport, but if you don’t have the admiration of your child, if every word you utter is doubted, if you’re branded a cheater and scorned by the world for being a bully
…it doesn’t much matter.
Tell me what you think.
linking up here:
<a href="http://yeahwrite.me/challenge-93/"><img src="http://yeahwrite.me/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/challenge93.png"></a>