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Where Have All the Heroes Gone?

October 18, 2012

In light of recent evidence, we are, this family, finally giving up on Lance.

We’ve held out a long time. At first, all the allegations came from the European side of the pond. They just don’t like an American winning their race! we thought. Gabe, a former cyclist, was convinced it was the weight Armstrong dropped while battling cancer that gave him his edge. Clearly, the man was driven, disciplined about his sport. Surely he had duly earned his titles?

We stood by till the bitter end. But, the bitter end is here.

I’m so sad.

We’ve seen the mighty fall before – athletes repeatedly stumbling over ego and acclaim. Some get up again, admit wrong-doing, and move on.

Lance simply doesn’t have anywhere left to go. Retired, and too old to make a drug-free comeback, he’ll never be able to demonstrate what he truly is physically capable of.

What money he has is probably all he’ll ever earn, unless Lifetime makes a go of all this drama.

But money doesn’t matter. Fame and fortune are fleeting. Infamy though, that sticks like glue. It’s a hard mess to scrub off. People don’t like to be duped,

Why? Why did you think you could get away with this, that you’d never be found out? Why did you just keep lying?

This topic is a hot one in our household, My husband, Gabe, an athlete and avid fan, has had a lot to say. Just for fun, I thought you’d like to hear his two cents: 

As someone who’s participated in more sports than I can readily name, and earned a quantity of surgeries to go with them, it’s hard to see someone who I myself have admired turn out to be less than admirable. As a dad of two budding athletes, and a Christian, I aspire to live a life that my boys want to emulate and feel proud to call me “dad.” We don’t choose our family but we certainly can choose with whom to associate and see as our role models. [Armstrong] is just another example that we live in a fallen world and our eyes should always be upward focused on our heavenly Father! I don’t like having to explain to my boys the sordid  details of scandals like this, but I’m always hopeful, as I am with Tiger Woods, that they will somehow redeem themselves, and that the story will not end here.

As I was writing, Colton Dixon’s new single came on the radio. I was a HUGE fan – huge, and was devastated to see him eliminated from American Idol last season. I think his choices were foolish – he tried too hard, deviated too far, and he paid dearly. The humble kid who never intended to audition, but made it past the Top 10, fell far and fast.

But the story didn’t end there. His final performance (which I can no longer find a good quality example to show you on YouTube) was heart-felt and honest. He owned up to his foolish choices (Lady Gaga – while extraordinarily talented – wasn’t the song choice that would appeal to his fan base). You disenfranchise your fans, you lose.

Fame and fortune are fleeting, but infamy sticks like glue. People don’t like to be duped.

But the story didn’t end there. He was humble. He was honest. He admitted to making a bad choice.

And now he’s had his second single release on the radio and he’s living the dream he probably couldn’t have had he actually won. A Christian contemporary album wouldn’t have been what the producers would allow for Idol’s winner.

He was humble. He was honest, and now he’s praising God on the radio and leading tens of thousands in worship.

Rock-solid awesome. I’m proud of Colton Dixon.

Which has nothing much to do with Lance Armstrong except to say that, humility makes a difference. Authenticity is what our culture is craving.

Lance Armstrong has neither. And that is a sad, sad thing.

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 19, 2012 7:54 am

    I don’t think TRUE heroes have gone anywhere. I think the issue is that we idolize, and as a result, teach our children to idolize, the wrong things in this culture. Athletes and actors, while admirable in their talents, are not necessarily the people we should be teaching our kids to look up to. What about teachers? Firefighters? Police officers? Nurses? THOSE are the people who truly put themselves out there to try to better the lives of the people around them. YES, there will always be people in ANY profession who mess up, because we are all human, but I think our culture has put people who earn a lot of money up on a weird pedestal. Money and fame doesn’t make you a hero. If anything, it can often change someone who has heroic qualities/the ability to be a hero (Armstrong, for example) into something unadmirable and sad.

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