I’ve Got A Few Things In Common With Lance Armstrong

It’s been so sad to watch this whole Lance Armstrong story unfold over the past few weeks. I think we all probably knew something wasn’t right. Too many damaging allegations over a long period of time. It didn’t look good, but I was still holding out hope that he really was the hero we had all thought he was.

Having seen bits and pieces of the interview he did with Oprah has made me feel sorry for so many people involved in this.

I feel sorry for his poor family.
I feel sorry for the former teammates who were villainized all these years by Armstrong and his camp for simply telling the truth.
And yes, I feel sorry for Lance.

You know, I face and succumb to many of the same temptations he struggled with.

Sometimes I’m tempted to give sermon illustrations that make me sound like a better father or husband than I actually am.

Sometimes I’m tempted to make myself appear more spiritual around my friends than I actually am.

Listen, I don’t want to try to oversimplify the wicked web of lies that were spun over his entire career. I just know that many of us are tempted to be someone we’re not.

Choosing to be “real” over being “liked” will not be the safest thing you do today. But it might be the most rewarding. Constantly controlling your image so you get the good opinion of other people will not only exhaust you, it will keep you from looking into the face of the One whom you should be living your life for.

But while authenticity is the cry of all, it’s the game of few.

Do you know why so few people live authentically? Because it takes tremendous courage. You are constantly bombarded by a culture that is doing it’s best, day and night, to make you anybody but yourself.  Letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are is one of the most courageous battles that we’ll ever fight.

I don’t know about you, but I have sure found myself in this trap… caring so much and projecting and predicting and wondering what other people think that all my energy is wasted there instead of living my life for the One who has created me.

So today I’m praying for you.

I’m praying for me.

I’m praying for Lance.

I’m praying we’ll fight the temptation to be anyone other than who Christ has created us to be. I’m praying we’ll be real about our faults and our failures, our strengths and our weaknesses, our temptations and our trials.

For then, and only then, we’ll be living the life we’ve been designed to live.

26 Responses to “I’ve Got A Few Things In Common With Lance Armstrong”

  1. Mitsubishi Miller says:

    Solid

  2. Michael Hollifield says:

    Thanks Pete. As someone who struggles with “people-pleasing” I needed this reminder today!

    • Pete Wilson says:

      Wait…is this the Mike Hollifield? Dude, there have been so many times I’ve wanted to thank you for the impact you had in my life as a kid/teen. I remember thinking….he understands me….he gets it. You were one of the first Christ followers that I really looked up to.

      Thanks for all you do!!

  3. diane1230 says:

    I am a people pleaser to the strongest degree there is. I am also VERY good at holding up the “everything’s okay” wall as a defensive mechanism. This was a very well written reminder that sometimes I have to let go & let God.

  4. Nik Carter says:

    Pete,
    I was just like you. I didn’t want to face the fact that he might’ve cheated. Not only do I feel bad for his teammates and his family but also do the same for Lance. In my eyes he’s still a hero. You might ask why? The man battled testicular cancer stage 4. And defeated the cancer. When I came down with testicular cancer myself. I didn’t look at all his trophies for biking. I looked at him as a hero beating testicular cancer. He has raise a lot of money for cancer. God is good no matter what. I’m sure it was a Humbling experience for him when he had To tell the true. The best moments when we get to know God is when we fall flat on our face I think he definitely did. Great article thank you for writing this. God bless!

  5. Joyce says:

    This was really wonderfully said. My daughter and I were discussing how extremely harsh the whole thing has been. Like most people, I’m so hugely disappointed. I’m not excusing or defending him, just saying we all need grace and it seems in short supply when his name comes up. Thanks for sharing this-

  6. Scott Wagner says:

    Thanks Pete.

  7. olivia munteanu says:

    Humility, forgivness, courage to get real.This is what Lance is teaching me. God wants a contrite heart.Thank you Lance!

    • Rick quick says:

      Well said! Let’s use our self discipline on me, myself, and I and take our walk up on the high road more and more this year. Let’s all do this so when we do,the high road won’t be so lonely up there! Hope to see you all there 4 HIM 1st, 4 You 2nd, and 4 me 3rd. A Win! Win! Win! Thanks God! Thanks Olivia! Thanks Pete! Thanks Lance! Thanks Media! It looks like God is using bad 4 GOOD!

  8. Pete, this is one of the best things I’ve read in a long time. I too struggle with this. Thanks for your encouragement.

  9. Kevin Miller says:

    That’s a big line, “But while authenticity is the cry of all, it’s the game of few.” I recently wrote a blog titled “I admit it, I’m a fraud” that garnered more comments than I’ve gotten in probably 6 months. Very similar message to what you gave here. I was a pro cyclist during much of Lance’s reign, and yeah…this is sad on so many levels. But I admit, as you have…to understanding the pull of playing to the crowd and the flesh. This spoke to me, thanks.

  10. Imran Rahman says:

    Beyond powerful… thank YOU for sharing!

  11. Danielle Wilson says:

    His interview shook me to my core…. You “penned” some of my thoughts that were in my head! I would say if there is one person that I personally look to as a role model of authenticity… It would be you. That is one of the reasons your books and blog have influenced my life so much… Thank you for keeping it real!

  12. Danielle Wilson says:

    His interview shook me to my core…. You “penned” some of my thoughts that were in my head! I would say if there is one person that I personally look to as a role model of authenticity… It would be you. That is one of the reasons your books and blog have influenced my life so much… Thank you for keeping it real!

  13. [...] I’ve Got A Few Things In Common With Lance Armstrong | WithoutWax.tv by Pete Wilson. [...]

  14. Wayne Stiles says:

    You nailed it, Pete. You nailed all of us– especially those in leadership. It’s a tough balance to know what is authenticity and what is too much information. But personally, we always should take the challenge you offer and not lie to ourselves or to others.

  15. Mike in Milwaukee says:

    There is something about us humans that loves to see the best among us fall. We get some kind of dark pleasure when we observe proud people being forced to humility. When stars fall from their lofty places we rejoice and say, “See? They’re not so hot, they’re just like the rest of us after all.”

    And yet we all yearn for stardom ourselves. Managing our image in front of others so they will see the US we wish we were. And you’re right, it’s a trap. We want so badly to be the person God calls us to be but somehow can’t manage to be that person consistently. So we fake it. We wear the mask of a holy person, but we are not.

    And then the light shines on us again, piercing our hearts (as your post did mine) bringing us back to the truth. We are fallen but redeemed creatures, who, if we are honest with ourselves would be less concerned with our own image and more concerned with defending others. Like your defense of Armstrong, for example. What did we expect from a fellow human being? Something more than greatness mixed with failure? I need look no further than my mirror to see that. Which is why I’ve always felt that Matthew 7:2 is one of the great verses to live by:

    For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

    I don’t want to be judged by those who take such deep offense at the failings of others while ignoring their own. I’d much prefer to be judged by someone who is aware of their own weaknesses. They make the best, most merciful judges.

    Pete, thanks for praying for other weak people like me.

  16. MPT says:

    The one big difference between us lying about who we are and somebody like Lance lying about who he is… It’s all played out in public. Everybody has an opinion. Everybody makes you an illustration or a punch line or something. I feel for the guy.

  17. Peter Nolan - Ireland says:

    I am sorry but I believe you are being naive in the extreme for sympathising with Lance Armstrong. He has not showed any genuine remorse for what he did and he has even claimed that he was not cheating.

    It’s not his use of illegal drugs that most concern me but instead it was his attempts to intimidate and bully anyone who dared to cross him. There were two Irish journalists who spent 13 years trying to expose what they knew to be truth. He even sued one of their newspapers and took the money even though we now know he was telling the truth. And when his Irish masseuse told her story about seeing him injecting the performance enhancing drugs he assassinated her charatecter in public by labelling her as a drunk whore.

    I am a qualified psychotherapist and I recognise the traits of personality disorder when the evidence is clearly presented. You would do well to google Narcissistic Personality Disorder where you will find that it’s a chronic pattern of grandiosity, lack of empathy and an obsessive need for recognition. I sincerely hope that you don’t share these personality traits with Lance Armstrong.

    I don’t believe that he found Livestrong to help other cancer victims but rather to create a platform for his god like image. Sadly he does not possess the empathy to care for people in this way.

    I respectfully suggest that before you create any more blogs in defence of Lance Armstrong that you educate yourself fully on the amount of pain he has caused to so many people. You will find that the stories are endless. I highly recommend David Walsh’s book “The 7 Deadly Sins” for your further education.

    And last comment I will leave to his mother, the person who knows him best. She was asking Greg LeMond for his advice on how to help Lance with his fame. And then she asked him “how do I make him less of an asshole, because he doesn’t care about anyone?

    Yours in sport and in spirit

    Peter Nolan – Ireland

    • e calvary atamudzi says:

      those who can not step onto the first line only talk about those who are moving by faith.we all got more after they talk.

  18. test site says:

    That is really fascinating, You are an overly skilled blogger. I have joined your rss feed and stay up for in the hunt for more of your wonderful post. Also, I’ve shared your web site in my social networks

Leave a Reply