What Lance Armstrong whispered in my ear

I don’t know exactly when I heard it. It was sometime in the last few months when our opinion of him was doing a 360. I heard it again last week when he was with Oprah.

Several times I jerked my head expecting to find him right on my shoulder whispering. I mean, it had to be him. Tell me you don’t think this was him . . .

I know your game isn’t the same as mine, but you can still be world class like me.

Just convince yourself that no one will know, that no one will get hurt, that this is just a little secret among friends. Tell yourself that others have done much worse, that in the big picture this is not so bad at all.

I discovered the power of this little deception right at the beginning, and it’s amazing how it serves everything from your thought life to secret habits to ‘emotional’ relationships to the Tour de France.

The beauty of this baby is that the longer you go, the better you do it. This enables you to keep at it even longer, until you’re 100% convinced it’s true, and you have succeeded at changing reality.

I was so good at it that I was able to threaten and punish people who told the ‘truth’ about me and I didn’t feel a bit of guilt or regret. THAT, my friend, is world class.

It was so clear I almost wanted to take notes. This is Lance Armstrong, right? Then the tone of his voice changed and he slowly whispered:

Reality . . . hits . . . hard.

And when it does–when you’re discovered and everyone knows–it’s impossible to look at yourself and how bad you are. So you don’t. You downplay it. You insist things can stay the same.

Okay, you may cheat and lie, but that doesn’t make you a cheater and liar. (Although when it’s someone else, you easily toss out the cheater and liar conclusion.)

You’re compelled to tell people they’re judgmental, legalistic, unloving, and ‘just as bad.’ You do anything to escape the pain and responsibility of guilt.

Nothing works. To come clean is as impossible as winning the Tour de France.

Because to come clean means you have to change who you think you are.

Everybody else has already changed their mind about who you are. Try doing that when it’s you! It took years to create your own reality. No way you can change back overnight.

You convinced yourself it’s only a little corner of your life, it’s not really who you are. Now your little corner IS your whole life.

That’s all Lance, right? That’s not me talking to me about what could happen if I’m not careful.

Right?

About the Author

Gary

If you could take a pill that imparted encouragement and big picture perspective the whole world would change. In Charlotte, NC I try to help New Life 91.9 radio to be that pill. I also team up with my wife Brenda, and our daughters and sons-in-law, to try to dent the world with a bit of hope and encouragement.

  • Laurie

    I like this post alot. I agree that one lie and then more make it so you are not a lier and not to blame and its others fault….. I’d like to make another point also: Lance Armstrong needs our prayers and thoughts. Where is he at right now? How does he feel? Is he at a crossroads where someone can share the Good News with him? He is in a bad place although this may be the beginning of a good place. I would like to forgive Lance Armstrong and have him begin a new life.

    • http://garymorland.com/ Gary Morland

      Thanks Laurie. Love your empathetic, compassionate perspective.

  • Cali girl

    Gary, I am a new reader to your blog, and the depth and insights from your words are profound. Thank you for being bold enough to “go there” when few others do. This is about taking a long, hard, look in that mirror, and being willing to sit with the reflection….wrinkles, warts and all. Thank you :)

    • http://garymorland.com/ Gary Morland

      Greatly appreciated — grace to you

  • Lynn

    It seems painfully obvious that Lance is a sociopath. Look that one up. And as such, he doesn’t feel guilt or shame. He can’t. Sociopaths are empty individuals. And they reak havoc in relationships and families.

    • http://garymorland.com/ Gary Morland

      Well, Lynn, I don’t know about Lance, but I know there’s a ‘Me monster’ who will take any bit of me he can get, but who is also never satisfied with just a little bit. Thanks.

  • Rebecca

    fantastic, thought provoking post.

    • http://garymorland.com/ Gary Morland

      Appreciate it Rebecca

  • http://www.danerickson.net/ Dan Erickson

    I think Lance has whispered in many people’s ears. I think why he did is wrong, but what he’s doing now takes more courage than any race he ever raced.

    • http://garymorland.com/ Gary Morland

      I think you’re right. Thanks Dan

  • http://traciestierjohnson.com/ tracie stier-johnson

    wow. just wow. as the wife of a recovering alcoholic and addict … these words pierce my heart. the lie they’re invincible — to the self-loathing that comes when they realize they’re not. i pray everyone who’s experienced this gamut of the highest of highs to the lowest of lows finds God’s love, grace, and forgiveness. for love covers a multitude of sins!