Today we parked up by the beach, and I took a day away from rock and roll, Big Country, The Alarm, social media, and Love Hope Strength. I rented a bike and headed up the coast, and got lost in thought about, yes you’ve guessed it, rock and roll, Big Country, The Alarm, social media, and Love Hope Strength.
I’ve been reading a book about Lance Armstrong called ‘Seven Deadly Sins – My Pursuit of Lance Armstrong’ by David Walsh. It’s a fascinating read, especially for someone in my position. I still don’t know what to think about Lance, because he was such a hero to me at a time when I needed a hero. After my Leukemia diagnosis in 2005 went public, Alarm fans sent me copies of Lance’s book ‘It’s Not About The Bike’ by the hundred. To me, Lance Armstrong was someone who had stood up to cancer in a way no one had ever done before. I learned so much from reading his biographies, and became so determined to react positively in the presence of busy doctors, and to find the courage to ask the questions about my own cancer situation, I knew I didn’t really want to hear the answers to. Lance Armstrong’s book showed me a way to not be fearful of the language that details the specifics of Leukemia, and to take notes, and never leave a meeting with things left unsaid, or questions unanswered.
As a musician, I can understand that he needed to take the drugs to compete, and to win, especially as most of the major ‘winning’ riders were doing it (see Jan Ullrich admission today at the BBC website). But Lance was a sportsman, not a guitarist. I would have preferred it if he had won clean, or not at all. I believe he would still have been a success story even if he had lost, possibly more so. I can really feel for the riders who had the guts to say, “no,” and walk away. It must have been an awful life living with such a lie, especially since it was such a long time. It must be an even worse life now that it is all out in the open.
I feel sad for Lance Armstrong and especially his charity, LIVESTRONG. It’s sad because I don’t see so many people in yellow these days, the wristbands have all disappeared, and the clothing line moved, forever backwards, in the Nike stores. It’s tragic that something so good, can end up looking so wrong. I’m sure LIVESTRONG would have still been a success, even if Lance Armstrong had ridden clean, and not won one title. Lance had already won the greatest race a human being can win, and it’s a tragedy that his charity suffers in his shame. I hope the LIVESTRONG people and it’s supporters can turn things around. The world might not need Lance Armstrong anymore, but it does need LIVESTRONG.
At the end of the day, I turned my bike into the rental shop, went straight to bed and slept the sleep of champions. In my dreams I dreamed about, yes you’ve guessed it, rock and roll, Big Country, The Alarm, social media, and Love Hope Strength.
Love Hope Strength Video Trailer See the video here
Mike Peters appears at House of Commons for Marrow Drive to Celebrate Parliament Increasing Eligibility Requirements of Donors in the UK from 17-30 to 17-55 years of age BBC News