Dang. I guess I’ve been living in a little world of denial about my hero Lance Armstrong. I loved him so much…his seven consecutive Tour de France titles along with his successful battle with cancer (testicular, which spread to his lungs and brain) made for a super human beyond imagination. I loved watching him cycle, there was a look in his eyes that I understood from a distance. He stood for everything that I wanted to be: strong, determined, unstoppable, accomplished, happy. He was the best at his craft. He also helped others. Now, he has stepped down as chairman of the board of the Livestrong organization, a charity that I love with all my heart, because of doping allegations that have stripped him of almost every accomplishment he was known for. I wear the Livestrong bracelet on my left wrist every single day to remind myself to live strong. What does it all mean now? Was it a person that I believed in, or a mission? Originally, I think it was a person – Lance – that I looked up to. He was my hero. But then Livestrong became a community where I was surrounded my like-minded individuals. I used the MyPlate app every single day as I lost my weight in 2010. I loved reading the stories of fighters…people who were focused on living a better life. They were all there, looking up to Lance as a unit of strength.
I was forced to ask myself a serious question this morning: Will I still wear the bracelet? At first, I thought I wouldn’t. I was disappointed, disillusioned. I held out hope for Lance until the very end. But then I realized that I don’t wear this bracelet for Lance, or for anyone else. I wear it b/c it symbolizes strength within myself. Lance now has another battle to fight, and I still believe that he is one of the strongest people who has ever lived. I wish he would admit to his mistakes so he can start making it right again. But regardless of what he has done, I am still inspired by the Livestrong mission and the people who strive for health. Mental health, physical health, and spiritual health. So, I will still wear the bracelet. It reminds me that I am successful and worthy of the effort. It reminds me that I love myself and believe in my goals. I will continue to wear it in support of others in need of a community. I think that’s what it is all about.