Lance Armstrong has been an inspiration to millions since he beat his near impossible battle with cancer and came back to win seven Tour de France victories – most in the sport’s history. His performance fueled the popularity of LIVESTRONG, a cancer awareness foundation, which raised millions of dollars in the name of cancer research. But throughout his immense success, Armstrong was hounded by illegal drug allegations. Those allegations came to fruition a few months ago when the USADA released a report, finding Armstrong guilty, and banning him for life.
The USDA reported that Armstrong had been illegally doping since 1998, which helped him win his first title in 1999. The USDA went on to recount numerous scenarios, with ex-teammate testimony, that connected Lance Armstrong to illegal drug use. Even after this report was released, Armstrong refused to admit that he had abused drugs for so many years.
Last week, Lance Armstrong himself came out and admitted he used performance enhancing drugs to fuel his seven Tour de France victories. It was a sad end to years of speculation. Even though you probably aren’t a world class athlete, there are drug related lessons we can learn from Lance Armstrong’s story.
No One Is Immune
In our own way, everyone thinks they’re Superman. But no matter how we choose to think of ourselves, no one is immune to succumbing to the need for drugs. Lance Armstrong is famous millionaire who had everything he needed and could get whatever he wanted. Yet he, just like the homeless addict, got caught up in drug abuse. Drugs don’t care who you are or what your status in society is. No one is special and everyone is susceptible to the power drugs have over us.
Everyone Can Get Caught
At some point, your secret addiction will be exposed. Whether it’s to your family, your friends, or co-workers, at some point, people will figure out that you have a substance abuse problem. No matter how sneaky you think you are, the longer you play this game, the more lies you will be juggling. At some point, your lies will become tangled and too much to handle. You’ll have to answer to everyone, including yourself.
If Untreated, Addiction Can Affect You For Years
Lance Armstrong’s admitted to doping since the mid-1990’s. For over ten years he used illegal drugs. Addiction is not something that you can grow out of or gradually taper off of. Once addiction grabs a hold of you, it’s not letting go…until you seek help. Lance Armstrong’s rationale was that he was “leveling the playing” field. He genuinely believed that everyone else was using drugs and in order to compete he needed to use drugs. Drug addicts who use substances like meth and cocaine use this same rationalization technique to justify their drug use.
Let the Lance Armstrong drug use be your wake up call. Drug addiction can have a very strong hold on your life. Even if you think you’re in control and everything will be alright, it probably won’t. At some point, addiction catches up to you. Getting help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength.