Lance had no one on this earth to call 'father'. His real father had left him when he was an infant, while his step father was more of a butcherer than a father. So his mother deserted him and made Lance the center of her small lil world. With a small job in hand she did whatever she could do to help him raise the bar in his ambitious endeavors: be it education or cycling. She knew cycling was his life. His achievements were a testament to that fact.
As a young boy he went on to win the school championships, the neighborhood championships, and the local championships. His winning spree never got struck. He was on an absolute roll. When injuries struck, he made a way around them, but never failed to participate in tournaments. In fact, when he suffered an injury on the sole of his foot, his doc advised him to withdraw from one of the local tournaments, but Lance being Lance, he cut his shoe around the injury and participated. And his confidence paid off. He stood first.
As years passed by he went on to prove his mettle as a powerhouse biker: Won Tour de France, considered the Holy Grail in cycling, seven times in a row: 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005. His life became a classic case of ‘never say never’ zeal. He become the national treasure of America. In the middle of all these high-voltage happenings, he was down with testicular cancer. His chances of survival were dim. However, he once again showed his do or die spirit by fighting the disease all hammer and tongs and was back on the cycling track; full throttle. As always, his mother was by his side to share his joys and sorrows.
And, yes, Of course, I hero worshiped him. He was the GOD OF HARDWORK. His book, ‘It’s not about bike,’ taught me to see pain, suffering and sacrifice in the new light. Most importantly, his quotes inspired me to fight odds without giving up. 'Give up or fight like hell,' his life-mantra become my life-long mantra too. No wonder, I recommended his books to number of my friends as well.
So much for his hardwork and do or die spirit.
Then the disgrace of doping exploded. Yes, it was rumored long ago that he was on drugs and he was covering it up intelligently. But the world, including me, were not ready to subscribe to these fabricated theories. The world wished to give him full credit for his sweat and blood, and they did so by showering him with some mind-boggling sponsorship's.
But then suddenly, out of the blue, my hero confessed his crimes. I didn’t know how to react to the doping news. The media screamed their lungs out: he's a cheat. I was pained, insulted and humiliated. My people made fun of me. “Your hero is down in the dumps,” they cried. Embittered, I had no answer to their biting remarks. My belief that “hard work can move mountains” fell apart.
All said and done, this time, he indeed raised the bar: no not in the cycling world; but in fooling the world and making a mockery of people’s feelings. And in case his mother supports him in his misery this time I'd say, she raised the bar the wrong way.
This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda. We give out creative writing topics each weekend for Indian bloggers.