Never have I hoped and prayed that a statement was truer!
You would have had to live in a cave not to hear the news this past week about Lance Armstrong. And those who know me well, know that I have always been a very passionate supporter of LIVESTRONG as well as Lance. To put it plainly, he is a hero of mine. But the reason, as the title of one of his book says, It’s Not About the Bike. Sadly, I am not sure he necessarily believes that statement, but that is another story. For me, it never was about the bike. It was about LIVESTRONG and the community of support within LIVESTRONG and all the work they do and have done over the years.
I received countless emails and phone calls over the past week asking if I was OK. Listen, I am disappointed in the man. But with age comes wisdom as they say. And especially in the past handful of years, I have come to realize that you can’t and shouldn’t ever put too much faith in Mankind. You will always be left with some disappointment and/or hurt.
But the organization, LIVESTRONG, has become more than Lance. Better said, it became more than Lance a longtime ago. Evidenced by Nike’s decision to drop Lance but maintain their unwavering support of LIVESTRONG. Kudos to Nike on both counts.
One particularly bothersome email to me read, “Have you received any flack for all the fundraising you did all those years for that cheater’s organization?” I decided not to respond, but let me say this, “No, you freaking idiot!”
The truth is, I am not only proud of the nearly $100K I have personally raised over the years, but also honored and thankful for the vehicle that LIVESTRONG provided me to raise money that went directly towards helping those who are and have been affected by this dreaded disease. Every year from 2002 through 2011, I was blessed to have the health and opportunity to ride “In Honor of” and/or “In Memory of” many friends and loved ones — and many of yours too.
Whether Lance, the man, ever comes to grip with this or not, he inspired something much greater than he even ever aspired to be personally. Unfortunately, as is often the case, it appears his own pride and strive for personal greatness caught up with him. My only hope is that the humility he felt back in 1996 when he was first diagnosed is something he can still find inside himself. It would help him on a human level more than he might remember.
But the organization, the Village that is LIVESTRONG still stands strong and hopefully will continue to.
In the end, YES I am disappointed like anyone who lifts another person up to a very high pedestal only to see them fall in disgrace. It does suck, but it’s only to be expected when you think about it.
To the other 40 or so who sent me messages last week, thanks for “getting it.”
LIVESTRONG! And thanks for reading something entirely non-trade show related. 🙂
Tags: cancer, Kevin Carty, Lance Armstrong, Livestrong
Well said. I can’t help but feel a little duped but at the same time LiveStrong has become something bigger than anyone person. The brand that has been created speaks to the people who need that strength and the people who want to support those in need.
Keep on fundraising. Thank you for putting this out there.
Well said, sir.
Thank you for reminding us (as if even the casual readers of the Lance saga needed reminding) of what the REAL priorities and victory has been over the years…the Livestrong work and accomplishments.
I know you maybe don’t have as many medals to show for it Kevin, but your leadership and efforts each year for the Livestrong causes give so many of us inspiration to paticipate…in our own ways.
You…are the new “man in the yellow shirt”. (an upgrade from The Man in the Yellow Hat).
Thanks for speaking out Kevin and putting some real world perspective on the issue. Have always thought that the whole idea of “support” in person or fund raising was to create awareness and add to the work being done by a group of dedicated people. It was never about the bike and it is never just about one individual when trying to do a good deed.
Kevin you summed this up all to well…It is the Village that matters. As for me I’m glad you’re part of the village and that you asked me to join in too. Keep up the great work…here for you my friend.
Applause *clap*clap*clap* bravo!
Well said Kevin, thanks for your efforts with this organization.
Thanks also for the respite from the usual trade show chatter =)
Excellently put. And very well handled by Nike and the Foundation.
Kevin, you never disappoint. Thanks for putting the situation in perspective. The Village does indeed matter, to all of us, and to the countless lives that have been lengthened and saved through the funds raised by individuals like you for the organization.
We all have done things of which we are not proud. I hope that all of us, including Lance, come to grips with that and not only resolve to live a better life but actually do that. He still has an opportunity to lead by example. Let’s hope he steps up to the plate and does exactly that. If not, the organization he founded needs the support of everyone – the organization clearly is not the individual – it is, indeed the Village.
Maybe not too much faith in Mankind but I still have faith in Menkind/Womenkind.
I’m perfectly capable of drawing a line between the man and the snowball he started that is Livestrong.
Until I became ill with this stupid disease I had not much faith in Mankind or Menkind. Then I met people involved with “The Randy.” Then there was Club 815. Then there were my peers and fellow workers. Then there were my bosses. Then my friends and relatives. All of which restored my faith in my fellows.
I feel bad for Lance as a man but I recognize him as a instrumental cog in what is Livestrong.
Well said Mike. Like you I too feel bad for Lance. Based upon what we are learning I can only imagine what must be going on inside him. My hope is that he comes out front and faces it one way or the other. Of course, if its all true…which it sadly appears to be…then I hope for his own personal sake he accepts it.
Personal ownership does not come easy in this world. Turning your own eyes inward can reveal some “hard to look at” facts about who you are or have become. But often times proves to be the catalyst for real personal change. Setting aside pride will be his biggest challenge
Dismounting my soapbox now 🙂
Thanks Chris for your comment and for all your support of my adventures thru Livestrong events over the years 🙂
regarding the “yellow shirt”…maybe my senses have been on hyper alert…I don’t know… But I was telling someone just yesterday that I have seen more “livestrong” gear out and about this week that I can remember in recent weeks. Hopefully a good sign and not just me seeing things thru yellow tinted lenses.