Today, while doing cardio at the gym, I noticed CNN announcing that Lance Armstrong has apparently told Oprah that he did use drugs.
It would be poetic if I could say that I watched this while spinning, but I was actually on the elliptical machine; spinning was accomplished Sunday and I don’t have the appetite to go for bike rides to nowhere more than once every five or six days.
Seeing this flash across the screen took me back to my Indiana days – with two distinct memories cropping up.
I’ll actually go with the second, first: due to reasons you’ll understand vaguely in a moment, I ended up reading one of Lance Armstrong’s books – I wish I could tell you which one, but whichever one it was, I remember getting to the end of the book and thinking to myself, “What an asshole.”
The Tour de France, and cycling in general, has never really been a sport that caught my attention or imagination. As a spectator sport goes, I suspect that it ranks a tiny notch above auto racing, golf, or paint drying watching excitement levels.
But back when I went to the fancy gym at Indiana University and I took spinning classes, one of the spin instructors, Ryan, was a huge cycling fan – the kind of guy who would follow Tour de France news as closely as he could from his base in Bloomington, Indiana.
He was also a huge Lance Armstrong fan whose enthusiasm and love of the man prompted me to read the book.
I bring this up because Lance Armstrong once came to Indianapolis to give a talk, and Ryan drove up there to see the talk. He was excited about it – and I asked him if he was going to get to meet Lance.
Ryan seemed genuinely disappointed to tell me that he wasn’t going to get to – Lance was in Indianapolis visiting cancer patients, and the seats up front were reserved for cancer patients and cancer survivors.
Ryan jokingly (I hope) said he wished that he’d had cancer.
I wonder what Ryan thinks of Lance now; my opinion hasn’t changed. Lance Armstrong is an asshole.