Integrity

Last week the proverbial shit hit the fan with Lance Armstrong and  The USADA. I found it so interesting I read the entire “Reasoned Decision” written by the USADA.  I have no feelings one way or the other on Lance in regards to his 7 tour victories. It seems that he was just the best of the cheaters. That sucks for anyone who has ever been clean. So maybe I do have thoughts on it. I digress.

What shocked me, was to read about the involvement of Kristin Armstrong. Kristin Armstrong is his ex-wife, she was around for a number of his tour victories, and is the mother to 3 of his 5 children. Kristin Armstrong writes a blog for Runners World called Mile Markers.

The blog is incredibly well written, and her stories, and her words are incredibly inspiring, just as Lance and his story inspired people. In fact I found her writing to be so inspiring that when Sheila first really started to love running and first started to think about the possibility of running a marathon, I bought her book, Mile Markers for Sheila to read and be inspired.

What is integrity worth to you though? Both Lance and Kristin have talked about, and written about that very specific word. Kristin was mentioned about 20 times in the Reasoned Decision. She was accused of handling, delivering, distributing, and being part of the doping scheme of all doping schemes.

This week, she wrote this post. In it she basically said she is not going to say what she was involved in, why she was involved in it, or basically take any responsibility. I was so conflicted reading it. On one hand I wanted to say “YOU GO GIRL”!  She was taking care of her kids, she was being a mom. She was rising above the drama…

On the other hand it felt like a slap in the face They had have kids (something my wife and I want so badly), her husband had beaten cancer, and here they were smuggling drugs across the globe? Distributing them? Breaking international laws in addition to the sporting rules? They were scamming the world, and smiling about it. Bragging about it.

They were benefiting to the tune of millions of dollars, and putting the family that so many want at risk. That family fell apart eventually on it’s own. I wonder if the pressure of the doping scandal caught up, or the fact that an supposed egomaniac like Lance has to have his way all the time…. We will never know. As she said in this post ;

…there are many things that I am not free to discuss because I am constrained by legal principles like marital privilege, confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements

Basically, she is hiding behind lawyers… So they did all this, they profit from it, and then they have the audacity to write about integrity. That is hard for me to listen to/read. I love her blog. I love her books even though her audience is mostly women I love her writing style. I just don’t know that I want to anymore. Some people (many people) want her fired at Runners World, they vow to never read her writing again. They feel she is a scam.

I again, am conflicted about this though.

Lance is raising millions for cancer research. He is inspiring cancer victims to live not just be patients.

Kristin is reaching out to broken women everywhere. She is inspiring them to start running groups, and support each other.

Do those things outweigh what they did? Does that outweigh the risks of someone who beat cancer taking testosterone to win a stupid race? Does the inspiration outweigh the fact that she often had her children with her in France and likely had drugs on her at important times of the tour?

What is integrity to you. Does it not matter who you are and who are you around? What other thing is worth more than integrity?

My feelings on this in all honesty matter to no one other than those really close to me… and they will continue to evolve on the subject…  What about you? Integrity… what is it?

 

4 thoughts on “Integrity

  1. Jen

    I find this so interesting because it shows how complex and human people are. Good people sometimes do bad things. But I keep waiting for Lance Armstrong to admit to the cheating, take responsibility for his actions and apologize. Integrity to me means doing the right thing even when it’s the hard thing and also, if you screw up and do the wrong thing, apologize and try to make it right to the best of your ability.

    One of my favorite Ron Swanson quotes: “You know what makes a good person good? When a good person does something bad, they own up to it.”

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  2. Jen

    I find this so interesting because it shows how complex and human people are. Good people sometimes do bad things. I keep waiting for Lance/Kristin to admit to cheating, take responsibility for it and apologize. To me, integrity means doing the right thing even when it’s the hard thing and, if you do screw up and do the wrong thing, take responsibility, apologize and try to make it right to the best of your ability.

    One of my favorite Ron Swanson quotes: “You know what makes a good person good? When a good person does something bad, they own up to it.”

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  3. shme

    I agree. It’s really hard for me to love the Kristin that I read and fell in love with a couple of years ago. So much of what she writes makes herself out to be a great person, a stellar mom, a dedicated wife, a runner and athlete with integrity. What she writes is very inspirational, but is it true? I’m definitely disappointed in her role in this. I really wish both of them would own up to what they did. The lie is almost always worse than the crime, and these lies have lasted a long time. From the parental perspective, it also makes me sad to see what they are teaching their kids.

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  4. Teresa

    I agree with Jen. Good people do bad things. I purchased Mile Makers and enjoy reading Kristin’s blogs. I do not see her as a bad person. We all have skeletons in our closets and who am I to judge? In her post she mentioned she carried sadness in a marathon; I believe her. She is the one that must live with the decisions she made years ago. Only she knows the truth and is dealing with the consequences as this entire ugly scandal comes to light.

    What sport do we not see athletes “doping”? I’m not saying this is okay by any means; it is cheating; however, these individuals still worked very hard; even with an added “drug enhancements”; Lance, Kristin and athletes like Mark McGwire (and the list goes on and on) put in hours of training.

    We should not be judged for the person we are today because we did something wrong it the past. We should be judged on what we are contributing to society today. Kristin admits her failures; she inspires women all over the world, is a career driven woman and a devoted mother. Her blogs are a source of inspiration for me and I will continue to enjoy them.

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