|A Look from the Inside...|
It amazes me sometimes the perception the general public has of people on the stage. I have been lucky in a certain way during my career that I have never gotten too much media attention. I am not saying I wouldn’t want more, most human beings have that level of ego where they like a certain amount of attention, but with that, comes a certain amount of invasion of privacy and whichever way the media want to portray you, is the way you people out there judge that person’s character. I am not saying that society’s thoughts are always wrong, of course there are some bad seeds around on occasion, but it’s amazing how people can be so judgmental of another human being, when we all are fallible and none of us are perfect. Since they’re in the limelight, they are expected to be perfect.
This whole subject frustrates the f*$k out of me as I have had the privilege to know some of these people on a personal level and they are all human, just like you and me. Obviously, this reaction, this piece I am writing now has come about due to a certain somebody’s positive doping control today, and whilst I don’t condone doping, I know the man. I know him for how he has treated me and how generous he has been to other people in his life.
About six months ago, a very close friend of mine, had a life-threatening stroke whilst he and I were out training. It was an experience that I will never forget as I thought we would lose him. To jump forward on that story, my friend spent over three weeks in hospital and my partner and I drove back and forth from the hospital 2-3 times a day during that time to be by his side. This was also at a time when I was without a contract and had the threat of hence losing my house and assets, so it was honestly the most stressful period of my life.
This guy, of whom you have probably read about today, in seeing my situation offered to go in and spend some time with my friend, whom he had never met. For the next two weeks, he would go in to the hospital in the morning and take my friend coffee and breakfast and spend some time chatting and just hanging out, which in turn was a great help for me. During this time, this guy never once mentioned that his mother was in hospital with cancer. When I asked him in February at the Tour of California, he just told me that he thought I had enough to deal with at the time and he didn’t want to burden me with his issues. Someone so generous, so giving to others, and not expecting anything in return. THIS IS REALITY PEOPLE! Not what you see on the TV, not what you read in the newspapers or in magazines. So as I, stupidly I must admit, read through some comments on Facebook, our sick addiction for wanting to know everything that is going on, I am frustrated, angry and upset for the way some people are quick to condemn and judge. I bet you are not all that perfect either.
All I wish for is that society can put life into perspective, what is really important in this world, and that underneath, everyone is fallible and has similar insecurities like the rest of us. Treat people the way they treat you, because who gave you the right to act as god?