Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Join Your Place In The Foodchain

I got this comment from Kovas Palubinskas regarding my Doping post last night.

"Patrick, I hate to say it but the article is probably dead on. As long as there is competition, there will be folks who will cheat to win/place. Seems like it might be more prevalent in cycling, but I know USAT has mentioned it as a possible concern in triathlon as well. Bummer for all of us who don't, won't cheat."

He's right. But I just don't understand the logic when it comes to the masses. I guess it must be ego or insecurity. Because there is no rational explanation that I can think of nor is there a single pro-doping argument that the average age grouper could ever attempt to make.

And as to do it to win, I just can't relate. I win every time as far as I'm concerned. Another day, another workout, another fun experience for the memory banks. My ascension up the ranks of faster finishers, though a morale boost, is simply a by-product of hard work. My participation in Triathlon is a work in progress and that is the long term appeal of the sport for me. At some point I'll stop getting faster. And that's going to have to be OK.

I know a guy from years ago. He loved Charles Bukowski and wanted to be just like him. But (God love him), he could barely spell "cat". However, he could drink like Bukowski and even upped the anti with smack. Luckily he's cleaned up, but those were some scary times. And his writing career as you would expect went nowhere.

In yesterday's post, I'm not sure I clearly made the point I was try to make by telling that story about London. It may come across as romanticizing a crazy night. That was not my intention at all. Rather:

1) Nothing "cool" or "fun" or "good" lasts under false pretenses. It's a funny story, but was not worth the price.
2) I was absolutely under no pressure or obligation to act like a complete idiot. That was all me.
3) Because of my behavior, I screwed up and failed to deliver on why I was actually in London in the first place. This was very shameful.

Change the context of the above. It works with virtually any combination of goals and temptation you can think of.

Like I said I don't condone doping in the professional ranks but I get why it happens. Everyone else? Join your place in the food chain. Pros have had their careers destroyed (or died in the case of miss-use) by taking the drugs or their refusal to partake. AG's don't have that problem, so let's not make it one.

I'm going to have to let this subject go after this post. So I'll end it with this - I was looking at WADA's list of banned substances earlier today. I tend to do a lot of research when I have a stick up my a** about something. In an ironic twist, I am in violation of the guidelines. I take a beta blocker. These are banned during competition for sports like Biathlon and other shooting sports where a lower heart rate would be an advantage. So not only am I against doping, I have it all backwards anyway.


KovasP said...

Patrick, I read a great quote on winning by Bill Bowerman, legendary coach at Oregon: "Victory is sweet, but you wake up the next morning and it has flown." Doping to win is cheating yourself even more than others. Clean athletes do as well as they can and have to be content with that. Imagine winning and knowing you weren't even responsible for it, but rather the drugs you used. That must hurt afterwards. But hey, a pair of socks is a pair of socks, right?

Anonymous said...

I think people justify it as another form of technology. We go out for the newest gear, lightest equipment to shave time off the clock. To some drugs are just another time saver.


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