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I am a below knee amputee. More importantly, I am also Mommy to two boys, a very active 10 year old (Robby) and an mischievous toddler (Timmy). I have learned that being a parent with a disability can create some unusual and sometimes humorous situations. This blogger is available for hire! Let's talk and learn how a blog can expand your business.

Friday, January 18, 2013

My Last Lance Blog

During the summer of 2003 as I was recovering from my amputation and lying on the make-shift bedroom on the first floor of my townhouse, I was introduced to the sport of cycling. Let me be clear: initially, I was not pleased that Scott was turning the channel to the Tour de France every morning. Watching groups of men with names which were difficult to pronounce pedaling around was not my idea of entertainment. Although I wasn't interested, I was also too medicated and in too much pain to lobby for a change in programming.

Something happened after the first week of the race being streamed every morning. I actually began to look forward to watching the sport. I still wasn't terribly interested in the rules or strategy, but the feats of one particular cyclist caught my attention. It was during this summer that he Lance Armstrong legend was being developed.

Lance was portrayed as a superhero of sorts, a man who came back from death's door to demolish his competition. During this time in my recovery, I desperately needed a role model, somebody to demonstrate that it was possible to turn merely surviving into thriving. During my summer of physical and emotional turmoil, his accomplishments allowed me to dream that I, too, might be able to do something amazing.

It is both devastating and infuriating when a hero falters. In a society that seems to relish the failures of others, I remained steadfast in my support. It is easy to blame my naivete on my not wanting to believe that my hero was a liar. I think that explanation is too simple. To the sporting community, Lance was a cyclist. To me, he was a symbol of the possible during a time that I was thirsty for inspiration and strength. I am having a difficult time reconciling that my beacon of hope was nothing more than a false mirage.

My Lance posters, which once served as a source of motivation, have now been moved to the back of the garage. I was sad packing them away, but I also felt oddly empowered as it occurred to me that I no longer needed this hero. I have become the person that I dreamed of during my recovery so many years ago. I know that a happy, active and amazing life is possible after an amputation because it is my reality every day.

I don't regret being a Lance fan because through witnessing his triumphs, I was able to believe in the impossible. I began to believe in myself and my ability to flourish after my amputation. I owe him my gratitude for that lesson.  Learning the rest of the sordid story has left me feeling disappointed and melancholy. Clean or pharmaceutical enhanced, truthful or dishonest, the truth remains that Lance Armstrong had a profound impact on me during a painful time in my life. I still believe in miracles, but now I realize that the strength to succeed lies within me and not from a cyclist on the roads of France.

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