Heroes and Monsters

I have heard a lot of talk over the past few years/months/days about a certain boy wonder with a bike and a testicular issue who sells little yellow halos that you wear on your wrist and they make you stronger/better/faster/blind/deaf/confused.

I am not going to get into my opinions on guilt v. non-guilt, because what keeps catching my attention is one word.

“Hero”.

I have heard this many times.

I have also been told that he is a “national hero” and that my issues with him are my own and that he is still a hero regardless of what my opinion is.

Well, if he is a hero to you, isn’t that your issue?  What makes your issue better than mine?

Is it numbers?

Is it like prom?

He campaigned for King of the Yellow Prom and won and because I am not on board I am the weird one?

Maybe I am…so I looked up the word “hero” to see if maybe I had had one too many concussions.

he·ro  [heer-oh]

1.  A man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.

I pondered that for a moment and it is subjective.  I can agree that tackling cancer is indeed a brave and admirable thing…but then I remembered the big “28 Million” campaign and thought…well…all 28 million of us are heroes by that logic (which is true, but also makes him equal; not better).

2.  A person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal: He was a local hero when he saved the drowning child.

Hmmm…winning a bike race (or a gazillion bike races) is not heroic.  It is amazing and admirable and I would love to win a gazillion or 5 bike races, but if I did, I would know that I am not a hero.  I should only be a role model for what I do off the bike…and if I am a dick off the bike, then no child/adult should want to be like me.

If my child spoke to people the way this yellow-halo wearing freak does, he would get lots of hot sauce on the tongue and a good long “time out”.  I would also take away his bike, because letting them keep their toys when they have misbehaved is stupid.

3.  The principal male character in a story, play, film, etc.

Well…he sure is a character…but that is not what this means, so no.

4.  (Discusses Classical Mythology; moving on.)

5.  Hero sandwich

Yep.  There you have it.  A soup sandwich…because this guy is a mess.

I read and re-read the definitions of hero and thought that whether it is this one athlete whom I do not respect or a thousand other athletes, these are not the people to make heroes.

I think as we watch our alleged heroes fall in a way that we made possible because they are in fact human, we need to be more fair to them.

Should Lance fall, it will be hard and the public did that to him.

Lance didn’t build himself up to his status; and he didn’t bring himself crashing down.  Sure, he helped on both accounts but it is our own fault for constantly seeking out these perceived heroes that we turn into monsters as soon as they aren’t what we imagined them to be.

We need to start becoming our own heroes.

We need to become the people that we want our children to admire, follow, believe in.

As long as we continue to create these false heroes who are only human, we will remain a fragile society, disenchanted and disconnected from each other.

Look how skeptical so many “true believers” have become in the past 2 years alone.

I feel sad for them…and Lance.

Lance didn’t want to let them down, but really…they gave him no other option.

I hope everything works out quietly for Lance and his people…but mostly…even when or especially when I am most angry at him…I think about his kids.

I think about how they just wanted a dad.

Those 5 kids couldn’t give a shit about whether their dad wins races, so long as he is there for them.

What they have is a man who is making them and many people around them question more than they should at their young ages.

My hope is for Lance to shut up and quietly walk away and go be a dad.

That would make him more hero-like and less monster-like…and we all have both in us.

reference: dictionary.com – hero

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