Late one night, I was browsing CNN.com as I normally do every now and then. One of the stories posed the question — “Do you still wear your Livestrong band?”
This query was posed just days before Lance Armstrong’s tell-all interview with Oprah, where he admitted to doping in all seven races in which he won the Tour de France. Armstrong himself stepped down from the charity he helped create a few months earlier, apparently on his own accord.
So, I signed up for iReport. I wrote a personal story. Those who know me know I’m not good with expressing emotions. I’m good at internalizing things. But don’t get me started on cancer unless you want to hear some stories.
I posted my simple response to the question on Facebook and Twitter. Next thing I know, people I haven’t spoken to in years, people I barely know at all and people I don’t know began sharing, recommending, “liking” and commenting on the post. I received emails and Facebook messages from friends and strangers. The support was overwhelming.
In all, the post received more than 2,000 views. I hope above all, the following resonated:
To me, this band I’ve worn for more than eight years doesn’t stand for cycling, for doping, for honesty, for dishonesty, for shame or for Lance Armstrong.
It stands for strength, for courage, for fearlessness, for pride and for life. It stands for Alex, Anna, Alyssa and Ethan and thousands of other kids and adults around the world.
I know that I’ll be getting some sort of judgment by those who see my band but don’t know my story. Those who hold some sort of grudge against Lance Armstrong despite only knowing his public persona and his public actions as a liar. But that’s the message that they’ll hear should I receive a snide (or perhaps supportive) comment.
Of course, I type this as my Livestrong band has gone missing. So, as I said in the article, I currently feel naked all the time. I won’t be getting a tattoo, as other iReporters had done, but rest assured the band will return to my right wrist as soon as it falls out of the woodwork (aka the dirty laundry on the floor).