Monday, April 30, 2007

Patience

Another Manic Monday has me ruminating on patience…

Floyd Landis - One can hardly ask Floyd to have patience these days, but I do marvel at how much of it he has displayed. I don't know how he does it, I picture him pounding pillows to a pulp every night when he gets home or something, but he manages to present a steady, self-assured, and good-natured self at event after event. It's easy to say getting angry and bitter doesn't do any good, but much easier said than done, so good on him for that. Keeping all that in mind, I do hope he and his team are careful about how they lash out at the system. They're getting royally screwed by certain individuals, and naturally and justifiably come out swinging. But I hope they take care not to paint everyone with the same brush. I'm not suggesting he kiss anyone's ass, but at least leave some room for some of the less rabid people involved to save face and come around to your position.

Fair-weather fans - you know, the ones that throw up their hands and say they're through with professional cycling - I've never had any patience for them, but I wish they had the patience to still love cycling. Oh well, their loss I guess. If you truly love the sport, the doping stuff is very painful, but you should also be able to see that there is still plenty of beauty, excitement, and tradition to enjoy every week. Despite an unfortunately-named show on an unfortunately-named channel, I laughed my ass off this weekend watching the Tour of Georgia and L-B-L, the racing was that fun. I could try to name everything I love about cycling, but suffice it to say, it's all still there if you just learn to take the good with the bad. Deal with the bad, sure, but don't let that bathwater keep you from years of joy with the baby.

The so-called authorities - some of them appear to be blinded by impatience in their quest to get all the bad guys. They leak results, take preliminary findings and run with them, and treat the accused with bitter disdain and utter unfairness before a case even begins. If they would only step back and take a breath, they might find themselves wondering where all these baseball players came from. I know, bad irony, baseball, but really, it fits so well. Those of us on the Kevin Costner side of things see it so clearly, and can't for the life of us figure out why the Timothy Busfields (calling Mr. Pound, Mr. McQuaid, perhaps Mr. Tygart?) don't have a clue.

Dopers - yeah, it's tempting to get all high and mighty and say they should be banished from the earth forever, but in the end, it's just sad. Sad that some with obvious natural talent lack the patience to ride on training and preparation alone, to rush what very well may have come to them cleanly. I don't know if Basso falls here or not, seeing how wrong the press can be, who knows what the actual facts are. But stepping away from the Tour quietly last year, and stepping away from Discovery quietly now, it's disheartening. Regardless of what happened in between, he showed great promise as a young rider, and showed great class and teamwork at the Tour of California this year, so it would be a crying shame if he didn't just let that carry him through a great career.

Johan Bruyneel - the Basso decision aside, what a gift it is to cycling and the fans that Johan has a great eye for promising young riders, and the patience to let them develop properly.

Levi Leipheimer - He could've curled up into a whiny ball when Discovery unceremoniously shifted him from the leader spot. But instead he showed his class, talent, and determination and let the riding speak for itself. Godspeed for a safe and healthy journey from now through July, can't wait to see what he does at the Tour.

Some will smile and snicker about how Levi's patience has paid off, how he must be relishing his restoration as top dog. But however much he's never stopped gunning for the Tour, I can't imagine he's happy today. He gained new respect for and friendship with Basso in California, and he loves cycling, and all of us who love cycling struggled with yet another tough day.

3 comments:

Theresa said...

Amen! I was directed here by someone who comments on the blog I follow daily, and she was right; it's exactly perfect and sane! We are talking about the same thing over at sarabest.typepad.com The First 100 Miles. I've seen your comments on Marty Dugard's blog or Trust but Verify. You are very wise.:)

owlie said...

Thanks Theresa, I've enjoyed your comments over at Marty's place as well!

JD said...

Really enjoyed your post - very well said! I'm with you (actually a lot of us are)!! You beat me to it, Theresa :)