Monday, January 9, 2012

Nancy Reagan and PEDs

It is interesting to me when athletes and their entourage feel they should be allowed to use PEDs because everyone else is doing it or because they believe the benefits outweigh the possible dangers or etc etc etc.  So many that use truly believe that they are not cheating by doing so.  The psychology behind this thinking is quite intriguing to me.

Photo by: this image I blatantly stole from the
world wide web

The rules state that we are not permitted to use these drugs and still participate in the sport.  If the rules state that I am not allowed to eye gouge my opponent but I do so intentionally then I am cheating.  If the rules state that I am not allowed to put plaster in my hand wraps but I do so then I am cheating.  If the rules unreasonably state that I can only run five miles a week but I go out incognito to amass more miles because I want that extra cardio edge then I am cheating.  It does not matter if I consider a rule to be absurd.  If I choose to play a particular sport I should abide by the given rules.

This is not about whether the rules should be as they currently are or changed.  This is not a question of whether as an adult individual if you should have the right to put whatever you want into your body.  If the work you choose does not state that you are not allowed to put Performance Enhancing Drugs in your body and that is what you want to do then by all means have at it!  PED away!!!  Go be the most juiced up bartender or lawyer or carpenter or professor or cashier or poet or comedian the world has ever seen!

That being said, have a percentage of athletes been cheating in various ways since the beginning of organized sports?  Most likely.  Since my days of youth oh so many years ago I have said: If you beat me fair and square then my hat off to you; if you had to cheat to beat me then well… that is what you had to do.  For some odd reason it does not generally bother me much.  I have no respect for it and I do not condone it but neither do I dwell on it.  From what I have seen most people often do not deal with themselves honestly regarding many subjects and justify their actions in the most amazing ways.  I find that voicing a complaint usually gets me denial or reasons it happened.

Explaining one’s behavior does not Excuse one’s behavior.

I cannot tell you how often I say this.

Photo by: this image I blatantly stole
from the world wide web
Do not get me wrong I am not passing grand judgments on anyone.  I am a good person who has done some bad things also.  Although when it comes to sports I have my whole life been a by the book player.  But still I understand how and why athletes either turn to using or are pressured to use any of the myriad of drugs quietly available.  Money and Pressure and Power can be immensely convincing.  If you have ever watched young children play games you will see that most cheat on a regular basis simply for the sheer joy of winning and have no qualms about it.  Nancy Reagan would tell you to, Just Say No.  (Yes, I am old enough to remember this, Ha!)  But my guess is that even Nancy Reagan has broken a rule or two in her lifetime as well.

Ultimately though it truly is very plain, if you cheated then you cheated.  If you got caught you got caught.  And even if you did not get caught it does not change the action of cheating.  Does it mean be extra careful to not to be found out?  If that is how you translate it for yourself then that is the path you will take.  Does it mean become the person you claim to be?  Does it mean own up to your actions and do something about it not just talk about doing something about it?  Does it mean lay low for a bit because it will all blow over in time?  These are all personal questions for athletes to answer for themselves as ultimately we only have to answer to ourselves… Everyone else we can lie to… Or at the very least explain it away or place the blame elsewhere... And even then I find that we just as easily believe what we want our reality to be and our reality is whatever we believe it to be.  Acknowledging the truth would require us to be accountable for our actions. 

Now why would we choose to live in that harsh world?  

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