What would you do to be best in the world, your sport, your gym or just the best person you can be. For sure, you must be willing to work hard and make sacrifices to reach a level of success. In the fitness world health is a major factor. Of course, there is a level of vanity and narcissism in us all. The tag-line is, look, feel and perform better (pretty narcissistic huh?).
Would you take a pill to be the best (career, goals, fame)? Should you be condemned by the public for doing so? Maybe you use(d) drugs to be the best in the world for ¾ of a decade, raised millions, helped countless people, and stepped on some too. Maybe your goals weren't as lofty. You just wanted to look better naked. I once heard of a survey that 90% of Olympians said they would take a pill that would kill them in 5 years if they could win the gold medal. Would you?
After all there is no free-ride. Could anyone take drugs and be the best? In my opinion, absolutely not! It basically comes down to someone's “God” given talent, hard work and commitment (drugged or clean) to be the “best.” In other words, great genetic and a good environment to foster the skill set (or good genetics and a great environment). In fact, most people fail to meet there own genetic potential due to a variety of factors such as: Failure to commit, a poor work ethic, or an inability to sacrifice. This may be as basic as lose ten pounds. Imagine the excuses to train for a decade in a month long 3500 kilometer ride through the mountains of Europe. Yes, training like that to win for a decade!
Professional athletes would be at that level doped or not. Maybe their careers wouldn't last as long, and possibly they wouldn't be first as many times. However, as stated earlier the dope isn't the “golden ticket” to the Wonka Factory. For those serious about achieving success (remember success is used here as a relative term) the vast majority exhibit a superior work ethic, mental toughness, and uncanny ability to suffer both physically and emotionally to excel at their chosen endeavor. For those up for the challenge, life revolves around training and achieving something that is so close but almost seemingly impossible to reach. So they fight, bleed, and sweat sometimes for years to get the chance to savior victory.
What will people remember? Will it be the hard work, the hours of training or maybe the bad choices made? How wrong is drug use, especially in a sport that couldn't award stripped titles to anyone else because all top athletes “pissed hot?” Maybe what happened in cycling, is no different to what happens with most big businesses. WalMart, Home Depot, and Monsanto work to be the best and the lessor business has to fold. Is it nice? No, but truth be told sport is no different than big business. Millions at stake and millions more in endorsements.
At the end of the day, whether the bells rings, the whistle blows, or the champagne flows. You are ultimately responsible for the path you choose. How you do it is up to you. Remember the choices you make (good/bad) also impact those around you. What makes one person reach for the sky while another can barely reach over their head? Maybe it's the combonation of passion, desire, internal flame, dedication, planning, and fear of failure.
Tell me, what are you doing to be the best?