I just finished a great book by Tyler Hamilton and Daniel Coyle. It covers, in excruciating detail, the drug taking prevalent in cycling for the last 20 years – the EPO, the blood transfusions and the testosterone. Tyler Hamilton was a colleague of Lance Armstrong for 5 years and was witness to his pursuit of victory but whatever drugs he could get his hands on. Over the course of 300 pages, he dismantles all remnants of Lance Armstrong’s reputation (what was left after having the Tour victories stripped from him).
What he suggests drove Lance Armstrong to this point wasn’t a desire to win, but an innate¬†need¬†to win. So, that nothing mattered except whether he won the next race – not those around him or how he managed to gain those wins.
It is important to emphasise that isn’t the case. Popular opinion has often suggested that the way to win was to be aggressive with your opponents and do whatever it takes. However, a look around at modern sports shows this isn’t true. For every Tiger Woods, there is a Roger Federer. For every Diego Maradona there is a Lionel Messi.
And in reality, what matters in the end is how you judge yourself. I want to achieve as much as I can, but not at the cost of how I view myself. That is the main benefit from doing things the right way, peace of mind and how your friends and family will remember you when you’re gone.