Thursday, August 14, 2014

Plumbing "fix"tures

I was holding off to be fairly certain of my status and not going off some fluke or hunch about how things are doing. However, at this point it is really quite safe to say that my surgery this spring was a success! I wasn't sure for quite a while as I dug myself out of a pit of inactivity, but now that I am out, I have surpassed anything I have been able to do at any point in the last 2 years with regards to pushing a safe margin. It may be a bit before I can say that I am back to normal, but the fact that in fairly short order, I am beyond my one-legged self leads me to believe that I have an adequately repaired artery that should allow me to progress to par again and hopefully beyond.

Things are looking good for 2014 and beyond....

Drawing a line in the sand

Can someone please tell me why blood doping or EPO is somehow different than using an altitude chamber. To blood dope you extract your blood and this triggers your body to produce more red blood cells. EPO is a pill filled with a substance that triggers your body to produce red blood cells. An altitude chamber artificially alters the air you breath which triggers your body to make more red blood cells.

Yeah, one is legal. The others are not. However, in practice, what is the difference? All three are bought fitness. It's not hard work or physical talent. It's a technology you paid for to make you faster than your competition. This is otherwise known as "cheating".

I see this all over the place in cycling. "Take this supplement and it will make you faster!". "Pop this pill and you will crush your competition!" C'mon people. OK, these supplements may be full of legal substances (maybe not) but just stand back and take a look at what you are doing. It's really no wonder that there is so much cheating in cycling. It's a clear path to crossing that line and the line, legally speaking, is far beyond the real cheating line. To me, if someone is popping supplements and using chambers and the like, they are already cheating. If you want to argue that it's legal so it isn't cheating then we have to bring up the point that these legal options ARE the gateway to illegal doping. If somebody is doing these things to try to get an edge, it ain't gonna take a whole lot to see that taking some EPO is a whole lot easier. The mentality is EXACTLY the same and the incentive is right there.

 I honestly have more of a problem with these practices than I do with the high profile world-tour doping cases. I mean I have a problem with it all. I can't imagine doing any of it under any circumstances and somehow feeling good about myself. However, these guys are trying to hold on to big contracts against a bunch of other people who are being all "doctored up" to go fast. The local, regional, domestic cheating is a matter of trying to get an fake edge over others for pride, and/or very little income. It is appalling to me that we all fail to recognize and we often even embrace cheating methods just because a governing body calls it legal. While at the same time we disgrace others who did/do the same thing, only on a higher level.