Every year now, Chip saves number 51 for me. I can never deserve the number, but I try to honor it. I give it what I have.
In 1969, Eddy Merckx rode his first Tour de France with the number. He won the yellow jersey, and also the mountain and points jerseys. After crashing out while wearing yellow in ‘71 (colliding with Merckx on a mountain descent, then getting plowed into by Joop Zoetemelk), and abandoning in ‘72 after contracting bronchitis, Luis Ocana got number 51 for the 1973 Tour and took his only win. In 1975, Bernard Thévenet was assigned the number and on the way to winning his first Tour also became the first to defeat Merckx in the Tour, ending the Cannibal’s reign. In 1978, Bernard Hinault wore the number during his first Tour participation—and the first of his five wins. I made a break a few weeks ago, thought we had it. Got reeled in. Went home and washed my jersey.
Bill…Betsy Andreu has penned another "I still hate Lance" piece this week and you have interviewed her in the past. I'm curious why you haven't asked her.. 1. You say Lance forced your husband to dope but you admit he made the TDF roster and raced clean? 2. You say Lance ruined your husband's career yet at age 35, he was hardly in demand and he was hired by Lance to be the assistant director for 2 more years. How do you reconcile this? Lastly, why does she matter?
I think everyone is just trying to get to the end of this however they might, and in the way they best can, and it’s messy. I don’t expect grace, or consistency, or reason from anyone involved. And I no longer expect we ever will get to the end — except by leaving the task to legend and historians once we’re all long gone. First we got together to make our Minotaur; now we’re busy building our labyrinth.
The dream starts with me looking past the peak of the hill as I climb home, and feeling that in some small but important way something has changed because the blue of my bicycle is the exact color of the bottomless depth I am riding toward. This was never one of the ambitions of my life but now…
Adulting: You can always feel it. You usually shouldn’t act on it.
Self-pity isn’t really a thought, it’s an emotion. And while life would be a lot simpler if we could just elect not to have a given feeling, emotions just sort of are. They are mental weather. Some are better; some are worse, but they’re all temporary and you’d usually do well to put on a scarf if it’s cold out.
But there’s a difference between feeling sad/bad/mad and feeling self-pity. Self-pity implies that you don’t deserve whatever is happening to you … which, of course, you probably don’t.
The things that make us really sad are not usually consequences of things we’ve done. The passage of time, desire for a life that is outside one’s ability to obtain, unrequited love — these things happen to all of us, and none of us “deserve” them. In this way, feeling self-pity about a given situation is not a lot more meaningful than feeling angry that you can’t breathe underwater. It would be so fucking great if we could! But we can’t.
You don’t know anyone at the party, so you don’t want to go. You don’t like cottage cheese, so you haven’t eaten it in years. This is your choice, of course, but don’t kid yourself: it’s also the flinch.
Your personality is not set in stone. You may think a morning coffee is the most enjoyable thing in the world, but it’s really just a habit. Thirty days without it, and you would be fine. You think you have a soul mate, but in fact you could have had any number of spouses. You would have evolved differently, but been just as happy.
You can change what you want about yourself at any time. You see yourself as someone who can’t write or play an instrument, who gives in to temptation or makes bad decisions, but that’s really not you. It’s not ingrained. It’s not your personality. You personality is something else, something deeper than just preferences, and these details on the surface, you can change anytime you like.
If it is useful to do so, you must abandon your identity and start again. Sometimes, it’s the only way.
Set fire to your old self. It’s not needed here. It’s too busy shopping, gossiping about others, and watching days go by and asking why you haven’t gotten as far as you’d like. This old self will die and be forgotten by all but family, and replaced by someone who makes a difference.
Your new self is not like that. Your new self is the Great Chicago Fire—overwhelming, overpowering, and destroying everything that isn’t necessary.
There were no sex classes. No friendship classes. No classes on how to navigate a bureaucracy, build an organization, raise money, create a database, buy a house, love a child, spot a scam, talk someone out of suicide, or figure out what was important to me. Not knowing how to do these things is what messes people up in life, not whether they know algebra or can analyze literature.