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Lance and the scorpion...
Posted by: Steve Trew
Posted on: Thursday 5th February 2009


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In recent weeks, Lance Armstrong has been headline news. Not only has he made his professional cycling comeback at the Tour Down Under in Australia, but he also spent a period training in Hawaii, much of that time spent on the course of the Ironman World Championship, again increasing speculation that he may well race Ironman. Those rumours appear to have some substance judging by a recent interview, and have gained further credibility from this interview with Lance's coach, Chris Carmichael.

So, how good would Lance be at Ironman?

Well, we thought we'd ask our own triathlon legend, Mr Steve Trew, for his thoughts. Of course, with Steve you don't just get facts and figures, so sit back and enjoy the story...


Me and Lance and the scorpion...

Once upon a time, there was a scorpion walking through the jungle. The scorpion came to a river, and because scorpions can't swim, he had to stop and think. Then he saw a frog.

“Excuse me, Mr Frog”, said the scorpion, “Could you put me on your back and take me across the river?”

The frog looked at the scorpion, “I can't do that”, he said, “You know that. You're a scorpion and you'll sting me to death”.

“Don't be silly”, said the scorpion, “I may be a scorpion but I'm not stupid. If I sting you to death, you'll disappear under the water and I'll drown and die as well”.

The frog looked back at the scorpion, “You're a scorpion”, he said. “How can I believe you?”

“It's obvious”, said the scorpion, “If I kill you, I die as well”.

So the frog bent down and the scorpion jumped on his back. The frog started to swim across the river... well, you know the rest, don't you?

They were halfway across the river when the scorpion doubled over and stung the frog hard in the back.

“You promised me!” cried out the poor frog, “You promised me, and after everything that you said, I'll die and you'll drown as well! Why, why, why did you do it? I just don't understand, why did you do it knowing that you'd die as well?”

The water was coming up to the scorpion now, he looked at the dying frog, sighed, and said as he disappeared under the water, “I'm a scorpion, it's what I do”.

Good story, huh? So... where does Lance (and there is only ONE Lance in the world of sporting heroes) come into it?

Lance comes into it because he IS Lance, and sport - at the very highest level - is what he does.

Can Lance do Ironman? 'Course he can! Can Lance win Ironman? In this humble writer's opinion, 'course he can!

Why? Because it's what he does. Lance is a winner, Lance is one those few true heroes who transcends different sports; one of those names that spectators, groupies, fans in whatever sport know about, actually know about.

Lance Armstrong, Michael Phelps, Michael Johnson; from a different era, Bobby Charlton, George Best, Roger Bannister. There aren't too many of these in a dozen, honest!

When I started triathlon, yeah, yeah, I know, more than a few years ago... Lance Armstrong was the fifteen year old wunderkid in the States; challenging Dave Scott, Mark Allen, Scott Molina, Mark Montgomery, Scott Tinley; those guys and demi-gods. And you know what, he was up there with them. It's what he does.

And then there was the cancer... and he beat it. He beat a particularly nasty, virulent cancer, a cancer that kills. (An aside here, a serious aside and that's not like me; three of my best buddy triathletes have had cancer, taken it on and beaten it; you know who you are and I wouldn't dream of embarrassing you by saying names, I truly wouldn't. But I admire you and what you do and how you live your lives beyond belief. I have no experience of anything like that; my nearest “brush with death” came just a couple of weeks ago in my car crash; and MY life is different now 'cause it's all bonus. Makes a difference, doesn't it, guys?).

So Lance beat the cancer and everything that went with it...

Climbing Mont Ventoux after that? Just a tiny piece of poo. What's a few hours of suffering compared with what he went through and came out the other side. Day after day after day... But actually, only twenty one days of the Tour, so do you think eight or nine hours of a bit of heat and humidity in Hawaii holds any scares or worries for him after the years in hospital when every single hour and minute and second for day after day after day was pain and sickness and vomiting and the worst headache that went on and on and on? Naah!

Lance for Hawaii? Oh yes... if he wants to, if he truly wants to. Because it's there and because it's what he does.

Steve Trew

(Steve Trew is still waking up with the sun shining just to light the smile on his face. All bonus, truly all bonus).


Steve Trew About the Author

Steve Trew has decided that it is OK to play the “IF” game in one particular area; that of age. However, everyone knows that triathletes are like good wine; the older the better. Steve can be reached for coaching and for training camps on [email protected] He is still taking his chances, still coaching, still writing and still commentating. We think it’s about time he got a real job.


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