American feminist Gloria Steinem once said, “The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.”
She wasn’t kidding.
That’s how I felt watching snippets of the interview between disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong and Oprah (yes, she’s still around!) Winfrey today.
It was uncomfortable to watch, it was horrific to hear, and it almost sad to see the man who beat testicular cancer, who won an unprecedented Tour de France races, who made the world believe he had won those titles clean, admitted to taking banned drugs and blood transfusions.
It was all “one big lie,” he said.
It was interesting to see him confess to these sins — ones that he actually sued people for revealing, by the way — and I found myself feeling incredibly sorry for him.
Wait, let me explain.
I realize there’s more to this story. I saw the interviews with people who were bullied, threatened and sued by him. I know he brought this upon himself.
But have you ever told a lie, a huge lie that spiraled out of control? It’s hard. It’s not easy to come back from that. And I felt badly for him. This isn’t something that he can sleep off or feel better about after a long run. His whole reputation is in the proverbial toilet. People won’t trust him. People won’t like him. That sucks.
I hope this is a lesson for everyone: lying and cheating and living an inauthentic life aren’t terribly smart choices.
What have you got to lose by telling the truth? Because there’s certainly nothing to gain by lying.