The cycling world is all a-flutter with the latest news about Lance Armstrong, announced — as is all important news these days — via Twitter:
As a cycling fan, chances are you have already seen this tweet, or at least heard about it.
What you do not know (until now of course) is why Lance has decided — again — to retire (again).
The truth is, I helped him arrive at that decision.
A Fateful Phone Call
A couple nights ago, Lance called me. He does that a couple times per week. The conversation went like this:
Lance: Hey, Fatty. It’s Mellow Johnny.
Me: Hi Lance.
Lance: Hey, I want a nickname too. Call me “Mellow Johnny,” OK?
Me: OK. Did you know it’s 4:18AM here, Mellow Johnny?
Lance: Oh, sorry. I can never remember whether to add or subtract five hours.
Me: Don’t worry about it. You sound kind of down. What’s going on?
Lance: My goiter. Hurts like crazy, Fatty.
Me: You should have the team doctor look at that.
Lance: You think I’m going to let him see this? The whole team would know about it in about ten seconds.
Me: Probably true.
Lance: So I’ve been thinking. Maybe it’s time I hang up the ol’ helmet.
Lance: But I mean for real this time. For keeps.
Lance: But if I did that, I’d lose all the perks of the job. I’d never win another TdF.
Me: So keep racing.
Lance: But I think I’m just worn out.
Me: So stop. You’ve had a good, long career.
Lance: But what if I could have had a really good year next year, but I quit this year?
Me: You sound conflicted.
Lance: You don’t know the half of it.
Me: I’ll tell you what. Make yourself a PRO / CON sheet. Highlight the points that matter the most to you. I think that will help you clear up your mind on the matter.
Lance: OK, I’ll get right on that. Thanks, Fatty.
Me: Good night, Mellow Johnny.
PROs and CONs
Then, this morning, I got a priority overnight package from Europe. Curious, I opened it up, and found the following.
And page 2,:
If you ask me, this explains a lot.