Performance Enhancement

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I have written about this subject a few times and it is always a difficult subject to cover.  I know about the subject and I have been around it enough to write about it intelligently.  What I have not been is at the very highest level of sports.  I have never earned a seven figure living for my athletic performances.  Simply put I have never had the resources or motivation to participate in performance enhancement at the very elite level.

I can honestly say the world is full of hypocrites and liars.  I should probably even use the word cheaters.  As I age and my forties turn into my fifties the subject of performance enhancement among my peer group has gone from hitting the juice to taking the little blue pills.  One day last week I called in sick to work and took a day off.  My friends asked me why I was out for the day and I responded, “Erection lasting longer than four hours”.   We all laughed and went about our business.  In the back of my mind I was thinking that was a legitimate reason to call in.  In the same way that nobody ever admitted to being on the juice nobody is admitting to taking the blue pills either.  Yet both are multi-billion dollar industries with a much larger black market than legitimate distribution network. Everybody does it and yet nobody admits it.  The masturbation of my generation.  Who knows a few decades from now it may just be accepted that we juice through our twenties, thirties and early forties and jump on the blue pills at the first sign of getting soft.

Somehow we as a society have deemed it to be cheating to improve our lives and physical performance through the use of pharmaceuticals.  As a young kid that carried an Albuterol inhaler around to improve the quality of my life, I find pharmaceuticals to be part of my everyday life.  For god sakes there is a drug store on every corner and almost every person I know is taking something.  Maybe, just maybe, it is time that we back off and leave people alone and allow them to take whatever they want to take to live their life the way they want to live it.

I totally understand that these freedoms come at a price.  In the same way we allow people to drink alcohol and be responsible for their actions, we could do exactly the same with every other drug we are mass producing for profit. Why should society care what a person does to their body? Oh wait, I have almost forgotten that some of you are still fighting the abortion fight.  Leave it alone people.  A person should do to themselves whatever they want and it should be up to them.  Cigarettes anyone?

In sports at the elite level most everyone that competes is well aware of performance enhancing drugs.  I would guess that every boxer, wrestler or MMA fighter knows there is a strong possibility that their opponent has dabbled in performance enhancers.  When you realize the short stocky fat guy across the ring is the same guy that bought dozens of cycles of juice from you and he still looks like the pizza guy it becomes fairly likely that the Charles Atlas look alike may have better chemistry and discipline. Every cyclist in the Tour De France has to know that performance enhancement is more the rule than the exception.

Yes a famous MMA fighter has tested positive and has a TE ratio of 14:1 which is significantly above the allowable 6:1.  For the less educated, 1:1 is normal and anyone above that has probably been involved in some form of supplementation.  A good friend of mine popped positive many years ago at 84:1 and he had been off the juice for several weeks and was using a masking agent.  He took the test under near identical circumstances as he had on many other occasions when he passed the test.  My guess is that the MMA fighter is off the juice and his body is cleaning up and he will be under 6:1 prior to his scheduled fight.  Except for popping on a random test he would be totally legal to compete in his fight.  This has probably been the case for many of his fights and most other fighters as well.  The reason he did not pass is because they tested him too soon.  He was trying to abide by the established rules.

At the end of the day, I just want everybody to responsible for their own actions and for society to have a tad bit more reality in our morality.

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3 Responses to “Performance Enhancement”

  1. Jerry Prigmore Says:

    Your call to just “leave it alone” in regards to abortion only makes sense if directed at someone who sees an unborn baby as nothing more than a mass of tissue. When you ask why society should care what a person does to their body in connection to abortion and say a person should do to themselves whatever they want and it should be up to them, you ignore the very real and reasoned conviction that there is more than one body, more than one person involved in an abortion, namely the one who’s heartbeat is stopped and who’s life is snuffed out. You do know that, right? Your lack of understanding or acknowledgement of the other side’s point of view reminds me of a bumper sticker I saw that said “Don’t like abortion? Don’t have one!” Which, when aimed at someone with pro-life convictions is like saying “Don’t like the Holocaust? Don’t kill a Jew!”

    I thank God every day that those pesky pro-lifers didn’t “just leave it alone” when the biological mothers of the two little girls in my profile pic were walking up to the doors of the clinics. The seed of questioning those irritating people planted in the minds of those young women led them to do an amazing thing that not only preserved two priceless human lives and made a family where there could be none before, but made those women better people and spared them a lifetime of anguish and regret (and probably a fair number of physical health problems, too). And I thank God not just because of the extraordinary, intelligent, kind, funny, empathetic people those masses of inconvenient tissue are turning out to be, their incredible hearts and their enormous potential, but for admittedly selfish reasons, too – I don’t even want to think about what my life would be like without them.

    Yeah, some of us are still fighting that fight. We can’t just flick it aside without any real thought, like a cigarette butt or used syringe, and we’re not going to leave it alone.

    Morality is what it is. It’s not circumstantial or relativistic; you can’t change it by injecting more “reality” into it, which is another way of saying compromising it for your convenience. Or maybe you should have a bit more reality in your morality to accommodate my desire to can steal your credit card so I can get some Viagra and a carton of cigarettes.

    • victorshaw Says:

      I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog. I also appreciate you taking the time to comment. That is important to me.

      I am very happy that you were able to adopt two great kids.

      Morality is simply proper behavior and is certainly something that changes and evolves. Maybe that is where we draw the line and agree to disagree. My grandmother had her first child at age 16 and nobody really worried how old her husband was. In that time (1930’s) it was not even considered an issue of morality. I guess today, we would be very protective of our 15 year old children around men that are in their twenties. So yes times change and morality evolves.

      If your concern is the safety of small children that are not able to protect themselves, your cause is a worthy one.

      I do know that abortion involves a mother and an unwanted child. The definition of when that egg becomes a viable child is really a function of beliefs and laws.

      If we can avoid unplanned pregnancy we do not have to argue about pro choice or pro life issues.

      I drink coffee every day and I know and admit that it is a drug that I should avoid in living a healthy life. My coffee addiction may or may not be an issue of morality (I am not sure it is a clear cut call for most of us). On the other hand, it is my life that I am destroying. Of course society is going to be stuck with the bill for all of the Starbucks profits. Still I would prefer that America not legislate that away.

      Steroids and blue pills are being used by the middle class. Three million people use steroids in the US and five million use Viagra. 17 million Americans smoke pot. Still far short of the 47 million smokers. There are 131 million alcohol drinkers in this country. 170 million Americans had pre-marital sex before age 20. Yet we are regular attenders of church with 41% of Americans attending weekly. This is the morality of our reality.

      All of this and yet only 3% of Americans have ever been to jail.

      Thanks for your time and your thoughts.

  2. Jerry Prigmore Says:

    I think there is a distinction to be made between morality and changing societal mores. Somewhere, on the morality side of that line, I believe there are some absolutes. There are some things that will never be black and white, such as consumption of alcohol, yet the immorality of rape and murder will never change, even if society were to devolve to the point of becoming tolerant of them.

    Good discussion.

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