Many people like to say that there's a time to bring every good thing to an end. "Leave while you're on top," they say. Well, I don't agree. There's something a little too perfect in that phrase, as if it's an attempt to mold one's own legacy. I like it when people push the boundaries of their interests and passions.
Lance Armstrong could have retired permanently after his seven Tour de France victories. He could have put them in a little bottle and moved on. But he didn't ... he reached further into this sport he loves, fearless of the effect it might have on his seven-victory legacy. I love that.
So now here we are at the end of Stage 8 of the 2010 Tour de France, and the final chapter of Lance Armstrong's career is about to be written. His string of bad luck has probably made an eighth overall victory impossible. But he will adjust. He can ride for teammate Levi Leipheimer. He can go for some spectacular stage wins. He can help drive the Radio Shack team to victory. He will keep fighting.
Armstrong's seven Tour de France wins will always be a monumental presence in those beautiful French mountains, the subject of my painting for today...
...but a painting for Lance's final Tour de France may be a quieter one. Rather than forging an unbreakable legacy, Lance is weaving a more human story this time, and that's great too. I can't wait to see how it unfolds.