Sunday, July 23, 2006

Beer-Drinking Mennonite Wins Tour de France

Like most Americans, I don't really follow bicycle racing. But I have been following this year's Tour de France with a little more interest since Floyd Landis, the beer-drinking Mennonite from Lancaster, PA has been in the headlines. It's nice to see that an ultra-religious background and a fondness for beer and pizza are not insurmountable handicaps to getting to the top of at least one profession.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Fascinating lives from Mennonite and Amish backgrounds. I had heard that his parents initially tried to discourage him by assigning extra chores which probably toughened him more. A great achievement in the face of obstacles. When you contrast that with those who complain and expect more for practically nothing and cry "disadvantage" it's refreshing to see the success of someone like Floyd. I'm not suggesting that there aren't significant disadvantages and injustices, but there is always in every adversity, the opportunity to get beyond it with the a strong belief and sufficient effort.

Anonymous said...

I got a real kick out of the link to the humorist's article, getting off on the issue of beer and it's role in Floyd Landis' winning of the Tour de France.

Ich bin auch Amische said...

It will be interesting to hear more from Floyd the philosopher in the coming weeks as he's put in the media spotlight. He has an impressive humility and willingness to recognize that although he's accomplished a lot through sheer will and hardwork, strong belief and sufficient effort will not overcome every adversity. (I wonder if marrying a single hispanic mother has helped increase his sensitivity to those who face historical handicaps and/or institutional discrimination?)

Floyd refers to this in the excellent NY Time's profile that revealed the pain he endures every day http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/09/sports/othersports/09landis-magazine.html?ei=5070&en=22996e5bc553adc9&ex=1154145600&pagewanted=all


...Later, back at his house, Landis would finally open up a little about the pain. He would say: ‘‘Everybody thinks you can overcome pain if you want to enough, and let me tell you, you can’t. This isn’t some Jean-Claude Van Damme movie, where somebody can get shot in the leg and keep going. There’s pain that makes me stop, makes everybody stop.’’

He would keep talking, his voice growing softer. ‘‘My parents would look at everything that I’ve gone through and say that all this is God’s plan, which makes it sound like a good thing. But I can’t do it, because I have to work with what’s true. Things end. We’re all going to die. But until that happens, there’s really a lot you can do. Especially if you realize this is your last opportunity.’’

Amishlaw said...

Thanks for that Landis quote, Ich. He sounds like my kind of guy. Anony, I hope I'm not reading too much into your comment about "those who complain and expect more for practically nothing. . . ." Who would those be? Too often those are code words for minorities. We, who are advantaged, and I include myself, have no business complaining and whining about those who don't have the same advantages.

Debra Hope said...

And this evening, all we can say is "hmmmmmmmm." That Mennonite must have some amazing testosterone-producing cojones!

Anonymous said...

Regarding those who whine and complain and want more for practically nothing. I'm hearing more whining from the white, more advantaged members of our community who in some strange twist perceive some "disadvantage." There are many who have no clue about real obstacles to success. I will point out that this discussion no longer is relevant to the Landis topic.