Rebecca Twigg
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  1. #1
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    Too old to ride plastic

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    Sad story. Obviously there are some issues going on with her that are not easily resolved.

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    "... and they lived happily ever after" rarely occurs after.


    Life's trajectories are rarely laser straight.



    Best to Rebecca.

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    1. she has a skill in IT, and being Seattle, she could have easily taken many IT related jobs paying minimum 50k/yr doing basic Helpdesk support to 80k-100k/yr for Sys admin stuff. Bottomline, she could have held a job but chose not to because it doesn't fit her character. Give me a f** break, a lot of people would be happy to have her skill

    2. she was divorced twice

    3. she abandoned her 14 yr old to relatives to take care

    4. it seems that she has relatives who were/are willing to help her thru some rough times by providing her a temporary roof (but she doesn't want to be helped?)

    So while being kicked out of the home at an early age can impart a dramatic effect, but she certainly has her good fortunes after that dramatic episode that she could have used to bootstrap herself out of the situation she is in now. There are many people who were just as unfortunate as her at an early age and never got the opportunities to pull themselves out. It's time for Rebecca to hold a daily desk job 8-5 like the rest of us. There is nothing mentally wrong with her, just needs to start working!

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    oh I think on the contrary this is a sign of something awful going on in her head. Perhaps something like bipolar or even a touch of schizophrenia. These mental diseases exist in high achievers too sometimes.

    sad story. she was such a dynamo, a beauty and still highly intelligent
    Faith is pretending to know things you don't know

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    An "issue" that can plague an individual is when your own intelligence "betrays" you as you recognize some of societies incredibly flawed yet accepted hypocrisies while at the same time, being told how wrong you are... twisted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    1. she has a skill in IT, and being Seattle, she could have easily taken many IT related jobs paying minimum 50k/yr doing basic Helpdesk support to 80k-100k/yr for Sys admin stuff. Bottomline, she could have held a job but chose not to because it doesn't fit her character. Give me a f** break, a lot of people would be happy to have her skill

    2. she was divorced twice

    3. she abandoned her 14 yr old to relatives to take care

    4. it seems that she has relatives who were/are willing to help her thru some rough times by providing her a temporary roof (but she doesn't want to be helped?)

    So while being kicked out of the home at an early age can impart a dramatic effect, but she certainly has her good fortunes after that dramatic episode that she could have used to bootstrap herself out of the situation she is in now. There are many people who were just as unfortunate as her at an early age and never got the opportunities to pull themselves out. It's time for Rebecca to hold a daily desk job 8-5 like the rest of us. There is nothing mentally wrong with her, just needs to start working!
    There was a lot left out of the article about mental health issues, but maybe in her mind being homeless is preferable to facing up to all that. Just a guess

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveG View Post
    There was a lot left out of the article about mental health issues, but maybe in her mind being homeless is preferable to facing up to all that. Just a guess
    I think people in these situations "face" things as anyone... the problem is in what "society"considers a resolution (remember when society's resolution to being an unmarried pregnant woman was to simply marry a man and make it work?).

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveG View Post
    There was a lot left out of the article about mental health issues, but maybe in her mind being homeless is preferable to facing up to all that. Just a guess
    Could be. But she is far far from being helpless. She has the skills, the intellect, the support, such that she could have pulled herself back up, and she still can do it right at this moment. The level of intellegence and abstration of this woman doesn't tell me she has a mental discorder (I'm talking about disorders that is certifiably defined by psychiatry).

    What she cannot expect in life is... she cannot expect life to treat her like a queen when she was a cycling prodigy. That time has passed. It's now for her to accept a civilian 8-5 desk job. Idk, she seems to have the same problem that many millenials are having, i.e., low motivation to work on jobs they don't like,.. then they go out on a tagent of mainstream life... and become a burden to society.

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    Elite-level athletes who find themselves aimless and unable to function outside of sport are all too common. Some were paid far, far better during their careers, so their ability to support themselves without a "real job" yet do nothing of substance for the remainder of their lives is greatly increased. Others struggle, because they didn't earn enough during their careers to coast.

    More than a few former professional riders are low-wage bike mechanics (not to disparage the profession) or performing similar tasks that don't fully exploit their true potential. Some prefer it this way, after years of pressure to perform. Some just can't see any other possibilities.

    When you dedicate your life at a very early age to a pursuit that is good only up to your 20s-30s, you have a lot of life left that isn't part of that world, and all too often you are dumped in the job market with no broadly-applicable skills/degree and little idea how to navigate this new world.

    When I hear of a young, talented athlete opting to quit an elite sport at a relatively young age and pursue something like a degree that will set them up for life, I think, "good for them." That's playing the long game. There are few (relatively speaking) well-paying professional athlete gigs in the world, and even fewer that set you up for life.

    In Rebecca Twigg's case, without knowing the entire story (mental, substance abuse, physical abuse...), it sounds like she took a few too many hits post-cycling and doesn't know how to get back up anymore. She's found a place on the margins of society where she can exist, and has actively chosen to stay there. Unlike just about everyone in her shelter, she has publicity (articles) and a affluent cycling community willing to help get her on her feet. That she hasn't taken advantage of it says a lot about her lack of interest in improving her lot. Ask around that shelter if many would turn down the same opportunity. It sounds like she's found her place in the world, even if most of us don't understand it.

    Alexi Grewal is very similar in some regards.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    Could be. But she is far far from being helpless. She has the skills, the intellect, the support, such that she could have pulled herself back up, and she still can do it right at this moment. The level of intellegence and abstration of this woman doesn't tell me she has a mental discorder (I'm talking about disorders that is certifiably defined by psychiatry).

    What she cannot expect in life is... she cannot expect life to treat her like a queen when she was a cycling prodigy. That time has passed. It's now for her to accept a civilian 8-5 desk job. Idk, she seems to have the same problem that many millenials are having, i.e., low motivation to work on jobs they don't like,.. then they go out on a tagent of mainstream life... and become a burden to society.
    I get your point but its hard to believe that somebody that had previously been so motivated is now simply just lazy. Giving up a stable life and a daughter is not something I can comprehend. I don't think you can equate intellect and ability with being free of mental illness. In fact many famous inventors, scientists, artists, musicians, etc struggled with mental illness. Again, the article it too short on details (plus no interviews with family members) to conclude much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    Could be. But she is far far from being helpless. She has the skills, the intellect, the support, such that she could have pulled herself back up, and she still can do it right at this moment. The level of intellegence and abstration of this woman doesn't tell me she has a mental discorder (I'm talking about disorders that is certifiably defined by psychiatry).

    What she cannot expect in life is... she cannot expect life to treat her like a queen when she was a cycling prodigy. That time has passed. It's now for her to accept a civilian 8-5 desk job. Idk, she seems to have the same problem that many millenials are having, i.e., low motivation to work on jobs they don't like,.. then they go out on a tagent of mainstream life... and become a burden to society.
    You don't have a clue.
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    Another thing I noticed in the story was that she started college at age 14. I've read countless stories about former child prodigies who were allowed to start higher education at extremely young ages, and then ended up unable to cope as an adult. Same with musical prodigies and child stars.
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

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    Quote Originally Posted by velodog View Post
    You don't have a clue.
    Thank you. I was just going to post a similar reply, maybe meaner.

    So, the tendency of everything is to gravitate toward the mean. Being 3 standard deviations from the mean is very, very hard. Nothing fits. We have no idea what kind of demons this woman is fighting. She’s here... So on some level, she’s winning. People break. We are vastly more fragile (and vastly stronger) than we think. I’ll tell ya, I’d love to have the opportunity to spend time with her. I’d love to try to help create community and have her see herself as an important part of that community. Keep in mind, she hasn’t had a home in over 40 years. You can’t get inside her experience. Through all of that success, she is a homeless child. The “hell with her, suck it up and get a job” view is so misguided, so clueless (per VeloD) and so vapid... Homelessness is the easiest social problem we have to solve, we just don’t care that people are homeless, even when they are dying of exposure.
    To date, philosophers have merely interpreted the world in various ways. The point however is to change it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    Could be. But she is far far from being helpless. She has the skills, the intellect, the support, such that she could have pulled herself back up, and she still can do it right at this moment. The level of intellegence and abstration of this woman doesn't tell me she has a mental discorder (I'm talking about disorders that is certifiably defined by psychiatry).

    What she cannot expect in life is... she cannot expect life to treat her like a queen when she was a cycling prodigy. That time has passed. It's now for her to accept a civilian 8-5 desk job. Idk, she seems to have the same problem that many millenials are having, i.e., low motivation to work on jobs they don't like,.. then they go out on a tagent of mainstream life... and become a burden to society.
    I find it remarkable you can have such insight having read a newspaper article.

    I would have liked to have met her, had a few conversations, gotten to know her a bit before passing such judgement. Note that you may well be correct, but from the very, very few actual facts that we know about her current situation, I would suspect some mental illness.

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    a closer examination of this woman's thought process (in her own words):

    “I took to the road like I was born to do it,” Twigg says today...

    “Once you’ve done something that feels like you’re born to do it, it’s hard to find anything that’s that good of a fit,” Twigg says today. “Anything else that feels that way.”
    Does this sound like a mental illness? Sounds like a privledged person who is used to do things (cycling in this case) that came easy because she had a gift, and now she's not motivated to do anything else. She's cognizant of her own thinking, and it's time she learn to adapt.

    ...who have struggled with employment and are “confused,” as she said she is, about what to do next with their lives.
    She herself said she's confused. This jive very well with the theme that she feels she's born to cycle and taking on any other job is confusing to her. Pretty privledged thinking way.

    “Some of the hard days are really painful when you’re training for racing,” Twigg said, “but being homeless, when you have little hope or knowledge of where the finish line is going to be, is just as hard.”
    now she's comparing the pain of homelessness to pain of training. I wonder if a typical homeless person would have the luxury of comtemplating what it would be like to be able to train for an Olympics.

    Twigg got an associate degree in computer science and became a programmer for a seaweed-products company in San Diego.

    Twigg says the career wasn’t a perfect fit. She quit and started training for the 1992 Olympic Games
    Here we go with the "it's not fitting for me" again. Really? She should be asking how she can make herself fit into her environment instead of wanting her environment to fit into her god given gift to bike.

    The break with her career came in July 1996, at the Olympic Games in Atlanta. After a disappointing start to the Games, she left, saying the U.S. Cycling Federation was pressuring everyone to recreate the success of 1984. She raced in 1997, but placed eighth in the world championships. She retired for good.
    after failing to perform as she aged (a natural progression), she quit for good, but with no real desire to get back to a working life it seems. They always tell those basketball and football scholarship kids to "get an education" so that in case you get injured, you'll have something to fall back on.

    Twigg went back to desk jobs in IT, then back to school for massage therapy. It didn’t pay enough, and she was offered another tech job. She married again, and had a daughter.

    It was a far cry from winning medals for Twigg, and beyond that, she said the solitary nature of programming troubled her.
    Here she's bouncing between a job (massage therapy) that she seemed to be ok but it wasn't paying enough, and a job (in IT) that was paying enough but she didn't like it. Well, I have news, beggar can't be chooser. I know a few massage girls who are raising kids and while they do complain about their jobs at times, they also realize that they also have kids to raise, you know, a responsiblity to uphold. It's called priority.

    I have not read one word that came out of her mouth to indicate a mental issue. Can anyone point out one sentence from her that indicates a mental illness? And I suspect that if she were to try to apply for mental disablity, the state psychiatrist would reject her outright. She has all the support, family and friends, coaches, that a person like her could have asked for. There are plenty of less fortunate people who would have love the support she was (and probably still is) getting. Sometime you just to have stop feeling sorry for yourself and pick bootstrap yourself out of the hole.

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    I can only repeat what others have already said.

    You have no clue.
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    It amazes me the nonsense you spew.

    You have a total lack of understanding of a subject, yet you continue to disgorge your "wisdom".
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    Tragic situation - however what makes it of 'interest' to us is her cycling background. The same story has unfolded for so very many people across the country, she's far from unique. Possibly a mental health issue, and if it is again far from unique.
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    Quote Originally Posted by velodog View Post
    It amazes me the nonsense you spew.

    You have a total lack of understanding of a subject, yet you continue to disgorge your "wisdom".
    you say I lack total understanding of the subject. So that means you must be a complete expert in subject matter to make such strong bold statement.

    so let's hear it professor. What exactly is the mental illness she is having? Let's hear your medical analysis (as a state psychiatrist would analyse).

    Please man, this is the internet, you post an article, I commented on it. That's how usually the internet works, right? But since you're vocal about my posts, then back it up with your own opinions instead just saying "it amazes me...", because saying that tells me you don't agree with me but at the same time you know nothing to say either.

    Mental illness have specific medical definitions. Just because someone can't hold a job she's unwilling to like because she thinks she wasn't born to do it... doesn't make it a mental illness. It's a coping with life issue, some can cope with changes, some can't...but it ain't no mental illness.

    ugh, she herself has already said she doesn't want to make her situation into a mental issue... so she is cognizant of the fact that if she tries to make it into a mental issue, people would question her claim.

    i feel bad for her daughter though. I mean even a homeless deranged person wants a dog as company, yet she abandoned her daughter... and somehow have the capacity sympathize with the plight of other homeless people... her priority and responsibility are misplaced.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    you say I lack total understanding of the subject. So that means you must be a complete expert in subject matter to make such strong bold statement.

    so let's hear it professor. What exactly is the mental illness she is having? Let's hear your medical analysis (as a state psychiatrist would analyse).

    Please man, this is the internet, you post an article, I commented on it. That's how usually the internet works, right? But since you're vocal about my posts, then back it up with your own opinions instead just saying "it amazes me...", because saying that tells me you don't agree with me but at the same time you know nothing to say either.

    Mental illness have specific medical definitions. Just because someone can't hold a job she's unwilling to like because she thinks she wasn't born to do it... doesn't make it a mental illness. It's a coping with life issue, some can cope with changes, some can't...but it ain't no mental illness.

    ugh, she herself has already said she doesn't want to make her situation into a mental issue... so she is cognizant of the fact that if she tries to make it into a mental issue, people would question her claim.

    i feel bad for her daughter though. I mean even a homeless deranged person wants a dog as company, yet she abandoned her daughter... and somehow have the capacity sympathize with the plight of other homeless people... her priority and responsibility are misplaced.
    Inability to cope with life is a mental illness.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    you say I lack total understanding of the subject. So that means you must be a complete expert in subject matter to make such strong bold statement.

    so let's hear it professor. What exactly is the mental illness she is having? Let's hear your medical analysis (as a state psychiatrist would analyse).

    Please man, this is the internet, you post an article, I commented on it. That's how usually the internet works, right? But since you're vocal about my posts, then back it up with your own opinions instead just saying "it amazes me...", because saying that tells me you don't agree with me but at the same time you know nothing to say either.

    Mental illness have specific medical definitions. Just because someone can't hold a job she's unwilling to like because she thinks she wasn't born to do it... doesn't make it a mental illness. It's a coping with life issue, some can cope with changes, some can't...but it ain't no mental illness.

    ugh, she herself has already said she doesn't want to make her situation into a mental issue... so she is cognizant of the fact that if she tries to make it into a mental issue, people would question her claim.

    i feel bad for her daughter though. I mean even a homeless deranged person wants a dog as company, yet she abandoned her daughter... and somehow have the capacity sympathize with the plight of other homeless people... her priority and responsibility are misplaced.
    who assumes that mental illness is defined only in 'medicine' and always in black and white 'definitions?'

    Now I am not a PhD nor a psychiatrist but did get a degree in psychology, so I at least have gathered the basics of abnormal psychology as well as a basic education in psychiatry.
    - in psychology the mental abnormalities are more loosely defined in general. Most are 'clusters' of behaviour signs. No two people will have the exact same cluster of cardinal behaviours, despite being labelled with the same illness.
    - and the definitions are evolving yearly, as you will note the ever changing DSM (diagnostic statistics manual) editions.
    - Just about anything that interferes with normal 'functioning' in society can rise to meet criteria of mental illness
    - Just because a person has a mental illness doesn't tip them over into insanity or uselessless. NOT black and white. These illnesses are diverse.
    - too many mental illnesses afflict folks out of sight and mind of folks around them. This is a big problem with depression, for example.
    - in Twigg's case we have not much to go on, as she has not made public her mental health record. Which she has every right to keep private. But absence of data does not mean we can assume there is no mental illness. Can look at a similar case of Clara Hughes the multiple Olympic medal winner from Canada who later found herself in deep despair after leaving the ranks of the athletes, she was very open about her mental illness.
    - homelessless is strongly correlated with mental illnesses. No well informed person misunderstands this. A study done on shelter residents in Toronto found around 2/3 of them self reported chronic mental illness, though perhaps the real portion is higher since folks tend to not see their own mental illness, or have not had the access to mental heath care to understand and get a diagnosis.
    Last edited by BCSaltchucker; 04-17-2019 at 10:12 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCSaltchucker View Post
    who assumes that mental illness is defined only in 'medicine' and always in black and white 'definitions?'

    Now I am not a PhD nor a psychiatrist but did get a degree in psychology, so I at least have gathered the basics of abnormal psychology as well as a basic education in psychiatry.
    - in psychology the mental abnormalities are more loosely defined in general. Most are 'clusters' of behaviour signs. No two people will have the exact same cluster of cardinal behaviours, despite being labelled with the same illness.
    - and the definitions are evolving yearly, as you will note the ever changing DSM (diagnostic statistics manual) editions.
    - Just about anything that interferes with normal 'functioning' in society can rise to meet criteria of mental illness
    - Just because a person has a mental illness doesn't tip them over into insanity or uselessless. NOT black and white. These illnesses are diverse.
    - too many mental illnesses afflict folks out of sight and mind of folks around them. This is a big problem with depression, for example.
    - in Twigg's case we have not much to go on, as she has not made public her mental health record. Which she has every right to keep private. But absence of data does not mean we can assume there is no mental illness. Can look at a similar case of Clara Hughes the multiple Olympic medal winner from Canada who later found herself in deep despair after leaving the ranks of the athletes, she was very open about her mental illness.
    - homelessless is strongly correlated with mental illnesses. No well informed person misunderstands this. A study done on shelter residents in Toronto found around 2/3 of them self reported chronic mental illness, though perhaps the real portion is higher since folks tend to not see their own mental illness, or have not had the access to mental heath care to understand and get a diagnosis.
    ok fair enough. I see your points. Not all mental illness are defined by medicine yet, and the science is still evolving... and there are gray areas... perhaps degree and spectrum of abnormality... all fair enough. And we could sit here and debate about the science of psychology and psychiatry all day and probably not come to any immediate conclusion about this woman. Nobody in here knows her history, So, I was going only by what I read from the article because that's what was posted.

    Unfortunately, there needs to be a clear demarcation between an illness and a "general lack of motivation to cope with life" if public funds and policies are to be formulated and applied. Otherwise, every pothead and beachbum would stand in line with pencil in hands to claim mental illness and expect society to take care of them.

    IMO, this woman would have been better off in life if she didn't have a gift for cycling such that success come to easy. Without any special gift, she'd be forced to work hard and basically strive to survive in any condition no matter the adversary. This woman seemed to just want to quit as soon as her natural talent hits the wall.

    I'm curious about what her daughter thinks in all this. It appears from the article that even her daughter is not too keen on taking her in or reuniting with their mom. I mean, if my mom has a mental illness, I'd want to take care of her and not let her roam the shelters like that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    ok fair enough. I see your points. Not all mental illness are defined by medicine yet, and the science is still evolving... and there are gray areas... perhaps degree and spectrum of abnormality... all fair enough. And we could sit here and debate about the science of psychology and psychiatry all day and probably not come to any immediate conclusion about this woman. Nobody in here knows her history, So, I was going only by what I read from the article because that's what was posted.

    Unfortunately, there needs to be a clear demarcation between an illness and a "general lack of motivation to cope with life" if public funds and policies are to be formulated and applied. Otherwise, every pothead and beachbum would stand in line with pencil in hands to claim mental illness and expect society to take care of them.

    IMO, this woman would have been better off in life if she didn't have a gift for cycling such that success come to easy. Without any special gift, she'd be forced to work hard and basically strive to survive in any condition no matter the adversary. This woman seemed to just want to quit as soon as her natural talent hits the wall.

    I'm curious about what her daughter thinks in all this. It appears from the article that even her daughter is not too keen on taking her in or reuniting with their mom. I mean, if my mom has a mental illness, I'd want to take care of her and not let her roam the shelters like that.
    This is just awful. No one needs to read that vile and vicious content. It’s just mean and cruel. I’m so glad I’m not you... I’d hate to live in your world.

    So, no one can diagnose someone without a thorough in-person exam. But there are so many things going on here... Failure to thrive is a real thing. So is Major Depressive Disorder. The list goes on. its hard for me to believe someone can think sleeping outside on concrete exposed to the elements is simply not wanting to work. Assuming a world class elite athlete is lazy is a contradiction. She does have a gift, and lots and lots and lots of people that have a gift struggle with everyday life. The list is exhaustive... Michael Phelps has been open about being suicidal. Damn good for him, maybe he helps someone, as opposed to demeaning a failure to thrive and facilitating self loathing. I can’t... I don think you have the capacity to get it at this point, but like I said, it’s hard, very, very hard to be 3 standard deviations from the mean. Nothing fits. You think being left handed is hard? Try being a freak.

    There is no room in my world for outright cruelty. This is a real live person with real live feelings who is doing everything she can to survive. I’m guessing (clearly) you have no experience with homeless people. Clearly you have no level of human compassion. If it makes you more comfortable, most Americans don’t have any compassion for the homeless, like you, we are OK with losing hundreds of people every night in the winter. “If those lazy F-cks would just get a job they’d be fine. I hate my life, they should be OK hating their life too. If they can’t do that. Let them die.” I will never, ever, sound anything like you. Never.
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  25. #25
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    Again, we have no idea what the whole story is with her, her family, drugs/alcohol, mental issues, and any number of things. Her motivations and justifications are not revealed in the article.

    Is she simply not coping with the demands of our society, without any other issues? Possibly. Does she have some very deep issues (mental, physical) that are keeping her where she is? Also possible. We just don't know. Apparently she has been offered help and demurred for whatever reason, which is completely her choice.

    Me? I'd like to see her riding a bike again. I know how that changes my outlook and opens up possibilities for me. If she was in a comfortable (food/shelter stable) enough environment to have the time to ride a bike (and not constantly worry about survival), it might help open doors in her life. I could be wrong, though.

    Again, a couple lines on a page don't tell the whole story.

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