I first learned about PEDs from a friend of mine back in 7th or 8th grade. His older brother was a star athlete and they told me that some athletes took steroids. "Steroids, what's that?" I asked. They also said that steroids made you big and strong. But the downside was that they also made parts a guy shrink. Baffled, I thought, "what, why would someone...?"
So current day, I see full blown high profile cases of athletes using. In different sports, with both sexes relying on them for performance and paycheck, I ask what is real? I think athletes all have to ask themselves what is real and what do I want to do with myself. More so, we should look into the future and ask ourselves, when I look back on my athletics, what do I want to see? What do I want to learn from my experience? What do I want to say to others and what do I want to say about myself?
PED use to me represents a short term outlook. An "I've got to get this now," and never mind tomorrow kind of mindset. But tomorrow when you are asked about that performance, what will you say? From what I see, athletes who win with drugs will usually lie about it - at least for a while, but maybe forever. That is something that goes against the very idea of personal search for exploring your own personal limits. Is that worth it?
It also represents some kind of entitlement i.e. the "I deserve this" kind of attitude. Those who make the argument that they indulge to keep up with the other athletes in their sport who they believe are indulging is pure bs to me. As a coach, I say, go out and compete. Find out who and what is out there. But find our where you truly are in the arena. You will always have that piece of mind of who you really are and what you are truly capable of. That in itself is priceless.