Friday, July 18, 2008

Live Like You Were Dying In Honor of Lucy

Tim McGraw sings a song entitled "Live Like You Were Dying." As I get older, I think more about the "To Do List" that I want to complete before I die. Today, this song takes on a new meaning.

I belong to an online community called Beginner Triathlete, BT. This community has tips and tricks, forums, race reports, gear reviews. Essentially anything that a newbie getting into triathlons for the first time or someone that is just trying to get better at their even would need. One of the greatest things about this community is all of the support you receive from people that you have never met.

One of these amazing people was Christine aka "Lucy". She passed away from a brain hemorrhage on Monday and left behind a husband and two boys. When the members of BT first heard that Lucy was in the hospital with what appeared to be a brain tumor, a call went out on the forums for prayers and support. Immediately the forum was flooded with well wishes, prayers and offers of help. Many of the posters like myself had never met Lucy, but had been the recipient of her support and well wishes. The forum became a place to post all of the things Lucy had done to help each of us.

Back in May I had completed my first Ironman 70.3 here in Orlando. Although I thought at the time I was prepared, when I finished what ended up being the worst run of my life, I was very discouraged about continuing my training towards the Ironman. I decided to post a race report on BT so that maybe just maybe someone else had an experience like mine and would post as well so we could commiserate. The second person to add comments to my race report was Lucy. Here is what she said:

"It was brutal out there . . . I think we ALL wanted to just stop, sit in an ice trough and then go running in the many shady running spots that we weren't routed through!!

Excellent way to tough it out tho...and who knows when the added mental strength from making it through this horrible run will help you out in another, more important 'A' race?

Thanks for hanging around to cheer on the last few of us stumbling through!! If I remember correctly, I think I high-fived you just before I finished?"

Even though I don't remember seeing Lucy, she remembered me. She posted on my race report to tell me what a great job I had done just finishing. And as I read the posts from other members who had been touched in similar ways, I started to cry. I wish I remembered meeting Lucy. I wish I could do something to help. Over the rest of the weekend, every time I had a chance, I logged onto the computer to check for updates. I was praying for the best realizing that the worst was yet to come. On Monday, Lucy died.

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow all over America, other BT members are running a virtual 5k to honor Lucy. The local running store in her town held a 5k in her honor, Hit the Trails XC Classic. All of the proceeds are going to Lucy's family. Many of the members of BT registered for this race even though they live hundreds of miles away, just to support the family.

Tomorrow I have a 13 mile training run. The first 5k of this run will be for Lucy. I know she will be there with me just as she was with all of us on BT. The rest of the run, I am sure will be spent checking off my "To Do List."

I want to thank you Lucy for making me remember that how you live you life is important. Thank you for reminding me that we don't know which day will be our last and we should appreciate what we have been given, what we have accomplished and what we have the ability to do. I am so thankful that I am healthy enough to train for an Ironman. I am so thankful that my daughters, my family and all of my friends are there to support me and lastly I am thankful that I have my "friends" on BT who support me as well.

I think that Pericles says it best, "What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others."

Christine has left behind a legacy of support and accomplishment that her family can be proud of! My only wish is that I leave behind a legacy as wonderful as hers.

This weekend no matter what you are doing whether it is spending time with family and friends or training or just relaxing, Live like you were dying in honor of Christine!


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