Two months ago, one of my friends that I met through my swimming, biking and running adventures passed away suddenly.
The endurance community in CNY lost a great and kind soul.
Jason was a fierce competitor, relentless in his pursuit of becoming better at cycling, at improving his skills, strength and endurance. After years of cycling, he had recently started to enter the world of triathlon. To push himself further, to learn new skills, to pursue new goals.
In addition to improving his own dedication to sport, he constantly worked to motivate and encourage others to push themselves, to stretch to new goals, to pursue their wildest dreams. And when those dreams started to seem overwhelming, he would lend a hand at just the right moment to help you to keep going. This often came in the form of a text/facebook message or more likely a motivational video.
Jason was one of the reasons that I began to believe that Ironman Lake Placid was a good idea, that signing up would be an amazing adventure and something that would never be taken from me. While I may still question the full sanity of pursuing the IMLP goal, I was lucky that Jason continued to provide support after helping to convince me to pursue this goal. Right when I was at my breaking point in the training, I received this video from Jason – it was delivered with perfect timing as I prepared to take on my 140.6 mile adventure last July. The support prior to and during IMLP from Jason and his girlfriend Kim was phenomenal, they were all over the course cheering and taking photos, helping to motivate and provide a little extra ump all day long. Truly a blessing during that long hot day.
It was apparent – whether Jason was in the race or on the sidelines – he loved endurance events and seeing people set and reach their goals. I am extremely fortunate to have gotten to know Jason, to learn about CX racing from him, and to be able to call him a friend while he still walked this earth.
Jason was truly an amazing person. It was seen with the outpouring of love that came at this time of terrible grief within the community, it was seen at the calling hours with the special honors that friends bestowed onto him, and at the funeral with a procession of cyclists fighting the cold temperatures and wind to pay tribute in the absolute best way.
There is no explanation for why certain people are taken from this world all too soon.
There is no use in trying to understand it, to try and make sense of the crazy turns in life.
All we can do is take advantage of the time we are given.
To pursue our goals. To try things. To fail. To stand back up.
To live the life we are meant to live.
In whatever form that may be for each of us individually.
Make your dreams a reality.
Live a life you love.
So with this, Jason, here is a motivational video for you. You certainly will be remembered for your friendship and inspiration that you provided to so many of us.
And Kim, please know that you are loved by so many. My heart continues to break for you. You were so blessed to have Jason in your life. You continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.