to live, and then

Monday, June 13, 2016

This past weekend was a big one for races. I had friends at Escape from Alcatraz, Eagleman 70.3 and Victoria 70.3. And I was out there too, being completely neurotic and yet loving every second of racing alongside my Coeur Sports teammates at Liberty.


And while we were doing this -- while we were swimming and biking and running, hearts in our throats, cheering for friends and strangers alike, making mental notes about training and what worked and what didn't and what we'll do for next time -- a member of my former Seattle tri team was dying.

I didn't know her very well -- not every athlete went to every workout, and I traveled so much when I lived in Seattle that I didn't meet her until IMAZ last November. It was her first Ironman. She was nervous, worried about finishing. I saw her at breakfast the day after the race: On her face, that unmistakable elation that comes with completing a task you never thought you could do in your life. I remember hugging her.

She died from a brain injury she sustained in a bike accident at an organized event.

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Part of me feels fake for writing about this. We were acquaintances at most. I never met her family. I maybe saw her less than five times, if that. But the accident -- this kind of thing can happen to any of us, at any time.

I think about it every time I ride, how one split second can change everything. I think about it when the mister gets on a plane for a business trip. I think about it when my parents drive from Los Angeles to Sacramento to see my nephews.

This kind of thing can happen to any of us, at any time.

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I don't want to put things off. I don't want anyone I love to spend even a moment without knowing I love them. I don't want to think the words: "If only I had."

I didn't know her very much at all. But what I remember, what little I knew, was that she lived.

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