Monday, April 8, 2013

Heroes

Today I wanted to surf but it is so blown out it looks like "Victory at Sea". I did go surfing yesterday and had a blast. Blackies was a little unorganized but had some decent sized sets. I stayed fairly close to the pier and managed to get quite a few quality waves. It was very crowded as was to be expected on a Sunday. There was even some police activity this morning. As I was driving past the Russell surf shop, I saw a female officer with her gun drawn on someone in a red car. I have no idea what happened but there were cops everywhere.

The rest of this post is not about surfing. Maybe you're wondering why I titled this "Heroes". Let me first say that hero is not a word that I use lightly. When I think of heroes in my past, I think of my parents, and of course my wife. My dad, although he was too busy working as a physician when I was growing up to spend enough time with me, was honest to a fault, brilliant, and loved his family more than anything. Believe me, he was far from perfect - short tempered, yelled a lot, and suffered from moderate depression and anxiety. But he still was my hero. My mom was simply a saint. Toughest woman I've ever known - beat cancer twice and fought valiantly against it a third time. I was a momma's boy until we lost her in 2010. My wife is the ultimate multi-tasker and my kids' greatest advocate. Super opinionated but a heart of gold, and most importantly she puts up with me. I've had a couple more heroes over the years but no need to go into that or this will get too lengthy... and boring.

Don and Brent after doing the "Blazeman Roll" together across the finish line.

Well, I have two new heroes. I have mentioned in a previous post about my friend Don Young and his battle with ALS. The bravery, dignity, perseverance and even humor he has shown is just plain, for lack of better words, awesome. Don would not think of himself as a hero, just a guy trying to live out his remaining time with his wife, kids and friends the best he can. But his attitude of live each and every day to its fullest and don't take life for granted is something I have truly taken to heart and I thank him for that. Yes Don, if you are reading this, you are a hero my friend - at least to me.

My other hero fits into this story quite well. Brent Bieshaar is another high school football teammate and friend. Brent, an avid mountain biker living in Colorado, became involved in off-road triathlon races, (three-sport races which include swimming, mountain biking, and trail running). From there, things get interesting. He had followed the plight of triathlete Jon Blais and how he had competed in the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii - with ALS. He passed away in 2007. At a high school reunion, Brent found out about Don's diagnosis and decided that he was going to do every XTERRA event for the entire season to raise money for the study and hopeful cure of this horrible disease. On Saturday I drove out to San Dimas and along with Don and his family and Brent's wife Paula, had the privilege of watching Brent complete his third of 23, that's right, TWENTY THREE of these events, most of them of on consecutive weekends! He and his amazing wife are traveling around the country to the different events and spreading the word. This guy is 48-49 years old and is charging hard. He is a warrior and I'm proud to know him. You can read more about their adventure here: http://www.xterraacrossamerica.com/

1 comment:

mcope said...

I was wrong, it's 24 races!