18 December 2009


This week was brutal, not in terms of training, but some things more close to home. Alaina and I lost a dear friend, Brooke Paquin and her boyfriend, Tristan Hanna in a tragic car accident. Brooke was Alaina's college roommate for three years. The story—I will skip the grim details—was tragic to say the least. Tristan and Brooke had dated for over two years. Tristan had planned on proposing to her this very weekend. Tristan's sister spoke about accompanying him to pick out the ring. Tristan and Brooke had packed up his belongings in his car and were returning from a post he held as a visiting nurse in North Carolina. Anxious to get back home and start a new chapter of their young lives together, it was tragically and suddenly cut short. My thoughts and prayers go out to their families. Being a father, a husband, and a brother, I can not even begin to imagine the grief their families are suffering having to say goodbye in an unexpected and premature way. I only knew Brooke for a short time, but she was important in my wife's life, so she is important to me as well. Our last correspondence was about her coming for a visit to see the kids upon her return from North Carolina.

If if that was not bad enough, after returning home from the funeral, the wife of another close friend told us that her husband was just diagnosed with testicular cancer. He went in for blood work this morning, and by afternoon, his doctor told him that they had to perform surgery today. I drove his wife to the hospital tonight right before going to the gym to get in a swim. I felt guilty, as if I should be doing something more to help my friend. As morbid as it might sound, the age old adage goes, "things happen in threes," and my wife and I can not help feeling anxious waiting for the proverbial "other foot to drop."

When tragedies and life altering events like this occur, it reminds me that training and performing well in triathlon should always take second place to the people we love. It reminds me not to take for granted my relationship with my parents, my siblings, my wife, and my friends. It reminds me that every time I leave my house to go somewhere, I need to hug and kiss every member of my family because I love them and want to continually remind them of that. At the same time, it reminds me to make the most of the gifts that God has given me, and to use time wisely and efficiently when I am spending time away from the people that matter most in my life.

Now go remind someone how much you love them!

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