Monday, July 14, 2008

Dedication

Adding to this slew of posts I'm finally getting to putting up today, I would like to make this commentary about recent events besides being too busy at work, doing new things like a normal person, and running on my injured legs.

On the morning of July 10, 2008, my high school track coach passed on as he was on his way to teach summer school. Just a mile or so away from the school, the car he was in jumped the median and hit another car head on. Knowing how careful and reliable this man was, most everyone believes he had some sort of medical issue at the time of the accident.

That night, an impromptu candlelight vigil was held at the high school. Two of my sisters and I all went separately, along with about 350 other people. I'm sure many, many more people who wanted to attend were unable to make it. Alumni who graduated from the 80's were there, along with fellow coaches, faculty, and students/athletes he inspired.

He was my English teacher (and my Government teacher a couple of years later). He taught me most of the vocabulary I know, but just as importantly, he made me believe that I had athletic ability. I went from nothing to going to scoring points at track meets to league finals when I was a freshman. The Varsity letter sitting in my drawer at home is directly attributable to him.

When I was the first nerd to walk into his classroom, he greeted me cheerfully. I remember that the day after my 15th birthday when our team won the meet with a 4x400 relay I was in, he declared that I had a magical birthday. When I was having trouble with mythology, he stayed afterschool to tell me exactly what I could do to fix that. When I complained about the pain or fatigue of hard workouts, he made some sort of sassy joke. Years later, when I needed someone to interview for my grad school class project (this was a few months ago), he kindly volunteered. Not only did he answer my questions, he also took the time to catch up with me, hear about my life, tell me about his family and the shows he liked to watch. I even realized that he still had a poem that I had written for him still on his wall. Little did I know, that would be the last time I would hear his jolly voice.

In summary of my ramblings, that man is partly the reason I am still running today. I would have liked to post links or pictures of him, but I will just keep it at this. He was an amazing man, and if I can become even half as incredible as he was, I would have lived a good life and touched many people as he had.

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