It’s been a rough week for our community. Losing Michael Coyle was a devastating loss to all of us for the many, many obvious reasons. Please if you could, click here and make a donation to the Michael Coyle Memorial Fund, he’s survived by two gorgeous daughters and their equally gorgeous Mom. Give up your latte today and help a family who could use a little love.
We miss you.
In just a few weeks we will come upon the one year anniversary of the death of Heather Boyum, another taken from us too soon. I am really honored that the Rochester Moms in Motion have allowed me to wearing Heather’s tri top for Ironman Mont Tremblant. It’s something I do not deserve, and will do everything I can to earn this privilege.
Heather always had the goal of completing the Ironman, when her kids were a bit older. She never got to realize that dream, so I will realize it for her.
The loss of these two beautiful people has left a void in our lives that is completely indescribable. Too young, too soon. In the prime of their lives with loving spouses and children who need both of their parents.
The moments I find myself crying as I wake up in the middle of the night with anger and feelings of this is unfair…. I remember what these two amazing people were about. They were about life. They were about family. They were about giving to others and they were about humility. They have caused me to reevaluate who I am and what I do and most importantly how I go about it all.
We get to do this once if I am not mistaken. So it’s time we got up and started living like it.
I hug people more these days. I tell them how I feel. I love you gets said to everyone in my life. I hold people real real tight. Our family has become closer. We talk about the things we don’t want to talk about….. what if this happens to us? We talk to our son about it.
I don’t get involved in controversies that are meaningless. I have watched grown adults fight over things like…. well like triathlon (it’s an easy example). Triathlon? Yes, triathlon. This sport is a gift and if Michael and Heather have taught us anything about life, let it be that living is a gift and therefore sport is a triple juicy gift with a cherry on top.
Look at the people you are around every single day. If you knew Heather of Mike you knew…. that THEY made YOU feel special. No matter what. It didn’t matter that Heather won her first indoor tri…. she was more excited about you. It didn’t matter that Mike ran sub 3:10 in Boston, where he competed this year for the eighth consecutive time…. he wanted to know how YOU were. Mike’s brother in law said it best at his funeral yesterday…… he said something to the effect of…. Mike made you feel great about everything you did.
And he said something to the effect of this: The only thing Mike would chastise you for was saying you can’t do something you never tried to do. People like that are rare. How many times have you met an athlete to be told of their PR’s within the first 2 minutes of conversation. How many times have you waited for someone to ask about you, rather than you asking about them?
How many times have you worried about what others are doing as opposed to focusing on living your life 200%?
Mike’s brother in law reminded us that we can honor Mike by living our own best life. We can honor Heather in that way as well. At the end of our lives it won’t matter how many trophies we have. It’s okay to strive for them, don’t get me wrong….. but don’t put them in front of the people who love you. Nothing in this world is more important than our family, and by family I mean that we are all family. You and I… we are family too.
If you left this earth tomorrow would you be happy with how you treated others? Live like that then. Make people feel special. Why not? Why not? Why get caught up in ego and one – upping. Mike and Heather never did.
So let’s honor them. Let’s take the best pieces of them and roll them into who we are. Let’s show them that their lives DID make a difference and they ARE legends to us. Let’s show them how much we loved them….. by loving one another.
Days turn into weeks. Weeks turn into months. Months turn into years. I can honestly say that the pain never seems to get better with loss….. it only gets further away. In a weird way I like it that way. I never want to forget, I am afraid to forget. I want it to stay somewhat raw not because I want it to always hurt…. I want it to remind me to live in their example. Live in their footsteps.
I saw this at Mike’s calling hours last night, and it helped make sense of something so unimaginable.