Last night, I learned that Jon Obst, one of the best diabetic ultra runners the world has known and my teammate on the original Team Type 1 Running Team, had passed away. For me and for everyone who knew Jon, the news was heartbreaking.
Since I learned about Jon's death, I've been thinking about the stories I knew about him. It would be entirely incorrect to say we were close. Near as I can count, we spent time together on four weekends for races, with a casual Facebook relationship in between and since. But the thing with Jon was, you didn't have to spend much time with him to feel close to him.
Before I begin, I want you to know how good of a runner Jon was. If you look at his results, you'll see that he completed 36 ultra races, finishing 11 of them on the podium. Anyone who has completed a single ultra knows how deep of a well it takes you to compete in such races. Keep in mind, this list doesn't include the races Jon didn't finish and anyone who knows Jon w…
“And if you ever get scared, look on the bright side:You’ve got a new life.” – Amos Lee
Last month, I was diagnosed with Lyme disease.
Since then, I’ve tried to write this essay a few times.
The first attempt followed a narrative arc rife with
suspense, with a few years of frustrating doctors’ visits, mysterious symptoms
that came and went and the all-around sentiment that the batteries that powered
my body were no longer able to sustain a charge or be fully refueled at the end
of the day.
But if you Google Lyme disease, you realize there’s nothing unique
about that story. In fact, the reality that my own diagnosis came only two years after all of this started makes
this a much shorter story than it is for many.
The theme of the second version was more pitiful, tinged
with regret about what this had taken from me over the past two years and what
it might take in the future. But honestly, that one didn’t get far at all. If
there’s a good time for something like this to happen – and th…
Were he alive, my father would not have been on Facebook.He lived in three dimensions, not two. He guzzled cheap beer when he was healthy and sipped blackberry brandy when he wasn't. He cut firewood in the late fall, sometimes with an axe sometimes with a chainsaw but always with snot dripping from his nose. I stacked the wood, going from annoyance to indignation until I finally came out the other end With pride. I held flashlights while he skinned his knuckles On everything. Late evening he'd watch the ballgame with a beer. I'd trace the veins on his hands, smell the Old Spice on his face and the bubbles in his glass. The wounds on his hands seemed so fresh but not once Not ever did I ever hear him Complain and never Not ever did I see him -flinch.