Grief strikes unexpectedly.

I belong to a Very fun website  Daily Mile.

It’s sort of a training log combined into a social media format.  You can post your workouts, and others can comment on them.  For the most part, you get lots of “good Job”  and “high Fives”.  Sometimes you connect more with people.

Lots of my great local running friends, I met via Daily Mile!

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Some of the less local ones were invaluable support when I was recovering from my hip surgery.

Some of these people I interact with pretty much daily.

One of them died this morning while cycling.

286404_266185183394732_2243856_oDale T. was a pretty special guy.  He and I became “friends” right after he joined Daily Mile. It’s funny because he was friending up cyclists.  I had tons of cycle miles because at that time I was still cycling a ton for recovery.

Dale was pretty awesome.  Through his posts we all got a glimpse of a man living life to the fullest.  He was married, had young children, a challenging job as a Pharmacist, and was involved in church.  He also managed to put up tons and tons of Cycle Kms each week.

His entries were FANTASTIC!

Normal entries read like this:

5am YMCA Body Sculpting with Beth. Today’s equipment: light, medium and heavy hand weights (12.5, 25 and 40), platform with 3 risers per side, floor mats and us. Awesome hour long class as usual, she worked us over pretty well triple sets of all exercises. squats, lunges, biceps, triceps, chest, abs, shoulders, also included push ups, mountain climbers, half jacks and more. super way to get the day started.

Dale’s training entries regularly looked like:

AWESOME-sauce! This SPIN took me to 557 KMs on the WEEK! This was my LONG week at the PHARMACY with only ONE day off in an EIGHT-day STRETCH… So I DIDN’T get as MANY out-DOOR rides I ENDED up with TWO out-door RIDES for a TOTAL of 197 KMs. It was STILL a GREAT week of RIDin’, SPINNin’, SINGin’ and SMILin’! Mmm MMM Good STUFF! LOVin’ it and LIVin’ it!

I woke up BRIGHT and EARLY at 4AM to be able to get my WORK-out DONE o START my DAY! After ROLLING out of bed and into a pair of SPANDEX… I JUMPED in the saddle and STARTED those pedals a-TURNin’! I rode the first 10 KMs at a moderate effort before it was INTERVAL-time! I did FOUR sets of 10 km intervals consisting of 2 KMs at a HIGH cadence (98-102 rpm) and then SHIFTING into a BIGGER gear and GRINDin’ (93-96 rpm) for the last 8 KMs… EMBRACE the BURN! It felt WONDERFUL to get the heart BEATING, the legs MOVING, the sweat DRIPPING and the mojo FLOWING to KICK-start my DAY and put that SMILE on my FACE! Now it’s time to get cleaned up and rest a little before work… Fun FUN 🙂

Today’s trainer ride stats were: Average cadence 96 rpm, maximum cadence 105 rpm, average heart rate 131 bpm, maximum heart rate 141 bpm, average 34.28 km/h and fastest 36.28 km/h. I hope that everyone enjoys their workouts and races today! Have a great day friends and HAPPY SUNDAY!

 

It was lovely to read.  Even with all of his responsibilities, he usually also managed to slip in a motivating comment on our workouts.

When I traveled to Toledo for my half marathon, we considered meeting up for dinner, but both of us had other plans….now I sort of wish we could have.

When I read the news of his untimely demise, I admit, I was absolutely gripped with sorrow.  I felt just terrible and so sad for his family.  It’s crazy how we get so connected to someone we have never met and then….bam…I never expected this.

I know he was active in his church….

and while this isn’t exactly a sorrowful song, I can kind of see him enthusiastically proclaiming…

I know For the rest of my life I will always think of him with the phrase which to me was his signature phrase, “Threw on some Spandex….” (I wear a lot of Spandex, so it’s unlikely I’ll be forgetting Dale any time soon, or ever…)  May he Rest in Peace.  May his wife know the peace that surpasses all understanding, and may his children know how much they were loved and cared for by their father.

It’s a strange thing…Online friends are not really “real friends”  We are often uncomfortable with admitting that we talk online with folks we have never met. Some people state that they feel they can be more honest online etc, but I’ve never felt that way, with me what you see is pretty much what you get.  I definitely do not think that interaction such as we had on a training log was any kind of deep deep relationship, we were friendly and supportive.  I had a lot of respect for how this guy balanced his life. I feel like being this sad is a bit cheap of me…but it’s hit me harder than I would have ever expected.

My comfort is that he did live his life to the fullest as far as I can tell.

 

 

 

 

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7 thoughts on “Grief strikes unexpectedly.

  1. I haven’t been active on DM for quite a while now, and while I wasn’t friends with Dale, I am sad to hear that he is gone. Online people come in and out of our lives all the time usually as they grow tired of using one site or another but the finality of this feels so strange. Sorry you lost a friend.

    • It really is strange Patrick. I am not one to ride a grief wagon-It’s a very personal time for a family and friends. I’m not really either. But…I’ve decided to work to make sure that all of us on DM know where to donate in his memory if we choose to.

  2. What a terrible tragedy. I always get so nervous driving around cyclists and always give them as much room as possible. This is a story that we read of all too often. Have a good ride for him…

  3. Holly, I only knew Dale through DM as well, but it hit me pretty hard too. He was always so upbeat, and I cannot imagine the pain his family is going through without him.

    Dale was like us, an athlete. We run down the road. We ride down the road. It could have been any of us. His death is a huge reminder of how precious life is and that we should always strive to live life to the full. Dale certainly did.

    The man who hit Dale is on my mind, too. It would only take a split second of not paying attention or not even see someone on a dark morning while driving to work for something like this to happen. I cannot imagine having to live with accidentally killing someone.

    Our lives can be so fragile, and they can change in a second. Without being able to rely on God for strength, life would be beyond scary.

    • That is the truth Cassie. I’m glad to know Dale was active in Church, and I have been just praying for his beautiful wife. It’s quite a bit of a comfort to know that he has joined heaven.

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