few minutes and then as happens at reunions someone else needed to speak to one
or both of us and we went our separate ways.
Fast forward to last December. Out of the blue Brent contacts me on Facebook. He wanted to speak with me about something important. He gave me his number so I called him right away. "I have been thinking about you ever since the reunion." He then tells me that he is going to do something that no one has ever done before, compete in an off road XTERRA triathlon every week from March through October (24 in all). Then what he says next floors me.
He had been looking for a worthy cause to raise funds for. Because my attitude was so upbeat, despite my diagnosis, he was going to raise awareness and funds where possible for ALS. He then told me about a triathlete, John Blais, also known as "The Blazeman."
Last weekend we attended Brents XTERRA triathlon (third of twenty four) in San Dimas. Where, along with the support of my family, Paula Bieshaar (Brent's wife) and our legendary H.S. quarterback Mike Copelan, I was able to do the Blazeman Roll with Brent at the finish line (Brent even put his 179 bib on me). I even scraped my forehead while doing it. To loosely quote Brent, " If you don't leave some blood on the course you didn't participate!"
People talk about heroes pretty freely now a days but I think a hero is someone who puts themselves on the line for the benefit of others without personal gain. Brent, you have stepped up and have become a warrior for those of us with ALS who can only remember what it was like to swim, bike and run. You have shown me that even though I wasn't the best of teammates that I am worthy of friendship. Thank you Mike and Brent for welcoming a rogue teammate back into the fold.
Brent, I will be there in spirit for the rest of your season and life (hopefully in Hawaii if we win the lottery). Thank you my friend for helping me feel, at least for one day, like an athlete again.
Rolling on the ground
Follow Brent's blog at the Xterraacrossamerica link above.