I honored Rylie Cruz on Monday on her birthday and was tempted to just leave it at that. She in her own right is special enough to warrant the whole week as my who I run for. I then got to thinking of how many other people have come forward with their stories and decided to honor three additional in memory people.
The first person on my list is Bill Cowell. When I originally got the donation, I wrote a somewhat generic thank you as I was running in memory of him, but did not know his back story like I know most other people's. After the Hyannis Half, I joined some of my tri teammates for lunch in which I was able to learn more about this man. Bill is the father of my teammate and friend Melissa. When Melissa first joined our team, I was a bit intimidated by her competitive attitude and desire to push herself. We ended up bonding at the Patriot Tri two years ago and I look to her as a mentor. She taught me to push myself, expect success and work hard at what you want. She also taught me some amazing gluten free brands which I buy to this day. Her father fought a 10 year battle with cancer eventually losing the fight. I can't imagine going through treatment for that long of a time with the hopes of overcoming it only to lose in the end. What a strong man her was. Hearing Melissa talk about him at lunch showed me where she got some of her passion for life and strength. I am proud to consider Melissa a friend and will channel some of her energy and his strength on the run.