Sunday, October 10, 2010

Keep on Running, Rick!


Me, Rick and Meg - meet-up in Boston
This morning I heard the tragic news of the loss of Rick Held, a fellow blogger buddy I had the honor of meeting while in Boston this year.  I am deeply sadden of his loss.  He was a wonderful man - so full of life, loved his wife and family more than anything, an incredible teacher, a passionate runner, and someone I called my friend.  I never knew Rick before the world of the running blogs, but he touched my heart with his running struggles this summer and I was thrilled he was given the green light to go back out there and hit the roads running again.  Just through the world of words did I find a connection with him.  Though there are few bloggers out here on this vast land of virtual world runners and athletes that we actually get the privilege to meet personally, I truly do feel a connection to many - and Rick was one.  In the hour or so we were together, I told Rick a few times how, even though it was 3 in the afternoon, I had not showered yet due to a busy morning, and I apologized for my lack of appealing appearance and that I may smell some from an earlier shake-out run.  How ridiculous I was concerned about my appearance and hygiene, but I didn't want to make a bad impression on him or his dear wife, Kathy.  He didn't care one bit, he was just so excited to meet up with Meg and I and drove 3 hours out of his way just to do so.  He knew of the struggles and torment I endured during the winter and he just gave me a big hug and told me, "In the big picture of life, Jill, none of this matters.  You're here, you've been given the gift to run Boston, your hard work is done, now it's time to enjoy. There are no guarantees in life, just be happy.  Have a Happy Birthday, celebrate life and just enjoy the run."  I thought about his words often when things got dark trudging up the Newtwon Hills and I wanted to bail on that race so badly.  His words held me in there and I made sure I let him know that the next day with a thank-you text.

There are no guarantees.

As I watched the live broadcast of the Chicago Marathon today and my friends' time slowly tank well past the marks they wanted to hit, I was reminded again: there are no guarantees in life.  Just enjoy the ride.

Keep on Running, Rick.  I have no doubt you'll be running hundreds of pain-free miles in heaven!  Your words, wisdom and insatiable appetite to enjoy life will be truly miss here on Earth.

You're eternal running friend,

Jill

25 comments:

Black Knight said...

Rick runs in heaven now. Beautiful post that makes me remember a picture I received a couple of years ago with my rugby team in 1974 (yes 36 years go). Now 4 of us play rugby in heaven but they will be forever in our hearts. And this is the same for Rick, he is here, at the start of every running race!

Kate said...

It's amazing how touched your life can be by someone you never--or barely--meet. Sounds like he was a great guy.

Christi said...

Sorry for your friend but you are right he is running in heaven in probably the best places in the world! I will keep all his family and friends in my prayers!

The Green Girl said...

I'm sorry I never knew Rick but he sounds like an amazing guy. ::hugs::

DRog said...

Hi Jill,
I'm so sorry for the loss of your friend. He sounds like a great man...that's awesome you were able to connect with him.
-Derek

ShutUpandRun said...

My heart just fills with sadnes and my eyes with tears. He left you with some wonderful words and lessons. I will take them to heart and think of Rick today.

Leelee said...

I don't know you Jill, but I knew Rick through his blog...he was a great encourager and I will miss him too...I never met him, but he was always supportive and gave lots of affirmation...we lost a great running friend...

Karen R said...

Great post! I love those words that he had the wisdom to share with you. It is a great reminder that I want to be a help and encouragement to others.

Thank you for posting this, Jill.

misszippy said...

So sorry Jill! I remember the pictures of you three at Boston. How lucky you are to have shared a piece of his life.

Matty B. said...

What a beautiful commemoration of what sounds like a very, very special man.

I'm so sorry for your loss and sorry that I didn't have the privilege of getting to know him.

onelittletrigirl said...

Rick did not have nearly enough readers- his blog was awesome and so was he. I feel like I am a better person because I got to know him on a more personal level. I am deeply saddened that I will no longer see comments on my FB from him, on my blog or get his emails. This is a huge loss.

ERG said...

He sounds like a great guy and someone we all would have been blessed to know.

jgf said...

Sorry for your loss! Amazing how connected we become with people that we seldom meet.

Ewa said...

I wish I had known him.
Hugs.

lindsay said...

loved this jill. why am i the only one who can't find words? :(

thanks, for letting me tribute through you. big hug!

HappyTrails said...

So sorry for your loss Jill. It seems those who pass that we share strong interests with are almost like losing our own family members.

AM-GoalsfortheWeek said...

thanks for sharing his story, and your experience with him;) i'm sorry.

Anonymous said...

Jill, I am sorry for your loss! Ricks words are so true about no guarantees! Thanks for all your help with Chicago. I appreciate you as a Coach and call you a friend as well. Bubble Boy

C2Iowa said...

Sorry for your loss. Take heart knowing that your life has been enriched by his touch. May peace find his family, wife and friends. Prayers have been sent.

Runners Fuel said...

I'm so sorry for you the loss of your friend.

Whitney said...

I can't believe that he is gone. He was one my very first followers when I started to blog in February. I always loved his comments - they were always positive. And he always knew my abstract classic rock references. :)

Molly said...

I'm so sorry for the loss of your friend Jill.....

Marlene said...

I didn't know Rick, but I am so sorry for the lass of your friend. :(

Velma said...

This is so sad. I am reminded again and again to run in the moment

keen shoes said...

I like this post, very inspiring! Keep it up and inspire more people by your posts!