OK... sad first.
28 year old, Jason Eberhardt passed away in a horrible accident on Saturday. Jason was the manager of the Village CycleSport Elk Grove store for the last few years and is the son of one of the owners Joe Eberhardt. Jason was working on his car when the jack slipped or failed and the car came down on him. The irony of his death is when Marc Fidrich died the same way a few months ago, we talked about how Jason was afraid that the same death could happen to him. Irony sucks sometimes.
As several of us discussed last night, when God calls you it doesn't matter how young you are or who you are your time is up. We may not understand it here on Earth, but I have faith that we all will understand it one day. The way I see it you have a choice. A) Become a bitter, mean person for your loss; or B) Open your heart and choose to be greater for knowing someone who passed away before you. It might sound corny, but it is my blog and I believe that life should be celebrated. There are too many mean, negative people in this world. Some read this blog. I can only hope some of this gets through their thick skulls one day.
I've known Jason since he was 15 and I first waddled into Village CycleSport. In the Village family, nobody laughed at me, then an obese 5'8" balding guy saying he wanted to "do triathlons and maybe Ironman one day". I was introduced to the greats like Tony Kowalcyzk, Dave Poulin and invited to workout with the guys. They supported me and believed in me all the way. Even through 24 months of injuries and me packing on some extra weight - Village has still supported me. I feel renewed when I visit the shop and try that much harder because I don't want to let them down any longer. I will be back and competing at a high level one day soon and Village will be a primary reason. I'm not the only one the Village family has helped. There are dozens of athletes who owe Village a great deal. That's why I use the phrase "Village family".
A family supports you no matter what. You celebrate the good times and endure the bad times together.
Speaking of enduring the bad times, congratulations to Marit for her outstanding first Ironman in Idaho (known as "spudman" in this house).
Marit, crashed badly about 18 months ago and nearly ended her normal life let alone racing. Yesterday, Marit crushed Ironman CdA in a 10:47 and change in her first Ironman and second marathon where she finished... second (by only 45 seconds)! All her hard work and emotion pouring into this race was just amazing to watch online. I only wish we could have been there live.
Marit is so much more than an athlete. Both she and her husband Nate are smart, fun people and I am so happy for them I could jump over the house. Dean, Russ, Lorrie and I visited Marit in the hospital after her accident twice. What is interesting... Marit and Lorrie may be related on Lorrie's father's side of the family. The Norge connection. Marit reminds me a lot of my sister-in-law Megan in many ways.
One sad moment this weekend - tempered only with the consolation that Jason is with God now.
One happy moment this weekend - so high we can reach the heavens. Well done Marit (and Nate) - every Ironman spouse knows that this journey isn't a solo one.