Monday, November 24, 2008


Hi again.... Training is going well.. Last week, I hit the 30 mile mark and will boost the total to 33 this Turkey week. Most of my runs were on the treadmill and I am getting a little faster, pace wise... Lifted twice for upper body and hit the legs real hard in one workout.

Been reading Tiki Barbers workout book. Barber is the ex- New York Giant back and much of his gains came as a result of overload work. Heavy lifts in a no frills gym. Saw a couple drills he does that I can try.

Read a little about the Lakota Sioux in recent weeks. I have an appreciation for the people since I worked in the Dakotas early in my career. Jim Tressel also wrote about the Sioux in his book "The Winners Manual".

The Sioux have a word "Woohitike" which means bravery. Its a central virtue of the Lakota Sioux. They believed that we all have it in us to be brave, and that we will be shaped and tempered by our challenges. Hunters handrafted bows from seasoned ash wood. One way was to find a young tree and harvest it and let it dry 5 years. The other was to search for a tree that was struck by lightning. The awesome power of nature had in one instant, dried and cured the tree. Such bows from struck trees would be of immense strength and would prove to be great weapons for hunting.

We all face adversity in life. Work problems, or workout problems..whatever the case, there are problems. We set goals and often times, we don't reach our goals immediately but we push on. My childhood buddy Darrell Nagy battled for several years to reach his goal. He wanted to run in the Boston Marathon. He was like the young tree that was patiently curing itself. Race after race he missed his goal. 7,500 miles of training...14 marathons....5 years. But not too long ago, at the cusp of age 55, Pudge ripped off an impressive time (3 hours, 43 minutes) at the Richmond Marathon and will be going to Boston in 09.!!!!!!!!! I am really proud of him. He spent 5 years and he fought and he fought. He never gave up!!! *** (Hoped to include a photo, but having download problems)

My long time friend, Eddie E. may have been like the ash tree struck by lightning. About 4 months ago he found out he had pancreatic cancer. He suffered the ultimate adversity. He was an incredibly strong man of small stature who took this adversity and he fought with dignity and courage. He proved to be a much stronger man. A man we all looked up to with respect and love. Eddie showed the ultimate strength and bravery or "Woohitike". But at 10:10pm last night, he passed away. This quiet, loving man was like the tree struck by the awesome power of nature. He was rare. He was a great example of a person who never quit and who found humor in everything. He was strong, but pancreatice cancer is relentless.

Two friends with two different fates. Pudge continues his race. He will train and he will enjoy Boston. Eddie's race has been run and I will forever, remember his strength, his humor and his humanity and his bravery.


ShirleyPerly said...

Very sorry about your friend Eddie. It is shocking how swift pancreatic cancer can strike down even the best of men.

Congrats to Darrell on his hard-earned BQ!

Rainmaker said...

Sorry to hear about Eddie.

Darrel did great - especially considering that was an abnormally warm and very humid Saturday that he BQ'd on.

Wes said...

Just damn, John. That was beautiful man. No sh**... I see why you are so good at what you do.

You do both your friends honor. I will pray to find their strength.

Formulaic said...

That was a great post!

You do your friends a honor in this post. You surround yourself with people of extraordinary caliber.

They truly possess woohitike!

If Tressel wrote it, you know that it's gospel.

jbmmommy said...

Sorry to hear about your friend Eddie, but thanks for sharing the success of another friend. Hope he enjoys Boston, he's certainly put in enough work to get there. Very nice post.

Feel It: The Factory Rider said...

Good training JT!

Just got to be the 3000 hit on your profile! Popular and a good writer. Keep the posts coming!


Viv said...

Sorry to hear about your friend Eddie, JT.
You always bring things to light so beautifully in your posts.
Great job with all your training, and congrats to Darrel with the BQ.

Missy said...

Cancer, cancer, it's a bitch, no two ways about it. I'm always so sorry to hear about 'another one' to the dreaded disease, may his family find some kind of peace in time.

rocketpants said...

I'm sorry to hear your friend passed so quickly. That is always difficult. I send my condolences.

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

eh. sorry to read about your friend, Eddie.

Trishie said...

Your posts are always so thoughful, so interesting.

Sorry to hear about Eddie.

Congratulations to Darrell -- that's an awesome time!

Trishie said...

bloggy question for you: how do you put a picture in your header on your blog? thanks!

UntPawGal02 said...

Sorry to hear about your friend Eddie!

Everyone is qualifying for Boston next year... I hope I'm one of them in a few weeks time!

Take care!

Trishie said...

Diff question than the one Lisie answered ;)

I'm trying to put a photo in my header but can't get it up there..


So sorry to hear about your buddy, but it sounds like he was a great warrior.

GP said...

So, so sorry about Eddie. It's great of you to always honor your friends and athletes, tell their stories and do it with such grace.

Sarah said...

Awwww JT, I'm so sorry about your friend Eddie. You really have a nice way of honoring your friends and paying tribute.

And congrats to your other friend.

They both sound like great examples of what it means to not give up.

THanks for sharing their stories, JT.

Girl on Top said...

That's fantastic for Darrell. I love how he kept on trying!

Sorry to hear about Eddie.