10 March 11: Relentless Positivity!

by hillarybiscay

Nothing has seemed appropriate/ important enough to blog in the past couple days. I wasn’t even sure I wanted to write about this because anything I write will not do Sally Meyerhoff’s memory justice or adequately convey the magnitude of her loss and its impact on the running and triathlon community in Arizona and beyond.

But I couldn’t just not say anything. Although we shared many common friends, I was not fortunate enough to know Sally well. Luckily, however, those common friends had been telling both of us that we just had to meet. I feel very lucky that I took part in the Skirt Chaser 5k last month, because I got to experience firsthand what a bright light this girl was. After she crushed the 5k in 16 minutes, winning the race for the 4th time in a row, we sat down and had a long chat as if we’d been friends forever. I recounted to numerous people afterwards how impressed I was with this girl–how she was such a cool, down-to-earth chick, in addition to being an amazing, hardcore athlete.

The last time I saw Sally was just a week later in Costa Rica. We had finished our olympic distance race and were driving back along the run course while the age groupers were racing the half ironman. They had to tackle some gnarly hills and it was darn hot outside; everyone was either walking or pretending to jog. But there was one girl who was really running, plowing through the struggling men. We had a car full of pros, all of whom exclaimed, “Wow! That girl is moving! Who is that?!”

For a second I didn’t recognize Sally, because I was so used to seeing her rock it out in a skirt and pink compression socks (probably yet another reason our friends were determined for us to meet) . . . but then I realized it was indeed her in the tri-suit.

“Roll down the windows! We need to yell for her!” And we did. She won the race after winning the age-group olympic distance race the day before, of course . . .

Like I said, I don’t even want to attempt to do Sally’s memory justice in writing because I will fail. There really are no words. I think the best thing to do is to send you to her blog , where I and many others have spent a lot of time reading in the past couple days. We can all learn a lot from Sally there. She likes to talk about “relentless positivity,” which at one stage recently she claimed that she “needs to improve about 20 notches”–incredibly ironic since she embodied this ideal.

I will leave you with a quote from her site, which has also long been a favorite of mine, and comes from another athlete who we lost much too young:

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for. It doesn’t interest me how old you are, I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dreams, for the adventure of being alive. I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine and still shout at the edges of a lake, river or mountain yes! It doesn’t interest me where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after a night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done for someone you love. I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and truly like the company you keep in the empty moments in your life. Live more than your neighbors, unleash yourself upon the world and go places. Understand that this is not a dress rehearsal, this is it, your life. Face your fears and live your dreams, take it all in, yes, every chance you get, come close; and yes, by all means what ever you do, get it on film.” – John Blais


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