Two days ago, while doing a track workout in his hometown of Bend, Oregon, Steve Larsen, professional cyclist, triathlete, business owner, and father of five, collapsed and died from a heart attack.
I now know what the term flabbergasted actually means. Same with dumbfounded. I really still can't grasp this.
I have been lucky enough to have met and talked with Steve on a few occasions. He came across immediately as a sincere, intelligent, honest guy. On all occasions, he looked me in the eye and actually seemed interested in our conversations. As an athlete, I really admired how he raced. He changed the dynamics of triathlon, taking control of the race on the bike and working his ass off to put time on his fleet footed opponents. He first raced as a professional cyclist, and was part of the motorola professional team. He set the course record at IMLP in 2001 which I was lucky enough to be a spectator at.
I am really saddened by this tragic news, and at the same time, can't help but be narcissistic and equate it to myself. I use to think that if I were to suffer from a heart attack, it would have happened already - based on what I put myself through. I'm irresponsible in regards to my regularly getting physical exams. In fact, I don't even have a general health care practitioner (a doctor). I can't recall the last time I had a physical. Having a family, I have no excuse not to. It's not about me anymore. I have to believe that Steve had some underlying issue. Or maybe I'm just justifying my own lameness. Just because I exercise a lot and eat fairly well doesn't mean I'm out of the woodwork in terms of life threatening illness.
Back to Steve - he appeared to be a very grounded guy who led by example and lived more in his short 39 years than many do in twice this time. I can't help but think about Steve's wife and kids. I have certainly spent the last couple of nights hugging my family a bit more.
I planned on finishing my blog about the CT camp final day, but it seems a bit mundane right now.