The following entries (from beginning runner to half marathon finisher) represents a continuing journey of tremendous grief and sorrow, and of transformation - largely through the therapeutic power of running. The sorrow that has broken my heart open wide has in time allowed me to experience the beauty of being in the present moment. And of course, without the support of family and friends to guide me, I would not have made it this far.

If you have lost someone in your life, I offer these words and verse (some Kristy's, some mine and others) with the hope it may touch your heart and help you heal.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Only weeks before Kristy's death she confided in me how life changing it was to have a coach that believed in her abilities. Someone who didn't hold her back because of preconceived notions of what she was capable of achieving. She didn't want to compete as a woman athlete. She wanted to compete as the best athlete she could be. She hated it when she was pigeon holed as a woman athlete. I know she radiated a feeling of possibilities when around others. It was just part of who she was and what she expected from others.

When Kristy was in Junior High she would go to the basketball courts to shoot baskets after school was out. Her first sport was basketball and she was soooo good. She would come home nearly every night with a story of how some group of boys would come onto the court and end up challenging her to a game. She would then proceed to totally shatter their dreams of grandeur. They got beaten by a girl. She was upset that she had to go through this day after day, but I could tell she was inwardly pleased to know she could beat them. There was never any question in her mind. Ever.

I would like to share something Kristy's friend wrote shortly after her death. This man's comments underscore the fact Kristy never bragged about her amazing abilities or accomplishments. In fact she was exactly the opposite. She was always thinking of the other person and how they might feel.

I remember the first time I met Kristy was at Shadow Cliffs for an open water swim. I had fins on so I could take it easy, or so I thought. Even with my fins, I felt like I was stopped in the water while Kristy would fly by me like a missile and then zoom back by me the other way so we wouldn't get too far apart.After the swim, I learned that she did triathlons and was going to ride her Cervelo for a brick. I mentioned that I also do triathlons and we decided to go for a run after our next swim. I'm a much stronger runner than a swimmer so I figured I'd be able to hold my own when we did the run. WRONG! Once again, I felt like I was standing still.

Of course, cycling is my best event so the next time we swam the open waters of Shadow Cliffs we decided to ride our bikes afterwards. Although I was getting a pretty good idea that I was outclassed I just knew I'd be able to hang with her now. You guessed it...wrong again.

Although we had shared quite a bit of conversation throughout our few training sessions together, it took Google for me to learn that she was a professional triathlete and had just recently won the Auburn International Triathlon! She was a wonderfully friendly person with an incredible sense of humor and I couldn't help but give her a bad time that she was making a joke out of me, a middle of the pack age grouper. :-) She will be sorely missed. The only solace I can find is that she died doing what she loved doing and most people will live twice as long or longer and never achieve half as much as she did. I can't say rest in peace because I'm sure that rather than resting she's probably tearing it up up there like she did down here. Bless you Kristy.

George Brumm (Fremont, CA)

Today's workout: 6 miles at the gym. Finally - under 11 minute miles even though I went to bed last night with a bad sore throat and felt I was still sick. I thought of Kristy today when I was running. I know she would never let this kind of thing slow her down.

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