Friday, October 28, 2011

Living EZ

(Photo courtesy of Michael Maidwell )

Yesterday I asked you to tell me what you saw in this picture.  
What did you see?

Looks like a bunch of cyclist enjoying a ride.  Kind of makes you want to be along for the ride - huh? 

Often we on Daily Mile talk about what a wonderful community we have.  A community of runners, cyclists, swimmers, walkers.... athletes.   Ultra runners to Couch to 5k runners. All encouraging each other.  Lifting each other.  On good days.  On bad days. Inspirational.  Strong.  Hilarious.  There. For each other.  Each and every day. 

I watch and read posts and am amazed by the expressions of love and support.  For people for the most part you have never met.  Why?  Why are these people so invested in each other? 

There must be something in the endorphin's.  In our desire to be better people.  To be healthier people.  To be happier people. To be sane people.  It makes us more caring.  More loving.  More human.  Just plain more

So, what is the picture above about? 

(Sheila Mulder)
 It's a funeral.  Yes, a funeral. I bet you didn't guess that one.  The cool doode with the beard and white glasses riding the cruiser is Michael Maidwell, lead singer of the band Orange Grove. Runner.  This is the funeral for his father, Malcolm MaidwellHis father was instrumental in starting and organizing running, biking, triathlons, and kayaking etc. to the island of St. Maarten back in the day when these sports did not exist there. In May, Malcholm Maidwell died after a long battle with cancer.  For the funeral Michael and a relay of cyclists, runners and kayakers traveled around the island to Michael's father's final resting place out in the beautiful Caribbean waters. What a great tribute. All those athletes who were encouraged, inspired, & supported to get their kick-ass on because one man thought it was important enough to have these sports accessible to them. 

Think about if you didn't have access to your run, your ride, your swim. Malcolm made sure the people of St. Maarten did. 

When my father died 9 1/2 years ago my college girlfriends jumped on planes from all over the country and were by my side for the funeral.  I have to say it was one of the days in my life I felt the most love.  How strange is that?  The day I buried my father.  Yet, the amount of love surrounding me was immeasurable.  They were there for me at the funeral, at the luncheon, and then took my butt to an Irish pub afterwards and fed me pint after pint and made me laugh. Smile.  Breath.   My friends and I weren't then, but, we are now...runners.  

Just like Malcolm, my father's final resting place was the the Caribbean waters of St. Maarten.  It was much quieter affair for us. I took my dad in my purse with me on the plane. I know, don't even.  A little under his favorite hammock, a little on the beach, a little in the ocean.  At sunset.  We didn't have the large group that Malcolm had.  But, we had love nonetheless. 

I smile when I think about Malcolm's funeral. How amazing it must have felt for his family to have all those athletes embracing their broken hearts. How great is that?  Being in a moment of great sadness and being surrounded by a community of love.  

So much love that instead of tears you find yourself riding high with a huge smile on your face. 

We run, bike, and swim.  We have good days. We have bad days.  We struggle with our workouts, our injuries, our home life, our jobs, and just plain old life. But, no matter what kind of day we have, we know that at the end of the day this little community of love that surrounds us will make sure we are Living EZ.  

That no matter what, we are feeling irie, mon. 

Orange Grove - Living EZ

Suck it Cancer.


  1. Wow! I would have never guessed that was a funeral procession.

  2. Love this post! I never would have guessed it was a funeral..what a beautiful tribute. Thanks for sharing, Andrea!

  3. God damn you woman, why do all of your blogs make me cry?

  4. I love how he is smiling..what a great tribute to his Dad..and his band is awesome too!!