Wednesday, November 4, 2009

El Tour de Tucson - Dedication to Jim Smith

I am dedicating my ride in El Tour to Jim Smith, a good friend of mine, who died this past summer after a two year bout with a brain tumor.  I worked with Jim, but then we became friends and really got to know each other.  He was a brother in Christ, a loving husband and father and loved by so many people.  During his final two years, we would meet at the hospital, rehab center, Starbucks and even at his office, when he was feeling better.  He was always positive, always smiling and confident.  Even when he knew that he was up against it and might not survive this, he just chose to find the upside and spend the rest of his days showing love and encouragement to all around him.  You just felt better around him, this big smiling, happy guy who was tolerant, smart and kind to everyone.  His favorite word was "AWESOME", which he used in just about every other sentence.  This was his way of expressing his own upbeat attitude and giving encouragement to anyone near him. 

I could not stop crying at his funeral.  He was too good to lose and we all knew it.  I cry when I think of him now.  I started this blog because I know that I am not very disciplined, not athletic and would need encouragement, even from strangers.  Thankfully, I have received that already.  I know that if Jim is able to watch from Heaven, he is encouraging me now. 

Recently, I learned that his four boys are benefitting from Tu Nidito, a Tucson-based organization that helps children who have lost a parent.  So, now I am raising funds for Tu Nidito, which is affiliated with El Tour. 

As I train and race in El Tour, I will think of Jimmy, his wife and boys and dedicate my efforts to him. 


Anonymous said...

Dear Clyde,

Good to hear about your improving amount of miles ridden; I think your discipline is paying off. We have sent a donation to your charity and hope that it will be matched by your firm.

xxxooo Big Jude

Susietri said...

Hi Big Clyde, came over to say hi and say a pretty intense posting that deserves more time than I have right now.

My advice for starting out, embrace the lifestyle, make it a permanent change, what you are leaving behind can't hold a candle to the incredible feeling of using your body for what it was made for. I see you are a religious man and I know many get a lot of strength in the journey from their faith. Whatever moves us forward on a personal basis just gets better on the journey.

Big Clyde said...

Thanks to Big Jude and Susietri!

I appreciate the encouragement and advice very much! It helps to keep me going.

Big Clyde

Cody the Clydesdale said...

I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of a good friend of yours. Rejoice that u & he are followers of Christ so u will see each other again.

I don't post blog comments a lot because I read blogs on my phone & my phone doesn't have the ability to post comments, but I've been following your blog. I'm really excited to see how you progress.

Triathlon is the best sport ever, & the most suportive & close knit division in triathlon is the Clydes. Welcome aboard fellow Clyd!!!!! It's an awsome ride!!!!