So the other day was LiveStrong day here in Chicago and Jen participated by volunteering at this grassroots event downtown. It got me thinking about the yellow band that I've been wearing on my wrist for the last 4 years. Like many others I put mine on at the launch of the initial compaign that Nike put together with Lance during the 2004 tour. It quickly became a symbol for and reminder of my father-in-law Roger U'Ren. Along with so many others I have so many friends and loved ones who have been affected by cancer. But for some reason Roger has always been the one I associated with my band. He was one of the coolest cats I have ever known. Extremely personable, smart, athletic and no nonsense. His presense put the balance in Jen's side of the family. Everybody loved him. Flat out. And I know this is a weird thing to say but I miss his handshake. It was his hug and you knew it meant something.
I've been thinking about him because its the beginning of race season and no one on Jen's side of the family understands or takes in interest in what we do like Roger did. I know he'd be proud of Jen and all that she's accomplished over the last couple years. I only wish he could have seen her race. Jen inherited her father's mental fortitude when it comes to game time. She's a spaz all through training but come race day she is one of the toughest people I know. She has her father's calm.
We get to see what that looks like again starting this Sunday. Look for our race report after this Sunday's Tower Triathlon (Niles, Illinois - sprint distance).