Steve at swim start of 1985 Bud Light National Championship in Hilton Head(yes, a beer company sponsored a national triathlon series).
1989, chilling after the race
Steve loved scoping out new races in the early years of the sport of triathlon.
The inaugural St. Croix Triathlon was in 1988 and was originally a 1.2 mile swim / 34 mile bike / 7 mile run. Steve did this race in 1989 and 2001.
The swim portion of the race, being long and open water with major swells and no wetsuits allowed was right up Steve's alley. He loved the fact that before the race even began, the athletes had to swim 200 yards to the race start on a small island in Christiansted Harbor.
The bike course featured a constant sequence of hills and technical terrain and was famous for a huge steep hill appropriately called "The Beast", a single, short, "almost vertical climb". Many athletes ran out of gears and had to walk their bike up "The Beast". (not Steve :-) )
Part of the bike course went through town and I remember seeing all the sharp turns lined with hay bales, thinking to myself, "How could Steve ever enjoy doing something like this race?" But, Steve loved these 'wild west' type of triathlons with all of these challenges; the more challenges, the better. And to top it off, the hilly run was during the hottest part of the day, and as hot as it was while watching the race, I couldn't even imagine what it was like running in that heat. To me, I felt like I was in a sauna.
Whether it was the challenge of the St. Croix course, racing an inaugural Ironman or experiencing the kiawe thorns up close and personal at Maui XTERRA off road triathlon championship race, Steve loved exploring new frontiers in his sport and was in his element like a cowboy in the old wild west.
1991 Long Island marathon
Once upon a time
Through the Lens #35
Recently, I found a book (twelve ways to say I Love You) I had customized for Steve and gave to him on Valentine's Day in 2013. One of the pages where I had to fill in the blanks started out with "when they write your biography it will begin like this"
I was blown away with what I had written. Little did I know, a little over two years after giving Steve this book, I would begin writing his memoir; Slipped Away. Even more mind boggling to me was that what I had written was the very foundation for Slipped Away:
"Once upon a time, there was a generous, loving, kind, intelligent and handsome man named Steve who was a brilliant coach, both in sport and life itself. He saved a woman named Jean from cancer with love and laughter and taught her so much about life and love and pity parties :-) All life was precious to him, even two little baby mice he caught in the house and our two rescued bunnies.
These photos were in the recently posted video I made, but I think they are so good at showing the fun, playful side of Steve, they deserved their own post. Steve was quite the character and had a great sense of humor. He loved to make people laugh and his beaming smile was more than enough to brighten anyone's day.
I found these photos that I had never seen before about a month ago in their own envelope in another box of photos I had never seen (stay tuned for these in future posts). I found it curious that Steve separated out these photos of his lighter side. They are from all different locations at different times of his life, but they had the common theme of fun and happiness in them.
Did Steve take special care to separate these photos because he wanted to easily retrieve them to re-assure himself that he could have joy in his life and that he could experience true happiness?