Tuesday, November 06, 2007

A Champion

Good morning! I pulled this from my friend Deans blog but wanted to share it with you all.
Mike Wardian, friend and coaching student stood next to Shay at the starting line of the race. Let us all pay tribute to a great champion and run a few miles in his memory today. Life is so precious. One breath, one moment, one step at a time. I am constantly drawn back to this way of thinking.

TRIBUTE TO A CHAMPION
For those of you who have experienced it, you know the enchantment of the New York City Marathon. There is nothing quite comparable to the magic of this race, from the spirit of the international field who gather here, to the thousands of cheering spectators who line the streets, NYC is arguably the world’s greatest marathon.

This year, however, a shadow of sorrow was cast over the event. The US Olympic qualifiers for the marathon were held the day prior to the main race, and one of our country’s greatest runners tragically died during the race.
Ryan Shay collapsed just past the five-mile mark and was immediately transported to Lenox Hill Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Shay was considered a top contender and was in remarkable physical condition going into the race.
I’m sure many of you are asking some of the same questions I am, principally: how could this incredibly fit 28-year old national road racing champion simply collapse? Although an autopsy report is not yet available, Ryan’s father, Joe Shay, said his son had been diagnosed with a larger than normal heart . “What made him such a great runner,” Mr. Shay said, “was probably what killed him.” Ryan Shay seems to have died of a big heart.
As you can imagine, there is lots of debate in the media today about the dangers of running and marathoning. Our sport has recently had much visibility cast upon it with Alberto Salazar suffering a massive heart attack and Chad Schieber dying during the Chicago Marathon.

Yet now is not the time to debate the hazards of running long distance, now is the time to remember and pay tribute to this tremendous athlete and great man, Ryan Shay. Let us remember Ryan not for the way he tragically died, but for the way he courageously lived.

Ryan is survived by his wife his wife Alicia Shay, who is also an elite runner.

On another note:

I wanted to take a moment to say Thank You for all the prayers and positive energy that were sent out on behalf of my Dad. I am very happy to report that the prayers were heard and the energy received!
After a 10 hour surgery, that the Dr. reported was the most challenging of his career, my Dad spent 11 days in the Critical ICU. The first couple of days he seemed to be doing better than expected, given his reduced overall health and age, and had everyone surprised and hopeful. Then, on the third day, he started to rapidly decline and developed some serious issues with liver, heart and future kidney decline. I can not say enough about the superb quality of care that the LSU medical staff provided during this very tenuous and stressful period; they saved his life more than once.
Bottom line is he has been moved to a private room in the Telemetry Unit and is recovering with the help of Dialysis, modern medical science, great care and answered prayers. We are hopeful that he will be moved to a temporary rehab facility early next week and recover enough to return home by Thanksgiving.

David is a real fighter and this was one hell of a tough fight. On behalf of my Dad, and the entire Smith/Batchen family, please accept our heartfelt gratitude for the thoughts and prayers that were sent our way. With them, he has climbed off the mat from what surely could have been a knockout punch.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lisa,
How good to run a few mile's to honor Shay. I will do that today.
It is good to know your father is making progress and I hope this means you will be able to run a few miles yourself.
Thank you for alway's thinking about each of us.
Susan

J.M.Pawelsky said...

Fantastic news about your Dad!!

Take care of yourself and keep cheering him on. With enough will, you're dad will be running around again very soon.

Christopher said...

Lisa, I'm so glad to hear about your dad, I've been thinking about his struggle and what all of you have been going through over the past week and a half. I can't imagine how difficult a time this has been, it must feel wonderful right now to know that everything is on the upswing. Congratulations on his recovery and good luck over the next few weeks.

I was out in New York this past weekend to watch the Trials and run the marathon. The emotional swings of the weekend were some of this highest highs and the lowest lows I've ever felt. Watching Ryan Hall stride away from the silver medalist and the rest of the country at 17 miles was breathtaking. Brian Sell's second-half surge was so inspiring. Friends of mine ran the races of their lives, others put everything they have into the race and came up short of the finish line. A friend of mine saw Shay go down and from 9 miles on when he let me know we tried our hardest not to believe it had really happened. We watched the finish and saw the joy of the top three as well as the other finishers. Soon thereafter we learned that what we didn't want to believe had been true and the day completely changed. I saw Ryan and Sara Hall the next day walking through the crowd and seeing their vacant stares that replaced the unparalleled joy from the day before brought me to tears once again. I never met Ryan Shay, but I've admired what he's done in the few short years since he graduated from Notre Dame. Thank you Lisa for posting such a touching piece about Ryan. Let's hope that over time Alicia and the rest of their family can find a way to cope with the tragedy.

marathanna said...

I'm so happy to hear your dad is doing well! He has been in my thoughts and prayers...

Anonymous said...

we all praying for many these day's. The Shay family is at the top. Great news about your father.
Will run some mile's for all.
Brad

Anonymous said...

so much about the human body we know but also so much we don't know. the desire to live is an amazing gift to witness in many of my own patients. great, just great.
Bill

cathy said...

Lisa, I am so thankful to read about your dad's progress and happy for you and your family. -Cathy

Bob Gentile said...

Thanks for update Coach, Glad ur dad is recovering well :-)

Joe G said...

I'm so glad that your father is doing well. You know how much we believe in the power of prayer. Sue and I will continue to prayer for him , and your whole family.

Anonymous said...

Real pain is a part of life. One of the things that happens is we become afraid
of our pain and we avoid it. When we do this we cause false suffering. When we
are not willing to feel our pain we also stop ourselves from feeling our
pleasure and other feelings. It is like a faucet that is plugged up. In order
for us to be in our "greatness", we need to be able to feel our pain.

When we are not afraid of it, it flows -- and passes. All feelings flow and
pass. And even our pain can feel pleasurable because when we are flowing, we are
so alive.

Today, embrace whatever pain you may be experiencing -- physical or emotional.
Know that doing so will connect you to yourself more deeply

"Sherpa" John Lacroix said...

Continued prayers for your dad, yourself and your entire family Lisa. Many well wishes from the east!

SJ

Heather Ulrich said...

Lisa,
I am so relieved to hear the good news about your dad. We have been sending positive and healing thoughts and prayers your way. Give Annabella a special hug from us for saying "all the right, kind, loving" words to her Poppy :) Kids are truly amazing!

Love,
Heather and Marshall

Lora said...

So happy to hear about your Dad. This is going to be a very special Thanksgiving for your family.

hugs,
Lora