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Today I am saying goodbye to a friend, Betty Nesseth. I'm very sad because I feel Betty had such a large impact on me.
I sat beside Betty on my last co-op. She was looking for someone to run with at lunch and asked me. I replied with "oh no, I can't run" to which she replied without skipping a heartbeat "bullshit! Everyone can run, you just have to learn how". She encouraged me to run and to push myself. She was a great coach and friend.
Betty was never interested in excuses. She would dismiss them with a wave of her hand. She cared about what you did, not what you talked about doing. It was about the goal, about pushing yourself to get there, and once you were there, pushing to get further. You'd make so much progress, when you paused you would wonder how you could have ever gotten there. The answer was simple: "stretch it out", "we love hills! Feel it pull us up!", "feel that wind (blowing in our face), it's just filling our lungs!", and "feel the invisible elastic band around your waist? It's just pulling you home".
I have not spoken to Betty in probably over a year. I'd make excuses, but Betty wouldn't be interested, so I won't.
It's funny - in my last co-op I think that I learned the most, and all of the important stuff had nothing to do with software.
I'll miss you Betty. I still hear your voice in my head when I run and I really don't think that will change any time soon. I feel for your family and I know that where ever you are, you're running free, steady, and in all weather.
Goodbye friend.Posted by jim at November 9, 2009 04:46 PM