Damian Calvert, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
So why the heck would anyone want to miss out on the Crested Butte MSC mountain bike race with some of the best singletrack in the world? Because that same weekend you can get OSO HIGH with Schneebs in Angel Fire and probably laugh your arse off once or twice that weekend in Angel Fire. Plus the word on the trail is that the downhill section will be uber cool and something to remember….and ALS research is dependent mostly on grassroots fund raising.
All joking aside – as athlete’s we’ve almost all contemplated our athletic mortality; on a training ride, before or after a near crash or while reflecting on how bad that crash ‘could have been’. We’ve all been lucky many times and in reality we cannot fully comprehend what our lives would be like if we had a disabling disease or accident. Schneebs is showing us how to handle that exact reality with grace, courage, and a kick ass sense of humor.
We met through a mutual friend and we invited him to come out and do some trailwork with our team so we could run him through the gauntlet. Then he put the smack down on the post trailwork ride and left us gasping for breath! Who is this guy? Da-Damn he really threw it down on us and then left to go to his daughters soccer game – did that really just happen, because if so we need to harden up!
After he joined our team we got to know him more and more and he rose to the top, mainly because he’s fast as hell and funnier than the best jokes I know. Drinking beers with Schneebs and Jean is a highlight of any week and we look forward to being 4 fools with you as much as possible!
Fast forward a year and half to last summer at the MSC race in Angel Fire – The Chile Challenge. Doug and Jean hosted a team party the night before the race and my family crashed their cabin. Good thing because Schneebs had always talked about this imported African Cheetah blood. The next day Schneebs and I both ascended to the top step of the podium in our divisions…a first for us both at that race and a very memorable day. (See attached photos). If that was the pinnacle of both our racing careers then I think we’ll both be happy with the elevation of that ‘peak’. The Cheetah Blood thing continues to be just a joke, AS IF. But he did rock his Guitar boy T-Shirt at the party and then on the podium. Good times.
One month later after celebrating his 50th bday with his very fun family at the Bavarian he dropped the MFCS ALS bomb on us.
What? Are you fricking kidding? Naaah that can’t be! Wow, unbelievable.
And to see the anger and sadness in Jean’s eyes was enough to make you cry. Doug kept his usual demeanor though and I never saw him looking at his shoelaces. Doug’s always been a great guy, but how he’s handling this has really defined courage and strength of character. Our team created a new award for our him at the end of year award/holiday party – The Inspiration Award. Schneeb’s attitude shaped it, trouble is he napped through the party! Priorities. Now the trouble is we don’t know if anyone will ever reach the high mark he’s set for that award…oh well we might have to rename it.
ALS is a disease I didn’t know a lick about…but I’m seeing it’s a really MF’r and CS’r…I use that saying out of respect for Jean who coined the phrase. We’re all so sorry to see ‘the other foot hitting the ground’ like this for Schneebs and his family but to follow his lead we’ll keep our chins up and do what we can to make every day as good as it can be. I’ll be racing to win for Schneebs…and racing to enjoy every day and get a good laugh or two along the way! I hope you’re inspired by this guy and how he’s not taking it in the shorts without a good UFC level throwdown first. See you OSO HIGH in Angel Fire.
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