Yesterday I learned of the death of a friend.
His name was Bob.
Bob and I met through Facebook, of all places, as a result of a large number of mutual friends; climbing friends (the best kind).
It was Girl Scout Cookie Season in 2010 and I mentioned in a bragging fashion that my grocery store was inundated by girls in green with boxes of cookies to sell. Bob had Thin Mint envy – and thus we met.
Bob’s story was similar to mine, kinda. Eating delicious foods without the benefit of exercise was his life until his young son happened upon the climbing gym. His son quickly loved the sport and showed amazing promise. Being the loving father he was, he too took up the sport – and it changed his life. He taught himself to make delicious food that was good, too, and began getting out to exercise. He headed over to the Delaware Rock Gym during it’s early days of construction to do everything and anything he could to help get it built so he and his son would have a place to climb.
Bob loved climbing. He loved the people. He loved being able to see the tangible proof of his hard work and mastering himself physically and mentally. He loved every chance he had to go with his son to beautiful places with wonderful people and climb rocks.
Tuesday while climbing in one of these beautiful places with wonderful people being belayed by his son, Bob died of a heart attack.
I am grateful to have known him and I’m happy for him that climbing gave him so much. I climb because of the clear picture I have of who I am and what I have the strength to do and overcome. I know this was true for Bob – we spoke of it endlessly one night long ago.