Thursday, May 21, 2009

My time with Steve Larsen

Just sad.  That is the feeling that has been overwhelming me since Tuesday night when I first heard of Steve Larsen's collapse.  
The sadness is in so many areas.  Mostly, of course, for his family.  Then, for the community.  In a town that seems to be overflowing with great athletes, he topped the list.  How cool was it that we got to compete in local races against one of the best in the world?
I met Steve years ago through other local runners.  I was immediately drawn to his presence.  Handsome, fast, extremely personable, he had a magnetic presence.  In time, he became a friend.  I respected his opinions on training, real estate, and life.
When I first thought of opening a Fleet Feet store, he was the first person that I confided in that I was thinking about opening a running store.    When he gave me a whole hearted endorsement, I felt like I could finally really dive into the project.  
As my realtor, he was the total professional.  I remember feeling trepidation in using a friend as a realtor, but as in all things in his life, he was the total professional.  I had more respect for him professionally and as a friend after buying our building than before we started.  
My last contact with Steve was last Thursday.  We got together in the morning at the shop and shared a coffee before I opened the store.  We talked about the normal stuff;  training, upcoming races, some real estate gossip, and family.  And, now he's gone.  Steve was a mentor to me.  And I miss him.
So, as a town, I hope we can celebrate his life.  I won't lie, its hard for me to find positives right now.  It doesn't seem fair.  How can you do ALL the right things and end up having something like this happen?  Steve was the picture of health and fitness.  He was a great family man and a trust worthy businessman.  So, it just doesn't sit well with me.   As time passes, I hope that I can look back and just look fondly that all he accomplished and created; and that is a lot.  Right now my thoughts and prayers are with his family and I look forward to celebrating his life this Saturday.
Lastly, many will be gathering in Drake Park at 12:30 this coming Saturday and running, walking, or cycling to his memorial service which will be right behind the Les Schwab Amphitheater.  I hope to see lots of you there.
Rod Bien


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Anonymous,

Do you honestly think that Rod told the reporter to put that as his title? Come on. Of course they are going to put that, that is how he's most known in town.

Steve was a gift to anyone who knew him and based on your comments I doubt he even associated with you.

JCaba said...

Great, sincere tribute to Steve. Thanks for your perspective. I've only known Steve as an iconic competitor. It's obvious he was also an incredible friend and father. My heart aches for his family.
I know how hard this loss has been on you and Katie. Hang in there.

Anonymous' comment is way out of line and should be deleted. Disrespectful and petty on multiple levels. No wonder he/she didn't attach a name to it.

Luke said...

Very nice tribute Rod.

Fleet Feet Bend said...

I had an anonymous "post" saying that in the bulletin article, I plugged Fleet Feet by saying that I owned Fleet Feet. What a joke! I had a reporter call me on my cell phone and ask if he could ask me a few questions about Steve. Never once did I say a WORD about myself, that I run, or that I own any store. I'm deeply offended as that was very mean spirited.