I'll start off by saying that I haven't felt "myself" in about 4 weeks or so. My stress levels have been extremely high and most of the time I just want to sit at home where it is quiet (when it is quiet) and appreciate it as much as possible. I've done really well with controlling my stress, till I didn't.

On Saturday I found out that a good buddy of mine was in the hospital and only had a few hours left to live. At 1 AM my time I got the call that he had passed. Honestly, I was OK. He was a huge "bench press guy" so it was only bitter sweet that Sunday I woke up and did nearly 30 sets of bench work IN 7 DIFFERENT BENCH SHIRTS! If he was watching he was smiling and holding a bottle of nose torque! I got home after training and felt good about it.

Monday night I was training Atlas Stones with a buddy that I have not seen in nearly 2 years and he told me that my neck looked at least double the size it was the last time he saw me and that I was just HUGE now. Immediately the thought ran through my mind "I should call Rob, he would REALLY appreciate this one!" and it hit me... I can't call Rob anymore. That thought right there just floored me. I've called Rob many times over the last 2 years of myself failing to qualify for Masters World's Strongest Man, trying to get his insight on should I quit trying or should I keep pushing in HOPE. We talked at least twice per week during my heavier chemo phases as well as his dialysis and transplant. He always had some witty remark about neck sizes! I remember a story he told me where he took "an EXTRA gram of test" so that his neck would be the biggest it has ever been when he got measured for his wedding shirt! He would have LOVED hearing about how large my neck has gotten!

I sat down at my computer and began opening emails and looking through messages and a client sent me a message that said "I'm Sorry For Your Loss..."

It hit me. The only memory that I have of Rob that doesn't make me smile immediately is the memory of his passing. And I have a lot of memories of Rob! The only thing that I could send back to my client was "No, it isn't MY loss! I had tons of time with him and we shared a ton of great stories together. In fact, everyone that knew him even just for a few minutes was greatly impacted by the experience. That is how we should all strive to be in our lives. That much of an impact on everyone we encounter! You don't have to be sorry for my loss because the loss is actually yours, you never had the opportunity to meet him. You don't have a series of "Rob Stories" to tell everyone or to sit back and smile about. I truly wish that you did, your life would be better for having met him."

And that is what I want to share with everyone. Be the kind of person that the only people that are sorry when you are gone are the people that never got the chance to meet you. Be the kind of friend that when you are gone, your passing is the only memory of you that does not leave a huge smile across their face. Be that kind of person.

Rest in peace Rob. I'll make sure they put a fresh bottle of torque in my pocket for when we meet again. You can have the first hit!