|Ryan C. Jobes|
April 12, 1986 - December 20, 2005
|September 18, 2004|
University of Virginia Invitational
|September 4, 2004|
Spider Alumni Open Cross Country Meet
|Ryan Jobes and Hunter Willis at 2005 Preseason XC Camp|
|2005 Fred Hardy Invitational 4X400M Relay|
|Spiders 2005 PreSeason XC Camp|
It was a tough and at the same time a joyous evening given Ryan's induction...The opportunity to see so many friends, former teammates, coaches and Ryan's parents and family was something I looked forward to for months and wish could have lasted longer. There will always be a comfort in 'home' and the Mid-Ohio Valley is home. Yet many of us struggle with all the questions that remain surrounding Ryan's accident and losing him at the age of 19. It's not easy to this day...still find it difficult...and I struggled to hold it together delivering an acceptance speech on his family's behalf. I know I certainly do not have the answers and still wish I could make sense of 'why' and 'what' and deliver it in an enlightening way, but that too is not possible. Losing an athlete is without question the hardest thing I've experienced as a coach. It does not fade and still it is a fear that can consume joy...For Ryan's family I'm sure December 20 will always dark day. I've come to realize...maybe, just maybe...for now, we are not supposed to understand.
Proverbs 3:5 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding."
As a coach and former athlete, I've never had much tolerance or patience with or for the undriven person...In my career I've been fortunate to work with several motivated and competitive athletes, like Ryan. Those athletes who have "it" and those who test their limits while breaking through personal and community barriers are both the reason coaches coach, but yet they are less common than one might think. My high school coach (Jerry Rea) used to tell us, "You're only as good as your last race". There's much truth in the statement and I believe Ryan made the best of each opportunity and tested his own limits through the field of competition.
Until now, something I have only shared with my wife in the 10+ years since his accident...In the last meeting I had with Ryan, I sat in my office and asked him several questions related to running, personal decisions and his goals. One of those questions was, "How do you want to be remembered?" He didn't answer right away, he just looked at me for a few moments and then he said, "I don't know, I guess I just want to be remembered."
We do Ryan, we do.