September 30th 1994 – September 1st 2019
Forever in my heart and thoughts. And my own to Rick, Keri, Braxton and everyone else who’s life she was part of.
I know it’s been several weeks since Shelby died, but I just don’t know what to say or think. I’m sad, and it doesn’t seem real. I feel bad not attending her funeral or visiting family and close friends, but I tried to find solace in knowing she’d be super excited and proud of how I was racing the past few weeks.
I’m crying writing this, especially since it’s taking so long to process.
Shelby was killed by a distracted driver while she was cycling near North Bay on what locals considered to be a “safe” road. Please take care out there everyone, and take care of each other – whether you’re using the roads in a motorized vehicle, on a bike, on foot, roller skis, or anything, please.
My formative years as an athlete were with Shelby; we grew up skiing with the Highlands Trailblazers in Duntroon, learning how to train, to be racers, as best friends and competitors. We had an incredible group of girls, Meg, the Yungbluts, the Huets, Larkin, and others on our team. After high school we all split off in different directions but Shelby and I stayed on the most similar paths with our racing pursuits.
She was always my model and standard for work ethic and positivity. In the early Trailblazer days, I was jokingly the “lazy” one – always looking for the tricksy-est way to get things done quickly or easily, but having a best friend and slightly older peer who was determined to execute things to the T, as well as possible, definitely changed my ways. Shelby, in the kindest way, showed and challenged me to do my time and make sure my effort was meaningful.
It’s easy to gloss over how you came to be the person you are now… but thinking back over the past few weeks since I learned Shelby had passed away, I’ve come to appreciate more than ever how much the people you grow up and surround yourself with, shape who you are. I couldn’t have had a better family and team to grow up with in sport.
Since I quit skiing, Shelby and I would only cross paths once or twice a year – at Highlands or another race I’d drop in to reconnect with the ski scene, and I’d always wish there was more time to spend together because there was so much I wanted to catch up on beyond the “what’ve you been doing, where are you going”. Like, the emotional and mental side of where we were at in sport and life, perspectives on bigger and deeper things….
Anyway, now with this stunning shift in reality of losing a friend… I’m trying to appreciate and use the time I have now, even if it means taking a moment to pause first.
Love you lots, Shelby.