|Fighting for a top 10 place at USATF Road Mile Champs|
|First sub 4 min equivalent in the Furman 1500m|
|Introduction at Hoka One One Long Island Mile|
Cameron and I took at trip to Indianapolis, ID in mid June to run what was a last chance race to get a qualifying mark for the USATF Track and Field Championships. The meet turned out to be a complete wash after a storm blew through and many competitors chose to ditch the competition and settle on their times. Well not Cameron and I. We were there and we were gonna race. We both missed the qualifying standards that night, and we both returned back to the High Country with very sour tastes in our mouths at the lack of competition compared to years past. It was sour because I had spent over $700 on travel and accommodations for the trip. I would have been happy to spend had it produced a qualifying mark, but to not get a chance to race solid competition and poor rabbiting (I won by 7 seconds), I was very upset. I was bitter for weeks as I awaited my next opportunity to race at the end of July. Looking back now though, I am grateful for this trips since I got to spend those 3 days traveling and lounging around the hotel with Cameron. We always managed to do an amazing job of entertaining ourselves and keeping the mood light, despite the stress of the race. We wasted away hours taking near naked snapchats together and sending them to our girlfriends, we had nap offs to see who could sleep the longest, and of course watched hours of SportsCenter and chick-flicks. Of course the topic of the future for both of us was always something to discuss. We both always had some sort of crazy new idea or venture we were chasing after. Over the years we spent hours bouncing idea after idea off of each other. I'd say 99% of them have never seen the light of day, but we were always scheming. Looking back now though, I'm so happy that I got to spend those 3 days together. We made memories that I will always cherish.
I come to realize how lucky I was with Cameron and so many of my other friends. As a professional (or semi-pro in my case) athlete, we get the chance to spend thousands of hours with some of our closest friends. Most young adults in their mid and late 20s don't get that chance to spend so much time with their friends because of jobs, family, and the other things that bog down life. Right now I feel incredibly lucky to have gotten to spend a large part of the last 4 years working, training, traveling, going out and clowning, with Cameron. I'm not saying that people don't get to spend time with their friends, but when you live near and spend hours a day, many of those hanging your guts out, you develop a bond with certain people that runs deep as blood. When Cameron said I love you, and I said it back, we both meant it, with all the weight those words carry.
See Cameron and I were a bit of out cast together when he first moved to Blowing Rock, NC to pursue his dream of professional running with Zap Fitness. He was the kid with no contract and goofy outgoing personality and I was the crazy kid from App State, who both loved to party as much as we loved running. I first meet Cameron my first year at Appalachian State, he had been the cocky, longed haired dude wearing a girls jersey at Samford, the we all at App hated. But we hated him because he was good and showed it. When he moved here he was full on Cron $ity, and unapologetic. He was exactly who he was and he wasn't going to change that just because he moved to the mountains of North Carolina with a bunch of meek skinny distance runners. It wasn't long after he arrived that we both hit it off. I must say quickly became one of his biggest fans and pulled hard for him to make a splash at Zap and Nationally on the track. I still remember some of my old teammates giving me shit for hanging out with him. Cameron as an opponent was a guy you loved or hated, I just so happened to love him now. But guess who stepped up to the plate to help me stay in the high country and continue to chase my dream when I decided to keep running after college? He got me a job waiting tables and assisting the Inn Keeper at Gideon Ridge Inn in Blowing Rock where he was waiting tables. Cameron showed me that you have to do what you have to do till you can do what you love to do, and we both loved running. And over the next 4 years, despite me moving away for a year and a half, we remained very close. At times talking on the phone almost weekly. He was also one of the reasons I moved back up here. Being around him and training with his energy was something that was contagious and something I had missed being back home.
|Just one of our many goofy selfies after a tandem mo|
I also think back to many of those long runs over the years where we would talk for what seemed like forever. Neither of us has ever been one short for words, so it was almost a fight for one of us to get our thoughts out. If one of us was on a roll about something we eventually learned to let the other one just go, because we obviously needed it. Over those 4 years we both grew up a ton, going from shithead post collegians with huge dreams to weathered men who have spent years chasing a nearly unattainable dream. While we both grew up a lot over the last 4 years, I can honestly say we were both still true to ourselves.
|James Snyder, Ryan Vanhoy, Cron$ity|
Cron $ity had so much energy left to share with the world. I know people all believe different things about a person's soul, but regardless of those beliefs I know the laws of physics says that energy is neither created nor destroyed. So, since he can't personally share that energy with the rest of the world, it's his friends' and family's responsibility to share that energy with the world. Cameron may you Rest In Peace with dubstep blasting and your car horn blaring to announce your arrival into the afterlife.