Paying Tribute…

Posted: October 9, 2012 in Uncategorized

We should all hope for a long life, but be mindful that it can fall well short of our expectations.  I lost two extremely close friends in the past 3 weeks that were nothing short of iconic in the way they lived.  Losing friends, whether expected or not, can dramatically affect your sense of calm and security in the world.

Kevin Dully passed just over two weeks short of his 20th anniversary of receiving a bone marrow transplant from his brother, Brian.  I met Kevin in 1997 just after losing my mother to leukemia.  Kevin was an Honored Hero for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and I was the head coach for their Team In Training program.  I was taken by his smile and willingness to give so much of himself to those battling blood cancers.  His efforts gave hope to all the patients and their families.  He also played a significant role in providing the gift of life to many.

Despite battling significant health issues that placed his own life at risk, he never complained.  He was so positive the entire 15 years that I knew him.  He took a genuine interest in everyone he met.  Kevin was a goalie on his high school’s state championship soccer team and a gifted athlete.  His health issue prevented him from enjoying the sports that he loved and required a herculean effort just to carry out simple tasks and make it through each day.  I often wished I could share my energy and ability to run with him.  He had the spirit of a marathoner but simply couldn’t fulfill the dream of completing one.

Here is a picture of my dear friend, Kevin Dully with his devoted wife Laura and their son Andrew.  They recently renewed their wedding vows and Lori and I were honored to celebrate with them:

On October 1st, Lori and I received the shocking news that our close and dear friend, Fulvio Abela, passed suddenly at work.  He and I were scheduled to run the New York Marathon together next month.  He had just run 17 miles the day before and felt great when he arrived at work on Monday morning.  While his family and his large community of friends attempt to deal with the immense grief of losing him, we eventually hope to understand ‘why’ he was so abruptly taken from us.

Lori and I coached Fulvio for his first Boston Marathon and enjoyed many years of friendship with him.  I have never met anyone with more energy.  His magnetism captured the attention of everyone he met.  There were so many Saturday mornings that he would arrive late for training…I would be in the middle of a long and boring pre-run presentation, when he would suddenly enter the room and announce his presence with a “Good Morning Everyone!”   Everyone loved Fulvio.

He also had an endless and captivating smile and a kind word for everyone he met.  Fulvio loved to run…he always referred to himself as Olympic Material.  I still cannot believe he’s not with us.  I will miss his monster hugs and the happiness that he provided to all of us.

Here is a picture of Fulvio taken at a recent Boston Marathon responding to a horde of adoring fans:

Kevin and Fulvio shared a lot in common.  They were the two most dedicated people to their families.  Their wives and children were the foundation of who they were and all that they offered.  They had a passion for life and lived each day as it would be their last.  They weren’t paralyzed by trival things we can all become easily bogged down by.  They gave so much of themselves and expected so little in return.

I shared one thing in common with both of them…I was also born in 1958.  Beyond that, I fall well short of their example of living a truly purposeful life.  But, just as I have dedicated myself to running the past 36 years, I will now dedicate to live my life as they did.

I will miss you both!

  1. Russ Trottier says:

    Beautifully written, Rick. Sounds like two really amazing people. Reminds me to live life to the fullest, enjoy my family, and run as much as I can 🙂

    • Hello Russ,

      Thank you for your kind commments. I’ll be extremely grateful if others, like you, are reminded of the preciousness of life and the importance of living it to the fullest!



  2. Robyn Anderson says:

    Rick, a great tribute to your friends! Thinking of both you and Lori.

    Sent from my iPhone

    • Hello Robyn,

      Thank you so much for all of your support. It’s been a challenging few weeks but our spirits are sustained by the memory and spirit of Fulvio and Kevin…as well as friends like you.

      My Best,


  3. Erin says:

    I am so sorry for the loss of your dear friends, Kevin and Fulvio. They were both such beautiful examples of how to live life fully and have a lasting impact on others while doing so. They clearly blessed the lives of many. We never know how long the people we care about will be on this earth for, and it is so important to make the most of every day. Thanks for being such a force of good and blessing in my life and in the lives of many, many others.

    • Hello Erin,

      Thank you so much for your kind words. You are so correct about Fulvio and Kevin’s example in living life to the fullest. I’m blessed to have the opportunity to be a positive influence in the lives of others, including you. I’m inspired by Kevin and Fulvio on so many levels, attempting to serve others is at the top of the list. Thanks for allowing me to share your life.

      Your Coach,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s