Heroes on Monday

Be so happy that when others look at you they become happy too.

Have you ever ran a half marathon? Have you ever watched a friend run one? Have you ever decided that your said friend looked so nervous that you would run it with her….without training….just because you are a great person?

Well I have a friend that did just that. Un. Stinking. Believable. Not to mention I know physically I could never do that. Ever. Even if I was compassionate enough (which I’m not). Quite a few years ago I ran the Huntington Beach half marathon. There are many similarities to my training now as there was back then. I was in a new city, a little lost, not many friends and I needed to accomplish something. I definitely trained but I definitely didn’t have a clue what I was doing! Some of my best friends came down to LA to cheer me on. I was so grateful to have them there with me not to even mention have them there to cheer me on. They spent tons of their own money to fly down with their brand new baby boy and took time off work. As the morning of the race approached my friend Derrick drove me to the race start point. He walked me through the crowds of real runners, of which I quickly realised I was not. Then in a moment I will never forget he saw the fear in my face and said, “How about I start the race with you.” I can’t really tell you why I was so nervous and scared. Fear of failure maybe? Fear of coming in dead last? (I did that once in a 5k!!) Fear of embarrassing myself? Probably all of those plus a few more! Derrick jogged along at my ridiculously slow pace chatting to me, making me laugh and cheering me on. About five miles in he was still there, cracking jokes and encouraging me. Ten miles in he was still there! Chatting away and telling me I could do it. 13.1 miles later we saw his wife and our other friend cheering and screaming for us. I’m sure Danielle was thinking, “Wait a minute? Why is Derrick running?!” But the closer we got the louder they cheered and the more Derrick encouraged & cheered me on! What?!?!? He just ran 13.1 miles with me, no training, no prep, just because he’s that guy.

If you met my friend Derrick you would like him immediately. He’s married to one of my best friends in the world and I love the fun and joy they have as a couple. We have had ridiculous amounts of adventures and travel together. If you are lucky enough to call Derrick friend you quickly realise he is so much more than just the fun guy that makes you laugh. He’s empathetic. He’s passionate. He loves deeply. He’s compassionate. He’s giving. He’s selfless. (Um yeah….what other kind of person would run 13.1 miles without training because their crazy friend was scared?!?) He’s courageous.

Derrick was made to work with people and develop them to become great. He is fantastic at meeting each person where they are currently at in life. He doesn’t judge, but he does call them to be the best version of themselves. It was no surprise to me when he began using his talents to develop university age students in a work setting. He thrived as a boss because people respected him and loved being around him.

About this time last year I remember having a few heart to hearts with Danielle about how amazing are husbands were and how they were both just about to take the biggest risk of their lives. While my husband threw all of himself into heading into Medical School, Derrick was preparing to make the biggest shift of his life. He moved his wife and kids to a different state to now start his own business and be the sole owner with Danielle of their very own business.

It takes guts. It takes courage. It takes wisdom. It takes vision. It takes a man that is humble, dedicated and willing to work like crazy. He does it not just for himself and his family but he genuinely believes he is impacting those directly around him. And that he is! He is heroic not just because he started a business, people do that every day. He’s not heroic because he moved his family, that happens all the time. Derrick is heroic because he gets up every day and makes the people’s lives he interacts with a little better. His character precedes him and follows him. He inspires people because at the end of the day what you see is what you get. Those people are rare gems in our “people impressing” society. Derrick is just that, a rare gem. A hero that changes the world everywhere he goes.


2 thoughts on “Heroes on Monday

  1. Derrick fleck

    Dana! What the heck?!? Thank you so much for the things that you said in your blog. I think that it comes at a real perfect time for me to read something like that and remember why I am doing what I’m doing. I will never forget running that race with you. That was a great moment in your life and I was honored to be a part of it! Miss you and love you so much.


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