|Mountain Bike Ride in the foothills of Boise - Nov. 2012|
To take a trip down memory lane for us, here is a brief timeline of some of the amazing things we have shared together.
1999 - I had just finished my freshman year at the University of Missouri-Columbia and had always been interested in medicine. At the same time, Jeff was in Nashville, TN at Vanderbilt completing his Peds Ortho fellowship. I came out for the summer and this was the beginning of a relationship that would lead us to an active lifestyle and lifetime full of memories.
2000 - After Nashville, I went back to Mizzou. Jeff to Winston-Salem, NC to begin working at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. Our time apart only lasted 3 months and before I knew it, I was moving to Winston-Salem, NC to finish undergrad and move in with him. It was W-S that we did our first triathlon together that would ultimately lead us on a crazy journey.
|Omnium Cycling Race in St. Louis circa 2002'ish|
2002 - About 1 week from New Year's Eve, Jeff and I didn't have any plans. At the last minute, we decided to head to NY and go to a Karl Denson and the Tiny Universe concert in Times Square at BB Kings. We left late afternoon New Year's Eve, saw the 9P-12A show, then scalped some more tickets and went back to see the 12A-3A show. We returned home mid afternoon on New Year's day, door to door in 23 hours. What a trip!
|Jeff and I at Karl Denson Concert - New York|
2003 (December) - Jeff became team doc for team USA at short -course worlds in Queenstown, NZ. Off we headed to NZ that marked incredible and lifelong memories, super crazy fun!
2005 (January) - Jeff surprised me for my birthday with a trip to Australia to go to Epic Camp put on by Scott Molina and Gordo Byrn. Basically 12 days of training volume that I never thought was even humanly possible, if I recall, we did something close to 60hrs of training in a week, super nutty!!!
2005 (May) - We headed back to Brazil for redemption at IM Brazil. Jeff qualified for Kona for the first time. Pretty amazing given 2 years after we started IM he had success pretty quickly. A feat that I am still chasing today 10 years later.
2005 (June) - I finally started the stepping stones to a career in medicine as I entered in the Physician Assistant Program at Wake Forest. I think Jeff had to pull a few strings on that one ;-)
2005 (October) - Headed to Hawaii for the first time to watch Jeff race at the IM World Champs in Kona. Jeff had a banner day, awesome trip!!
|2006 White Lake 1/2|
|Myself, Gordo and Jeff|
|Jeff and I at the top of Chautauqua Park in Boulder|
|Team Good Guys in Boulder 2007|
2008 - Jeff moved to Boise, I stayed in W-S and began working.
2009 - In perfect form, Jeff established himself in Boise and was in need of a PA. Well, who better....I am sure you can guess!!!!
2009 - Upon my return from Boulder and starting my first job, my training was put on the back burner and I was pretty out of shape. Wasn't quite ready to get back into triathlon, but Jeff had this crazy idea to do this race in Sweden called Otillo as a team. The race was across the Stockholm archipelagos, 19 islands, starting from the northern most island to the most southern island....all by your own means. We ended up swimming 6.2 miles, running 30 miles and biking 15 miles. Took 5th overall and 1st american team.
2011 - We did 2 IM's together, IM St. George (he qualified for Kona the 4th time there) and IM Louisville (closest I've been to qualifying Kona, missed it by 4 minutes)
As I reminisce about our life together, I am not sure there are many brothers out there that can match that road traveled. It has taken us to Hawaii, Brazil (twice), New Zealand, Australia, Italy, Spain, Sweden and Canada together. As I close this chapter, my tears are of happiness. Jeff, thanks!!! Looking forward to double these experiences as our family now grows!
For the new chapter, I couldn't be any luckier to go from one amazing relationship with a brother to a life-long adventure with the love of my life. It has been nearly 6 years since Heather and I have been together....and we are finally aligning our lives to begin our adventure in this game called life. Hang on baby, if the above aforementioned experiences are any indication of what its gonna be like, we are gonna have a great life......and as important, we'll be lucky to experience it with that other crazy Shilt household.