The more I think back, previous training partners and coaches seem to be growing smarter and wiser in my memory.  Of course, it’s not that the memories are changing, but my understanding has certainly evolved with the perspective that only time provides.

PK made a decision to bring Aruss & I onboard the NTC in October of 2006 and I’m sure he had reasons for each of us (outside of our athletic amazingness) that would benefit the entire group.  Aruss had the athletic ability that would make him a great training partner for those of us who could swim, bike, and/or run, but as with most people, it was the off-paper qualities that made and still make Aruss special.

Aruss truly wants to see everyone around him succeed.  When he says, “Let’s go after it!” he really means it.  He wants you to smash it.  He wants you to smash him and may the best man win.  It sounds simple enough, but what’s special is the pureness that comes with it.  He actually wants you to succeed.  He actually wants you to smash him.  The outcome today belongs only to today. We will be going after it again tomorrow, and each of us will have our day.  He truly wants everyone to do well.

I suppose this leads fairly well to the next thing ARuss taught me.  In the middle of a training/racing hurricane, Aruss has the ability to remain as cool as a cucumber.  Perhaps it’s partly because he’s so good at remaining present in today’s effort.  He knows that there will be a tomorrow.

His ability to be present in today, and encourage the very best of his teammates is something special.  It’s something I look up to and it’s something that makes him one of the best in the business.

On top of all this Aruss is just a fun dude to be around.  Thank you, my friend, you’re an inspiration and one top notch pal.