Friday, January 8, 2010

Here's to you, Mr. Velandra

January 6, 2010 will be a day that I never forget.

My dear friend and Crossfit trainer, John Velandra, was killed in a horrific car incident. Note I said incident and not accident. He was on his way to the gym and a total d-bag in a stolen truck barreled into him in the middle of a bad intersection (it's bad b/c that's the same intersection where I had an accident this summer). So anyways, the cops had been chasing this d-bag for about a half-hour (it was before 6am fyi) and it happens that this waste of a human being slammed into my friend's car going 70mph. He was killed instantly, his heart just struck 'perfectly' that he felt absolutely no pain.

I was completely shocked and blown away when my friend Jo called me with the horrible news. I didn't believe her, I didn't want to believe her. My friend Stella has known John for years and I would have to be the one to break the news to her since her office is just right next door. I was numb and in disbelief telling her what happened...the past few days have been a blur of trying to get work done, tears, and getting together with friends who also knew John.

John was WAY more than a trainer or a coach. Sure I've only known him less than a year, since March 2009, but he was that kind of guy that you are drawn to, that really brought people together. It seemed like he knew EVERYONE in town and he was always helping someone. He had such a personality that you were instantly put at ease, you knew how genuine he was about fitness, health, nutrition, about helping you get better, to become the best version of yourself possible. He encouraged me to follow the Paleo Diet and encouraged me to do what I loved, cooking. He loved this little silly blog and I made Paleo Bars for him quite a few times. There was nothing fake about this huge man, nothing at all. He never let a bad word out of his mouth about ANYONE, which is pretty unusual in these times. He was a good Christian man with a huge heart, he leaves behind a beautiful wife and I truly feel for her. Sending your husband off to work like any other day and then getting this horrible news....

Thank you Johnny V for everything you have taught me--both in Crossfit, with nutrition and in life. I will do my best to keep your positive spirit alive, I love you and will miss you both in & out of the gym...3-2-1...ENJOY!!!!!