I woke up to a message from my friend Leo, asking if I'd heard the news about Scott. I assumed that it must be some amazing story or accomplishment, as that's the sort of thing you hear about Scott.
"He died. On Kilimanjaro."
The last I'd heard from Scott was ten days prior. Five of us have an accountability group, and in his update he was talking about his plans for the future, and his apprehension about being away from the computer for a week to climb mount Kilimanjaro.
I'm still stunned that he's gone. He was in extremely good health, was young, and wasn't a reckless risk-taker. Kilimanjaro is an extremely safe mountain, claiming just a few lives per year against the tens of thousands who climb.
Scott's goal in life was to change the world by encouraging people to do work they love. He created groups of people in 150 different cities around the world who met regularly to support and motivate each other. Scott was in the middle of a year-long trip around the world with his wife, but he still made time to host reader meetups. When we'd talk about his business, his overriding priority was the wellbeing of his community, not the money he made from them.
The real tragedy of his death is that his impact on the world, while significant, will fall short of its potential.
Scott was so overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic about life that I couldn't help but wonder if it was an act at first. It wasn't. I don't think I ever once saw him where he didn't have a beaming smile across his face. Whenever he was part of a group, he brought the energy level up and kept everyone in a good mood. It's probably no coincidence that even his wife's email announcing his death contains a ray of positivity:
"The only thing that gives me comfort during this very difficult time is to know that he was out living his dream and truly lived each day without regret. We got to spend nearly every day of the last 8 months
with one another, exploring the world - and our last few days were spent out in nature, disconnected from from anything other than one another."
I think that's how Scott would feel, too. I'm sure he died with no regrets, and wouldn't do anything different. He lived a good life, left behind friends and family who loved him, and impacted thousands of people across the world in ways that will continue on.
Photo is Scott speaking at TEDx Golden Gate. Take twenty minutes and watch his talk -- it's really good.
I was a friend of Scott too, and am deeply saddened by his death. I wasn't as close to him as some were, yet his death has impacted me more than I ever expected. I'm shocked, saddened, in grief, and ultimately, grateful to be alive myself. We miss you Scott!
FUCK. Fuck fuck fuck fuck. Thank you for posting this. Scott and I just emailed 10 days ago, as he was asking about us meeting up during his travels. Yet I wouldn't have known about his death if you hadn't posted about it. Thank you. - Derek
Awwww Tynan, I am so sorry for your loss! He will live on in your memories and the many memories of others for all the good he accomplished!
My friend Elisia first showed me an ebook reader, the Kindle she bought as soon as they came out. The quality of the screen was jaw dropping - it wasn't anything like a computer screen, but instead actually looked like paper. As amazed as I was with the device, I had no intention of buying one. The form factor was clunky, it seemed like a superfluous device, and it couldn't natively display PDF files, which is the format I tend to read (and publish) in.
A couple months later I was wandering around in the Sony Store and I saw their ebook reader, the PRS-505. It had the same amazing screen that the kindle had, but was much smaller, less than a third of an inch thick. When I found out that it could also natively read PDF files I was tempted to buy it, but was still concerned that it was just a useless toy.
Six months later my friend Vince brought a Sony PRS-505 on the trip to Morocco that he joined me on. I found myself asking to borrow it constantly, just about any time he wasn't using it. If he fell asleep on the bus I'd carefully slide it away from his grip and read on it.
Now I know this is my third blog post of the last five about running, but I really had the urge to write down something today and couldn't think of anything less.
38 years ago, one of the greatest upcoming American runners died during a DWI. Steve Prefontaine was his name, and he only lived till the age of 24. Now he died long before I was even alive, but his legacy is strong enough that I encounter something about him every few days.
A runner at the powerhouse of the University of Oregon, he competed in the Olympics while 21. He just missed out on medalling, and got fourth place (which is still, extraordinary) in the 5000m. He ended his collegiate career with only three defeats. I wish I was alive during his dominance of American running (he held records in all distances ranging from 2000m to 10,000m), but the fact that his name still lives on attributes to what he achieved.
The main influence he has on me are some powerful quotes that motivate me to achieve beyond my limits: