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A Somber Motivational Monday: Jeff Papenfus

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A day late, but I hope my readers can recognize why and this Motivational Monday (on Tuesday) reaches folks where it matters. The setup will be a bit different, as this is a story from my fingers on someone that has motivated me consistently over the past 10 months.

There are people that you meet in life that hold your thoughts, and make you strive to be a better person or citizen. An example is every time I meet a proud Marine it makes my heart skip a beat, knowing what is behind the Insignia of the Marine Corps. Coaches that make you be a better athlete, bosses that make you smarter employees and parents that create amazing human beings.

Jeff Papenfus was and will always be remembered as an amazing human being. Always there to coach, cheer and motivate. After my accident last year Jeff was one of the main online contributors that got me back on the bike. He has always been at the end of an email string when I’ve had small questions about adventure racing, bike teams, life and even computer technology.

This past spring when I started the talk of EM:PWR cycling, he was one of the first people stepping up with words of wisdom and throwing his own money into the pot for a team jersey. The jersey still sits in my desk drawer, waiting for the lunch he has promised me for the past 6 weeks.

This past weekend Jeff was finishing up a mountain bike ride, the exact cause of why he crashed is unknown but he crashed. Sliding down off the road and into a yellow jacket hive. A friend was trailing behind him and when she pulled up she tried to give CPR while dialing 911 and being stung by over 100 yellow jackets. Jeff was pronounced dead at the scene with a neck injury, my hopes are that it was quick and easy for his passing.

Jeff’s accident and passing has changed feelings in my head and soul more than I thought. A guy that touched so many people, and is still touching my thoughts after his passing. To dedicate my cyclocross season and bike rides do not seem to give it justice. To push myself that extra 50% every time I put out the effort in life, that doesn’t seem to give it justice either.

I employ all of you to go for a ride for Jeff this week. Take in the sights, feel the breeze, look at the leaves and enjoy yourself for a moment. We never know how many tomorrow’s are left.

All the lonely people cryin’
It could change if we just get started
Lift the darkness, light a fire
For the silent and the broken hearted

Won’t you stand up
Stand Up
Stand Up
Won’t you stand up you girls and boys?

Won’t you stand up
Stand Up
Stand Up
Won’t you stand up and use your voice?

There’s a comfort
There’s healing
High above the pain and sorrow
Change is coming
Can you feel it?
Calling us in to a new tomorrow

Won’t you stand up
Stand Up
Stand Up
Won’t you stand up you girls and boys?

Won’t you stand up
Stand Up
Stand Up
Won’t you stand up and use your voice?

When the walls fall all around you
When your hope has turned to dust
Let the sound of love surround you
Beat like a heart in each of us

Won’t you stand up
Stand Up
Stand Up
Won’t you stand up you girls and boys?

Won’t you stand up
Stand Up
Stand Up
Won’t you stand up and use your voice?

Won’t you stand up
Stand Up
Stand Up
Won’t you stand up you girls and boys?

Won’t you stand up
Stand Up
Stand Up
Won’t you stand up

Won’t you stand up
Stand Up
Stand Up
Won’t you stand up and use your voice? – Sugarland

 

About the Author

Bike Shop Girl has over 12 years of bicycle industry experience and hands on knowledge. Hoping to empower women and others on the bike so they too can feel the freedom and power that two wheels can give someone.

2 Comments

  1. This is horribly sad. We new Jeff from many a Tuesday night trivia and other around town events. We were devastated to her the news and have Lisa in our prayers!

  2. I’m so sorry about your friend. I would be happy to do a ride with him in mind. Since I already ran today, and have no bike (yet), I’ll rollerblade with him in mind if I can’t find a bike to ride.

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