"Only those who risk failing greatly can ever succeed greatly." –RFK
Monday, March 05, 2007
Meet the crew - Dave Heckman (Dave #1)
David Heckman is "Dave #1" on my crew. He is a Firefighter/Paramedic from the San Francisco area. I have had the pleasure of working with Dave on the Badwater medical team in 2005 and 2006. He is always "on" and is "the medic that never sleeps." He also is one of the team when, after being up for 48 hours straight, his true inner self emerges.
And what is that true inner self, you ask?
Well, when the heat has broken you down and the body is weary and the stress is high and you've been giving and giving and giving of yourself to help runners for more than 2-days straight, he slips ever so easily into his easy-going, care-free, fun-loving spirit. That is his true inner self revealed. And that is one of the best things about the core Badwater medical team - we get along, we laugh, we support each other, we have FUN out there. He exemplifies this. Working on medical is so incredibly physically and emotionally demanding and yet we ALWAYS have time for FUN. It is one of the most rewarding volunteer jobs ever. The team makes it so.
I mean, check out this picture. He is drawing blood from the lead runner at Stove Pipe Wells during the race (Scott was part of our sodium balance study). He's got cameras and a boom mic in his face, and a drop of sweat hangs from the tip of his nose. And he's cool as anything. Now that's Heck-a-Rad!
So, while he is brilliant in his vocation (which is why he is part of the Badwater medical team and also why I am selfishly STEALING HIM from medical this year to be on MY personal team), he never loses his calm, reassuring affect when doing his "job." He is a firefighter after all...good at putting out fires, all sorts of fires. It takes a calm and sure soul to be able to do that so naturally.
But that's just part of the picture!
Dave #1 is also an avid cyclist and he has completed the Furnace Creek 508 in 2005, (known there by the traditional animal totem "Dave White Tail Deer Heckman"). He has put in numerous hours volunteering at other AdventureCorps events too. He knows his endurance sports and he knows how to STAY COOL in the HEAT.
A couple of years ago, he admitted to catching the Badwater bug and he decided to prepare to run the race. Then, he was unfortunately sidelined by an accident that eventually resulted in shoulder surgery. He has now recovered from that but he had to modify his racing plans. So, that made him available for crewing and pacing on my team this year, and I readily snatched him up.
He's preparing for his first 50-miler the end of April and is considering the Javelina Jundred in the fall.
Having Dave #1 on my team is - to coin his own term - HECK-A-RAD!!
I am an ultra runner, physician and have been medical director of some of the toughest ultras. I tend to be a mover and a shaker and louder than my size suggests. However, my Gemini twin is gentler and contemplative, an artist, a writer, and a poet. I am a dog lover, a believer in souls, and have a special affinity for those who struggle because I have been there.
This is my crazy lovable huggable Weimaraner, Steely Dan. I call him Steely. He left us in January of this year at only 6 years from lymphoma that did not respond to chemotherapy treatments. Steely was a total goof. He loved trail running, road running, treadmill running, new experiences, making eye contact, sleeping on his back, me, kids, and liver treats. He was Zappa's best friend. We miss him dearly.
This is Stella. A rescue from the shelter. She's about 6 months old and a Border Collie. She is a joyous bundle of energy and curiosity and now also Zappa best friend. She will make a nice running partner when she grows up.
This is the now the big brother of my family - a rescued Greyhound. His name is Frank Zappa. I call him Zappa. He's 7 years old and has learned all about life beyond the track and crate from Steely when he was with us. It was very rewarding to watch his personality bloom as he settled into the family. And yes, he runs like the wind!
This is Natasha, my dearest friend. She was with me through college, medical school, residency, and she moved with me from Chicago to Spokane several years ago. She was my best running partner for 10 years. My sweet Natasha died from bone cancer in 2006. I miss her still. I hung a windchimes over the deck outside. When it chimes, I smile and think she has finally -- wherever she is now -- caught a squirrel!