On July 20, 2013, one of my best friends in the world passed away. Grey Liston was on his latest of many adventures, climbing Mount Olympus, when he fell and lost his life. I've known Grey since we were freshman in college swimming for UNCW. Grey was my roommate, teammate, fellow WB lifeguard, but most importantly, a loyal friend. Truly great friends are hard to come by these days, and I'm just glad to have known Grey while he was on this earth.
One of the great things that Grey and I shared was our love of open water swimming. Whether it was a pier to pier swim with the team or a horizon swim with the lifeguard squad, we both craved the challenge and adventure. Last weekend, I competed in the Pier2Pier race at Wrightsville Beach. This is an event Grey dominated on numerous occasions. While I didn't have the greatest result, getting the chance to honor Grey's memory (as well as another former Seahawk, Ryan Young) was comforting. Seeing former teammates and lifeguards who knew Grey was a great experience.
Today, I competed in another race that Grey enjoyed, the Wilmington YMCA Triathlon at Wrightsville Beach. True to form, Grey would absolutely annihilate the swim portion of this race, swimming so fast that one year he finished the swim before they even had the timing matts out. It was a bit nasty today, as it rained all morning long. I was feeling a bit sluggish warming up, and started to doubt my form a bit. I thought about what Grey would do. He'd charge the swim so hard that no one would have a chance to stay with him. He wouldn't think about how tired he felt or bonking later on; just start hammering right out of the gates. So that's what I did. I went out hard and didn't look back. When I thought about backing off, I could here Grey telling me to quit being a bitch and go! Even when victory was all but certain, I continued to drive on, turning myself inside out. That's what Grey would have done. No mercy, just charge it. Crossing the line, I knew I had done Grey proud.
Grey meant so much to so many people. Those of you who knew him can surely attest to his fun loving attitude and genuine nature. His passing came too soon, but his legacy will continue to inspire friends and family to never take one day for granted. There's so much more that I can't even put into words. In the end, I miss my friend, but we'll meet again some time.
I've been combing through old photos, trying to pick a good one. I think this sums it up well. Love ya Greyman.
|Full tilt at Park Ave, keep charging Grey|