Backblast: Top Rope – (SHAUB) – Tater Tot (02/17/21)
The grip of winter was just about ready to let go on this Wednesday zero degree morning as we had just barreled through a few of the coldest -20some degree mornings while the Winter Vortex was shutting down the south and forcing rolling blackouts across the country. These 10 PAX along with 40 others posting around the Omaha metro didn’t care. The morning gloom must go on. With Arm Bar passing the site keys to Tater Tot (as he was leading his Westside wrestling team into state) we were given no boundaries to what Top Rope was capable of and hence was the reason for the tweet about Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and doing a little dancing in the streets trying not to get caught. What Tater was not prepared for was the introduction of Dan Shaub just a few days prior to Wednesday’s beatdown and how it would impact the morning…
PAX: Dirty Bird, Khakis (Respect), Wait Time, Kill Switch, Wario, Roadhouse, Tube Socks, Thor, Convoy & Tater Tot.
Mosey Rama – Prior to revving up the PAX motors Tater Tot paired up the 10 Ferrari’s in groups of 2 and mentioned that this would be their (medium speed) racing partner during each mosey and at the Thang. It was requested that during the moseyrama to specifically ask questions about where their partner was born, what was their birthday, details about their family such as brothers or sisters, if they had a significant other or kids what were their names, ages, etc. Your basic introduction conversation to set the groundwork moving forward. And.. Let’s Go!
1st Stop: Blacktop north of School (Khakis favorite area for merkins but that is a story for another day…)
- 8 Side to Side Big One’s (We were sad that Big One was not there to join us but later found out that he was cozy in his fartsack waiting for an alarm to go off at 4:30…p.m. Rookie.
(1/4 mile partner mosey through Bennington Park trail with partner)
2nd Stop: Street lights near the alternative Murph location playground (Where Sgt. Slaughter once was lost and ended up joining the regular murph location in the 3rd round. Story for another day)
- 15 Alternating Partner Merkin Claps
- 15 Bobby Partner Hurley’s
(1/4 mile partner mosey back to Bennington Park trail heading eastish)
3rd Stop: On trail (Near the field opening next to the houses where Gunner had us do The Thang yelling out exercises at 6am waking up the neighborhood. Story for another day) I do need to thank Roadhouse for not allowing Tater Tot to get the bad idea of going in the snow in this area. During the pre run Tater was scouting this spot and Roadhouse said, “Don’t you dare”. And the feet stayed warm…
- 15 Partner Tempo Bonnie Blairs
- 15 Partner Tempo Merkins
(1/4 mile partner mosey where trail empties onto Cass Street)
4th Stop: After a 10 count the PAX were asked to think about if their life were coming to an end, what would their last request be. They didn’t have to answer it necessarily in this moment but to start thinking about it.
(1/4 mile partner mosey to the CIT Bank parking lot)
The Thang: Meet Dan Shaub
The PAX were greeted to a very southward slanted parking lot that had beautifully lit cones and exercises ready to go. There was a good little chatter going which always fills Tater’s bucket. At this time The Thang was introduced.
“Last Saturday, February 13 I met Dan Shaub. He is 40 and was born on November 12, 1980. His wife’s name is Frannie. He has a 6 year son Sam, 3 year old son Charlie and 4 month old daughter Mary Claire. Dan currently owns a Dentistry in Billings Montana. Some of his favorite things are college basketball, shooting his bow, loves Jesus and is a dry humor guy.”
Today’s Thang would be named the Shaub and understandably there was not a lot of connecting going on between the Ferris Bueller’s Day Off tweet theme, the partner mosey, the questions, The Shaub, but hopefully it would come together later. Until then, nope. One Partner would perform the exercises keeping track of their reps while the other partner backwards ran 220 ft. up the parking lot and forward ran back down to relieve partner.
SHAUB 250GT (250 was used for the reps which was the model of the Ferrari in the movie – A JBL was connected and the theme song from Ferris Bueller, “Oh Yah” by Yello was played. This seemed to now satisfy the movie aficionado, Roadhouse… )
S – 50 Side Straddle Hop IC
H – 50 Hand Release Merkins
A – 50 Air Squats with Jump (Jump Squats)
U – 50 Undertakers with Dong
B – 50 Burpees
I believe each group was able to complete The Shaub and OMAHA! was called. Prior to the ½ mile mosey back to the shovel flags Tater once again to have the partners now discuss what their last request would be if they knew the end was near. For the record, Tater thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Dirty Bird and in these moments we realize how special the gloom can be when shared and listening to each other.
Mary – Of course Tater was running behind on time arriving at the flags but it was asked if the PAX still wanted Mary. Yup. They did. Good. Tater led in 44 IC Frozen American Hammers or American Slammers. The number was unknown, and chatter began to pick up around 30 with some mumbling “yup, 50” but we stopped at 44. That is Dan Shaub’s favorite number.
Thank you to Khakis for having a backup phone ready for name a rama as Tater’s lost power from the cold and music playing. The COT would need to be modified….
Khakis had polar patches for anyone that still needed to pick up from the polar challenge week.
Continued prayers for Splinter Cell and his family of 10 now and any food donations would be appreciated.
Unfortunately with my phone dead many of the details were spared in my COT so I will do a better job of explaining the history and background of what ensued this morning.
On the evening of February 11, I received a phone message from a college classmate that mentioned he was very appreciative of what we were assisting with at Creighton in regard to his longtime friend from Billings Montana that would be driving into town in the near future. I listened to the message not knowing what Gabe was referring to but called him back and sheepishly pretended to follow along. He mentioned Dan would be arriving on Friday with his family and staying in a hotel and then attend the Creighton versus Villanova game on Saturday February 13th. He simply asked if I would just be willing to go up and visit him and his family as it would mean a lot. I absolutely would make that effort and in the meantime reached out to a coworker of mine also named Adrian to see if that’s where the confusion and miscommunication was sitting. In fact it was and Adrian told me Dan’s story and why he was coming to Omaha for this particular weekend.
18 months ago Dan was playing in a pick up basketball game with his friends and had a hard fall and in time developed some soreness and weakness that he noticed while he was using his beloved bow during the hunting months in Montana. The weakness continued and he decided to get a professional’s opinion and was found that Dan’s fall impacted him severely enough that he developed ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). He would slowly continue to deteriorate from his tall 6’ 4” athletic stature to now a man limited to mobility in a wheelchair fighting for every day to enjoy moments with his wife and family.
Prior to Dan’s arrival I had been notified that Dan’s last request was to fill his van (that was fundraiser for by his amazing network) with his family followed by his parents that would drive through the night from Montana to Omaha Nebraska where his friends from college and wife’s family still live. Part of his last request was to share Creighton versus Villanova men’s basketball game, something he and his friends would do together many times previously in college during the Civic Auditorium and Kyle Korver days. Dan‘s story reached the universities president’s office and he was given the Creighton suite for the day so his family can spread out and just enjoy the moment together with the limited capacity rules due to the pandemic.
At halftime I went up to join Dan and introduced myself not knowing if it would be for a quick hello and depart or stick around for a while and chat as I didn’t want to intrude on this moment. Dan first was introduced to President Hendrickson, followed by Adrian Dowell who was the one who did the real work to get everything organized, and then I made the connection with him that I was Gabe‘s friend (Who now lives in Billings Montana near Dan).
Dan greeted everyone with a giant smile and has the heart of Waffle House and only wanted to ask questions about you and see how you were doing. This is a man I have never met before and turned out we had some connections. His wife knew my wife which started more conversations. His friends had classmates I knew and started more conversations. The stories would blend and create and blend and create all while we listened to the roars in the background of Creighton putting a butt whooping on the fifth ranked team in the country. This was his dream to watch. This was special for everyone. I couldn’t help myself but watch Dan’s son’s run around laughing. Watching his wife Frannie taking in the moments with their newborn knowing that Dan potential only has limited months to live and how special this is. Perhaps the last time they have these moments. I didn’t care about the game anymore. I didn’t care about anything except wanting to get to know Dan and his story more. Wanting to share how special this person is. Gabe said he was one of the most remarkable human beings he’s ever been in contact with and I can fully understand after only an hour with him what he meant by that.
As the game came to a conclusion it was hard to leave and I found myself just kind of wandering the space in the area trying to take it all in. One of Dan‘s friends began to cry and just said thank you to me which frankly I didn’t have anything to be thanked for. I understood what he meant though. I grabbed the phone numbers of his friends, we took some photos together and then I looked a man directly in his eyes that I had never met before and I told him that I loved him and then I will be thinking of him often. I meant it.
This moment still weighs heavy in my mind in my heart and I just felt compelled to share Dan‘s story to others that would be willing to listen and relate. This is why I asked the pax to learn about each other‘s families. This is why I told the story of Dan family before the thing. This is why I came up with the work out name of the SHAUB. This is why I asked the pax to think about what their last request would be if they knew their life would be coming to a conclusion.
One of the last thing I asked Dan before I left was what his favorite number was and he mentioned 44. I told him we would make it a part of history by being the last 2 numbers for the Creighton versus Villanova attendance stat for Saturday, February 13. As his family listened to the PA announcer read “tonight’s attendance is 2,544” he smiled. I will never forget that smile.
Cameron from Ferris Bueller said it best when he was looking down at his father’s Ferrari 250GT reflecting on life’s happenings. “I gotta take a stand. I’m not going to sit on my ass as events that affect me unfold and determine the course of my life. I’m going to defend it. I don’t care. I really don’t. I’m just tired of being afraid. The hell with it.”
Life happens and like the miles on your car you can’t reverse them. But what you can do is make the best of what you have right here. Right now. Don’t waste it. I know Dan isn’t.
Thank you as always for allowing me to lead you.