Teach Me

I am selfless, I am selfless, off to work I go…

My good buddy, Tod, boarded a plane Monday morning.  Normally it’s not a big deal to hop on a plane and go somewhere.  However this time my friend is on his way to the Dominican Republic for a two year stint in the Peace Corps.  This is where I will begin to tell you how extremely proud of him I am.

It was 1991 and I was in my first college class, CFR 101, Introduction to Forestry.  My class met at 8:30am on the other side of our sprawling college campus five days a week.  I struggled to get there on time most days, shocking.  What I rememeber most though was this one tall dude who came in every day wearing a trenchcoat.  Sure it rains often in Seattle, but not many people wear trenchcoats* here, they’re too damn bulky and really don’t repel the precipitation.  Turns out this guy from Colorado was like some genius when it came to presidential trivia as he raised his hand and correctly answered some very obscure question about a 20th century U.S. President.  Who knew.

I later learned this guy was rooming with one of my high school buddies in the dorms.  He was a friend of a friend of sorts.  We got to know each other well during the first quarter of college.  That first quarter of college was hard on me as I lost a sibling just before finals week started.  Tod, along with other college friends, had my back thankfully and helped see me through a most difficult time.  Shortly after my family tragedy, Tod confided in me with a very personal family secret.  Trust was built and a lifetime friendship was established.

Vancouver93_4 Tod and I had become fast friends.  The following year I asked him and a couple other guys living in the university dorms if they wanted to move off campus into my cool apartment.   He said yes and for the next three consecutive years, Tod and I shared a residence.  We made great roommates and had much to talk about in the wee hours.  Unlike me, Tod was able to graduate from college in four years.  Following college he worked an assortment of odd jobs on land and at sea.  Tod took trips to Mexico, sailed to Alaska, propped up tents, waited tables, but somehow always made his way back to Seattle. 

In 2001 I asked Tod to be my best man at my wedding.  He obliged by saying really sweet things about me and my wife before we exchanged our vows in Maui.  In 2004 Tod mentioned to me his desire to do an Ironman.  I sort of took a step back and winced.  In his own head, Tod knows he’s not the most athletic person on the planet.  Perhaps that’s what made me love his ambition even more.  So three weeks later we both did our first triathlon together. 

Amazingly a year later Tod convinces me to take a trip five hours north of the border to witness Ironman Canada.  I was on the fence about signing up for the 2006 event, however I caved as a result of Tod’s pressure.  This meant from September of 2005 to August of 2006, Tod and I chatted almost every day and spent lots of time together training.  Sure we got on each other’s nerves, but it was a sibling thing and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  The twelve months of bike training rides, swims, and runs was nothing short of magical.  Even when I nearly passed out 6 weeks before the Ironman as we practiced the actual Ironman bike course, Tod was patient with me and encouraged me to continue.  It also didn’t hurt that yours truly downed roughly 4 bottles of Gatorade, 2 Snickers bars, and a bottled Starbucks Frappucino. 

August 27th, 2006 is a day that will live in infamy.  It’s the historic day we both finished Ironman Canada.  Our goal was met.  After the Ironman, I laid low for awhile and basked in the glory.  This wasn’t good enough for Tod though.  He ran another marathon only three months after completing the Ironman.  Most importantly, he completed his Peace Corps application and was promptly accepted.  I was honored to be his personal reference on the application and have been so happy I happened to befriend the trenchcoated man.

Tod visited us on Sunday as we said our last goodbyes for a couple years.  Our buddy, Téo, will definitely be missed.  Onward my friend and best of luck in your two years improving humanity in the Dominican Republic.  You will be missed, but definitely not forgotten.  Your good deeds are noticed!

*NOTE: this trenchcoat gave birth to the Monkey Boy character during our college prank days.


About lessinges

Seattle native, discovering life! I like ice cream, cold cereal, and The Amazing Race.
This entry was posted in Doting Dude, Facial Tissue, Flirting with Homosexuality, Speedo™sphere, Storytelling. Bookmark the permalink.

41 Responses to Teach Me

  1. justrun says:

    What a fantastic post about a friend! Roommates to training mates is a SOLID relationship, I have no doubt. No one sees you in the kind of pain and joy in life like in the college roommate situation and in athletic events.

  2. Tall Chick says:

    I heart Tod. What a cool guy. And just wow to the whole setting off into the great unknown thing.
    Awesome post, Egan. Pass me a damn Kleenex.

  3. Diane Mandy says:

    What a lovely tribute to your friend. I don’t even know him, but I am also proud of him! Two years will fly by. You’ll be doing your next ironman soon enough.

  4. cindra says:

    Aw, sweet. Beautiful words inspired by your friend. I’ll be wishing him safe travels and and adventures.

  5. Lynn says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this story of friendship, perserverence, and loyalty. How wonderful that you and Tod developed such a true friendship. I need to go grab some tissues.

  6. Chris says:

    I wish Todd the best and applaud his courage and, I don’t know the word…but it’s good.
    I appreciate the story and the picture of you with curly hair.

  7. sizzle says:

    sounds like you two are a great match. it’s a wonderful feeling to be proud of a friend. great post.

  8. tori says:

    This is so beautiful. You are lucky to have such an awesome friend and he is lucky to have you too. What awesome people you both are. I love these kinds of posts!

  9. brookem says:

    i loved this post. what a great story about true friendship. like justrun said, there is something to be said from those friendships you develop during your college years, that go on to last a lifetime. best of luck to your good friend. you’re both lucky cats.
    NICE hair!

  10. Lynn says:

    Are you going to share the trenchcoat and monkeyboy story with us???

  11. Tall Chick says:

    That IS some pretty fabbo hair.

  12. brandy says:

    I love that you managed to tell a great story, make it a little weepy but never in the annoying Ty Pennington way. Well done and well said. Sounds like you have a fantastic friend dude.

  13. Airam says:

    I was in grade 8 in 1991.

  14. Airam says:

    Sounds like you guys have a great friendship!

  15. nessa says:

    Wow, I am impressed by you both. And great, good luck to your friend.

  16. mez says:

    ohhh, this was such a great post. How lucky you are to have each other!

  17. sprizee says:

    Well done, Egan, well done.

  18. qt says:

    What a great story – imagine what kinds of adventures he is going to have! You are bothing starting something new at roughly the same time. It will be interesting to compare notes~

  19. churlita says:

    I love your “flirting with homosexuality” tag for this post.

  20. I am so glad you have such a close bond with him – it is an everlasting legacy to both your past and future – best wishes to him!

  21. armalicious says:

    Tod seems like the kind of guy I would be in awe of…very inspirational stuff here. Thank you for sharing. I love sappy friend posts!
    And while everyone is commenting about your hair, I’m going to point out those sweet swim trunks you’re sporting. The diagonal, multi-colored (80’s colors, of course) swim trunks were da bomb, yo!
    Oh, and in 1991…I was 12…which means I was in 5th/6th grade.

  22. tulip says:

    I was 15- since we’re all sharin’! I echo everyone, this was a great post. I felt a little “Brokeback Mountain-ish”. But you know what they say- “don’t ask, don’t tell” -right? LOL! I’m glad you get to experience the love of a TRUE friend. You are quite lucky!

  23. Cheryl says:

    Wow…amazing. Good luck to Tod 🙂

  24. furiousball says:

    People in trenchcoats always have something underthem. Sometimes is a pink thong and nothing else, sometimes it’s a long time buddy. Great post amigo. Hope you and da family are doing well.

  25. Cake Lady says:

    You are so very lucky to have a friend like this.

  26. brookem says:


  27. brookem says:

    ha, good one tall chick.

  28. brookem says:


  29. brookem says:

    flipping respond to your comments.
    2 snickers.

  30. MonkeyDragon says:

    hate you for beginning college AFTER I graduated, but I digress
    crap, I finished graduate school before you graduated
    growing up in the NW, I never owned an umbrella until I lived in the midwest . . .
    you realize Anna will be 2 when he returns – better take good pictures

  31. egan says:

    Justrun – I made some really amazing relationships in college, sounds like you did as well. Athletics are about as fun as blogging.
    Tall Chick – you love his hair don’t you? I know how you think. I’m glad you found this post touching. Tod’s a great guy.
    Diane Mandy – funny you mention the Ironman thing. We’ve made tenative plans to do another one again in 2011, five years after the last years. I think I will have plenty of time to train for that one.
    Cindra – thanks, I hope he has a great time and that none of those nasty hurricanes hit Dominican Republic.
    Lynn – ha, facial tissues are a must when I chat about some of my friends. I’m glad you liked the story.
    Chris – damn, you clicked on that picture eh? It’s very funny to look back at those old college photos.
    Sizzle – my buddy makes it really easy to like him with his gracious acts.
    Tori – glad you like these kinds of posts. They take way too much brain power to formulate which explains my slow response to comments and why there’s not a new post up yet.
    Brookem – thanks for reading the entire post. I will never ever skim a post of yours again, I promise. You like the hair eh? Maybe I can be featured on your blog?
    Lynn – I can share the story with you or point you towards this post from my old blog which details the Monkey Boy story.
    Tall Chick – I know I know I know, it’s way too much hair for you to handle. Noted.
    Brandy – you’re way too sweet. Thanks for the very kind compliment.
    Airam – now I feel damn old, grade 8?
    Airam – yeah, we have a damn good friendship. So great he gave me access to his new blog. He really is a tremendous person.
    Nessa – thanks for being impressed. I’m in awe my buddy has been able to make goals and live up to them. Mouth agape.
    Mez – I would say I’m lucky and I have quite a few other guy friends just like Tod. I really love the guys more than I thought imaginable.
    Sprizee – I know it took awhile to get this up, but it was worth doing this post the right way.
    QT – that’s a great way to look at it. Thanks for the perspective on that one.
    Churlita – trust me, some homosexual thoughts crossed my mind in college. “I love my friends, can I marry them and call it good?”
    Princess Extraordinaire – thanks for the kind words. Friends are so important to who we are.
    Armalicious – now I feel even older than when Airam made her comment. You can be Tod, trust me, you can be. There’s a lot of fight in you and that’s what’s so great about your personality. I can’t even remember where I got those swim trunks. So that most likely means they were sibling hand-me-downs.
    Tulip – there’s nothing wrong with Brokeback Mountain now is there? Loving all people is a good thing in my book. I think you know what I mean. You were 15 in 1991, this has been noted.
    Cheryl – he’s a braver man than me and I will pass along your good luck.. or you can go to his blog and pass them along yourself. He’s “Teo” in my blogroll.
    Furiousball – hey, thanks for the family shout out. We’re hanging in there as best we can. As I’m sure you’re aware, those first few months of a baby’s life is a shitload of work. I hope things are okay with your situation.
    Cake-Lady – I know and this is perhaps why I wanted to share his goodness with all of you.
    Brookem – trenchcoat –> what not to wear to attract the ladies?
    Tall Chick – raincoat –> something you never have to wear in Seattle.
    Brookem – Tall Chick is wise. Trivia –> did I use the word trivia in my post? I don’t recall. Trivia is useless information only bloggers care about.
    Brookem – slicker –> now that’s a great word for a raincoat. It’s kind of naughty.
    Brookem – I’m responding now and you’re probably fast asleep dreaming of HOHs. Find any shirts for Cosmo yet?
    Brookem – wee –> are you making fun of my size?
    Armalcious – isn’t that Brookem a funny one? She rolls well with the punches.

  32. ChickyBabe says:

    Heartwarming story, Egan :).

  33. Trick says:

    Of course you have friends like this….I would expect nothing less from you! Great people keep great company!
    ok, so I cancelled my blog and apparently somebody has jumped on Trickzone rather quickly. I am guessing he/she to be a somewhat illiterate high schooler

  34. celeste says:

    lifelong friends like that are truly a gift!

  35. patches says:

    You mean there are people who finish college in less than five years? Next your going to tell me there are people who don’t change majors four times either…
    Todd sounds like a live in the moment and embrace every moment kind of guy. I’ve always envied that spirit in people.They inspire me to see more and be more.

  36. Tall Chick says:

    I didn’t meant that kind of raincoat.
    Party hat.

  37. blackwatertown says:

    Good post about a good friend and a good friendship. Best of luck to Tod during his time in the Dominican Republic.

    • lessinges says:

      Paul – ha, Tod is back from his Peace Corps stint. He had wonderful stories to tell once he got back. I enjoyed all the gestures the locals use in the DR.

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