Even as we revel in the life-affirming glory of last night’s women’s 1500 meter final at the IAAF World Track & Field Championships in London, we are constantly reminded of the brief stay that is ours upon this blue, spinning orb.  The Boston Globe put out a very nice obituary today on an old friend and wheelchair racing pioneer Jack Coakley.

Jack was a 30-year stalwart at the Bill Rodgers Running Center in Boston’s Faneuil Hall.  He died last Friday while working out at Rowe’s Wharf gym at age 67.  He was a man who asked no quarter, nor gave any in return.  RIP wheelman.

We live as we do,

In the time we are given,

Trying as we might,

To accomplish what we can,

   In the fields that we till,

Through the habits, we develop,

By the grace that is God’s,

To bestow as He sees,

Upon those of His choosing.

And through those days,

and by our ways,

We come to discover,

The true purpose of our existence,

In this realm of blood and breath and bone,

From the bright wail of our birth,

 ‘Til the silent dying of our light,

Arranging through trial and error,

Accommodation and accord,

And even at times whimsy,

The measure that is ultimately me.



7 thoughts on “THE MEASURE OF MEN

  1. Jack was quite a character. A man you would never forget once you met him. He loved a good drink and life itself. RIP Jack. Thanks for saluting him Toni.

  2. That’s sad to hear. I remember Jack well while living and racing in Boston in the 80s. I went to that store a lot.

  3. Sorry to hear the passing of Jack, back in the day I raced side by side with him in the old Freedom Trail race in Boston. I can still see his “Freebird” on the back of his chair. Nice post, thanks…

  4. Thanks for posting this. Fitz and I found out about Jack’s passing at the High Street mile on Sunday from Lou Ristaino. Very sad indeed.


  5. Beautiful job, Toni. I think the thing that I feel the worst about is that so many great people aren’t celebrated until after their passing. I feel that this is something that we should all work on. Let’s celebrate people while they are still with us so that they are able to know how much they are appreciated, and appreciate just how special others think they are.

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