It was already hot, humid and windy as hell when I arrived in a godforsaken schoolyard in the middle of the Pine Barrens. I was there along with hundreds of other bicycle riders to compete in a charity fundraiser. It was a great cause. But, let’s just say I wasn’t thrilled to be there.
Then, I met Barry Schultz. Barry has been struck down by ALS, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. He was diagnosed with it two years ago, but shows little ill effects from a malady that carries a prognosis of two to five years.
Words do not due justice to Barry’s can-do attitude. He’s bright, bubbly and outgoing. And, he was champing at the bit to start the fund-raising bike ride.
And, ride we did. And, ride Barry did. And, sure enough, my hamstring cooperated, my allergies subsided and I cruised through the woods to the seashore.
It was cool to finish the race. It was cooler still to watch my fellow riders cheer Barry a few minutes later when he wheeled across the finish line.
Our team raised $19,000 for Barry and ALS research. It’s a drop in the bucket to be sure. But, every dollar counts.
What counts more is the lesson Barry taught us on Saturday. He showed us how one can, and should, live one’s life. Despite the death sentence, Barry makes the most out of each and every minute he has.
What a different world this would be if Barry was the norm, and not the exception. Talk about image and reputation management! Barry could, and should write a book. There are quite a few CEOs and politicians who would learn a great deal from it.