Coach Maberry's Story: https://bit.ly/2Tk22P6
“Life is not defined by adversity, it is defined by your response to it.” Throughout my 4 years playing high school football, Coach Daniel Maberry ingrained into our team the adage above. However, I would not comprehend the true meaning of those words until the winter of 2018. That January, Coach Maberry was diagnosed with stage IV lymphoma.
I had the chance to go see him in person last Christmas break, and Coach Maberry greeted me with the same warmth and enthusiasm as he did back in high school. If it wasn’t for the antiviral face mask he was wearing or the lack of hair from chemotherapy treatments, no one would have ever known this man had been battling lymphoma for the majority of the last 12 months. When facing his diagnosis, Coach Maberry led by example, practiced what he preached, and redefined his adversity through his actions and his response to cancer. His toughness, resolve, and positivity over the past year has taught me everything on what it means to be a leader and a mentor; a role model to emulate my life towards. I owe so much of my personal edification directly to him. In a way, I feel that me joining Texas 4000 wasn’t a personal decision. Rather, it’s a fulfillment of an unspoken obligation to give back to Coach Maberry after all he’s done for me.
Coach Maberry may have been the catalyst for me to join Texas 4000, but now my reasons for riding have grown. On October 13th, 2018, James Le passed away at the age of 22 after a prolonged battle with leukemia. While I never had the opportunity to meet James in person, I got to know him well through my two close friends: Shelby and Cody. I saw firsthand how much James meant to the people around him, and I learned through Shelby and Cody of the strength and depth of his courage. But I also witnessed the devastating effects cancer can have, and the disheartenment and helplessness felt by the loved ones of fighters at times.
So, I ride:
I ride for Coach Maberry- his model of toughness and indomitable spirit; the embodiment of the statement he inculcated into every one of us.
I ride in honor of James- his bravery and unwavering positivity in the face of adversity.
I ride for Shelby and Cody, who I know would be with me on the 2020 team if it wasn’t for their graduation.
I ride in honor of my grandfather, who passed away from liver cancer early in my life- before I fully understood the gravity of cancer.
I ride in memory of my uncle, who was swiftly taken from us as a result of undiscovered pancreatic cancer.
And finally, I ride because life is not defined by the adversities we face, it is defined by our responses.
For all these people and reasons, I ride-
To Alaska and Back,