Feb 3, 2007
It all started in the parking lot with my awesome RaceAthlete Team. Here is Stu, after an early wake-up, a 2 hour car ride, a 4 hour plane ride, luggage, a 90+mph van ride, looking for bikes, parts, yikes!!!! So what does Stu do? Floyd and Melanie McQuiad were in the parking lot. I looked over at Mel and said, "Hey Melanie, can I jump on your bike?" Without a second thought she said, "Sure, come on Stu." So what do I do? I jumped on the bike WITH Melanie and rode for about 20 feet. (I do have the video to show this event). That is how cool the weekend was. A lot of smack talk, a lot of jokes, and a lot of fun. She was about as cool as anyone could be. I have met a lot of cool people, but Mel is certainly one of the best. She offered so much to us. She rode with us and even took us out on a run. Just the team. After a few miles I was running alone with her just talking. We even got a bit lost finding our way back to the group. Either way, it was a great hour run that I will never forget. I do want to point out that I'm NOT star crazy. I just love people. Not just any people - just good quality - honest people. Now the fact still remains that I only spent 3 days with Mel, but over those 3 days I found an awesome WORLD CHAMPION. I even told her this at dinner. As we sat back in San Diego over pizza, I said "Melanie, I had you all wrong. I mean I ALWAYS thought you were top notch, but you are much more than that. I can't put my finger on it, but the bottom line is you are every bit a World Champion. Period!"
With that we left dinner and she drove us back to the airport. Ironwill had to stop to get her kids a gift, so Mel and I sat in a display chair at the local CVS store. It was so funny. She was reading People Magazine as I sat reflecting on the weekend. I looked over at her and just smiled. She taught me an important lesson.
World Champions, Rock Stars, Presidents, and Movie Stars have so many people looking at them with this amazement. People look up to these people. People sometimes even idolize them. For me it was far different with Mel. She is just another person that once you meet her, gives YOU inspiration to be your best. She inspires you to be a better person. While on one of our rides I asked Melanie if she still had the passion to win. She gave me one of those smiles and simply said "absolutely." So the bottom line is if you ever get a chance to meet Melanie, take full advantage as you may never get the opportunity to meet a better person!