“You know you are going to be more upset with yourself if you don’t do it.”
Those were the powerful words that inspired me to run my very first marathon.
Leave it to Fern to drop a major truth bomb like that, but he was right! Although I questioned my physical ability, in my heart, I knew I would be more upset with myself if I didn’t try.
Somehow (just two days before the race) he convinced me to buy a number off craigslist and meet him at the Tony Roma’s in Waiks at 4:30 a.m. He walked me all the way to the starting line and wished me luck before we set out on the 26.2 mile journey.
And you know what happened next?
I experienced a moment that forever changed my life.
Crossing the finish line to my very first marathon taught me that I really can do ANYTHING I set my mind to. But I don’t know if I would have been able to believe in myself with such faith, if Fern didn’t believe in me first.
I can honestly say that this man changed my life, and chances are, he changed yours too.
Fern is what you would call legendary. He was a friend to all and had the ability to lift the mood higher than his infamous high kick. Every encounter with him would have you learning, laughing, and straight up inspired to make the most of life.
Whether it was conquering Koko Head at high noon, dropping bombs on the softball field, or hanging out in VIP at the Sony Open. There is no denying this island icon lived to the fullest, every damn day.
And thank goodness he did, because if we didn’t cross running paths on the Ala Wai six years ago, I’m not sure if I would have ever been inspired to take a chance on myself.
My heart is heavy with the loss of Mr. Honolulu himself, but like a true marathoner, Fern knew he would eventually reach his finish line.
And marathoner or not, I think we can all agree— he had one hell of a race.
His presence touched the lives of an entire island and beyond. Although physically he is no longer with us, his legacy will live on forever (which says a lot about a guy who doesn’t even have a facebook).
Fern, you have changed my life more than you will ever know. Not only did you teach me how to believe in myself, you reminded me what life is all about. It’s about taking chances, putting your passions to the test, experiencing each day as an adventure, and making an impression on hearts of others, because that is how you continue to live on.
Can’t wait to celebrate with you again at the Finish Line friend.
xx Fins & Kisses,
Your Running Mermaid.