By Sarah Gayda
I have a friend whose attitude on life I admire. Her name is Janet. She's always looking for an excuse to laugh; her trademark "Haaaaaaa" can be heard a mile away and makes all those around spontaneously crack up, whether they know her or not. She's also got an infectious live-life-for-the-now attitude that she puts into practice. She's the one organizing unforgettable girls' trips, sharing the funniest Internet jokes and pulling together dinner parties that leave you feeling like you've had the best ab workout of your life. And, she typically doesn't sweat the small stuff. We could all learn a thing or two from her.
Janet's unique approach to life was partly born out of tragedy. When she was 38 years old, her husband, Rob Bosinger, died suddenly, leaving her alone with their seven-month-old baby. Rob, a healthy and fit national ski racer, passed away from cardiac arrhythmia.
The time after Rob's death was awful and surreal. Most of us cannot begin to imagine it. However, amid the pain, Janet and the Bosinger family resolved to ensure Rob's memory lived on as the honourable, big-hearted, alpine-loving and funny man that he was.
In 2005, they established an annual ski race in Rob's name. Held in Banff, Alberta, each spring, the now-popular Bozocup (Bozo was Rob's nickname) morphed into a full weekend of events and festivities — think crazy costumes, beer gardens and a lively après-party — now known as the Rob Bosinger Memorial Weekend (RBMW). After 12 successful years, the event has raised over $70,000 for The Canadian Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndromes (SADS) Foundation and provided scholarships for 22 youths to pursue their dreams of ski racing. What an incredible legacy.
When Janet approached me to see if Combo could create a new website for RBMW, I was more than honoured. When designing the site, we had some paradoxical challenges in mind: convey the lively and festive nature of the weekend while at the same time paying proper tribute to Rob; and encourage participants to sign up for the exciting dual slalom races while also raising awareness of cardiac arrhythmia.
I invite you to take a look — to share in a story of heartbreak mixed with celebration and accomplishment. It's a good reminder of how fleeting life can be and why Janet's enjoy-the-now lease on life is well worth emulating.