17 October 2008

Rest In Peace

Chris Ebert
12/04/1982 - 10/04/2008

You always hear about situations where it's so devestating that you believe it's a really bad joke and you can't wait until someone clears it up.

On the 5th of this month a former coach/collegue/friend passed away. He was 25 going on 26 and, in my opinion, very successful in life. Chris was a very independent, bright, talented and, most of all, happy individual. He is survived by his parents Jerry and Christy and his sisters, Lalani and Stephanie.

Chris and I both went to Olympic High back home in Bremerton. He was an active member of the school involved in plenty. He was a member of the football and cheer squads, gymnastics, jazz choir and Pacific Islanders Club. His passion would carve a career in competitive Cheerleading

Although he had graduated in the class of 2001, I had met him my sophomore year when I heard about gymnastics and stopped by a class. It wasn't until a heard about a hip hop dance performance that he and I became better friends. Chris was choreographing a routine for the multicultural assembly and I participated. If it wasn't for that I probably wouldn't have gotten involved with OHS as much as I did. He was also the main influence to take up gymnastics and, finally in my senior year, cheerleading- two huge factors that have led me to my career path of Health & Fitness.

Gymnastics was a subculture at my high school because we had an auxillary gym that had all the gymnastics equipment you would need: rings, uneven bars, a high bar, parallell bars, a pommel horse, various balance beams, plenty of crash pads/mats and of course a large floor (6 wrestling mats, not spring floor). Anywho, being a dude that young with that much energy, like anyone else, I wanted to play on those toys. When I had the chance, I jumped at it and got in during an open gym. I was overwhelmed with all the stuff I was allowed to do. Chris (by way of Alex Jaime) got me into learning the backtuck. They told me I had a natural knack for the movements and I'll never forget that. I wasn't that confident when it came to my own talents back then and it was them who made me fully realize that anything was possible (as cliche as it sounds). Along with other students in school, Chris would bug me about joining cheer. And as you all know high school being a huge social experiment, I blew off cheerleading to be "dumb" and "gay".

Chris ended up taking over as coach for Dance Team. I didn't join, but a whole bunch of my close friends and my sister did so I was around all the time anyway. Dude kept helping in gymnastics and I improved much within a year of starting. After junior year ended I fancied the idea of doing cheer because of our schools reputation (3 years WA state cheer champs, many members of squad becoming All-American) and luckily was joined by some other guys I respected. I tried out and got on easily (girls who've been cheering since the beginning like Shannon and Jenn, who were now the captains of the squad, were wanting me on since the beginning). I was engulfed into the culture and was pleasantly suprised how dope it was. I became an NCA All-American and our squad was dope. Long story short, we won State with the help of Chris. With his swag, I became more confident as a person as well. He started working and eventually became the Staffing Director for the National Cheerleading Association.

The one thing I regret, if anything, is when I went down to Vegas in July and I was walking with some friends late at night/early in the morning and I saw some dude who looked like Chris. I had been drinking so I thought nothing of it, what are the chances it was him? It wouldn't have hurt to say what's up regardless. I wasn't able to attend his Going Away Party back home either, right before he moved to Texas.

You might hear it all the time, but Chris WAS a "happy-go-lucky" kind of guy. In my experience he was ALWAYS positive, even when he wasn't (know what I mean?). He was a great teacher and a great friend. It's good to see what a legacy he left behind and how many different lives he's affected. He lived his life how he wanted and as was happy. I admire that a lot.

From his MySpace:
" Learn to relax, it will help you breathe easier... Train yourself to take in deep breaths, it will help you appreciate the things around you more... understand the feeling of appreciation, for it will show you all the wonders of life... then accept the life that you're living, because you were given that life for a reason... " Chris Ebert - July 2008

Funny how things work out like that. He posted that online on my birthday. I can't help but feel some sort of message coming from the rest of his quotes. Like he knew something.

Lastly, here's a video of Chris doing what he did best...

Check out his stuff online to see how many lives he touched.

No comments:

Post a Comment