A Staten Island triathlete and endurance coach ventures into the ultramarathon realm where there are seemingly no limits to human endurance. In 2013, he successfully finished the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning (picture of 2013 Grand Slam finishers above; I'm second from right), becoming only the 282nd person (since its beginnings in 1986) and only the fourth New Yorker to finish four of the oldest and most prestigious 100 mile ultramarathons in the U.S. in only 10 weeks.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

First Anniversary of Hurricane Sandy - Reflection

One year ago, Sandy roared ashore onto Staten Island and into the history books.

None of us ever expected to see a storm this ferocious coming, but it did. Weather forecasters have stated that there was a chance that severe damage can happen to Staten Island and its surrounding areas if the conditions were right.

And they were right that day:

1)  The storm took an unusual path and took a left turn right into NJ. Staten Island was caught in the worst part of the storm.

2) We had a slow moving storm. The brunt of the storm spanned two high tides, which was bad. The first high tide couldn't drain off due to the winds driving them on shore. When the second high tide hit, it just built upon the water from the first high tide.

3) There was a full moon that night. Astronomical high tides happen during a new and full moon due to its alignment with the sun. The second high tide that built over the first one was when the full moon was high. As a result, the resulting storm surge was the crippling blow to Staten Island, the Rockaways, and the Jersey Shore.

My aunt, who recently passed away, and her husband were caught in their house as the flood waters filled the first floor of their home. They were rescued by the firefighters during the height of the storm.

The area afterwards was surreal. It looked like a bomb hit the area. I seriously thought that I was in a war zone. I had a good chance to look around while helping her clean up and couldn't believe what I saw.

Looking through the back yard of my aunt's house, two days after Sandy. There is a swimming pool under all that debris somewhere.


The block where my aunt resided on looked like a war zone.


As for me, I wasn't directly involved, but indirectly I suffered a huge hit. Most of the people I was coaching lived on the shore. I nearly lost my entire coaching business due to this storm. And it's understandable too. What I do is a luxury, not a necessity. People will not worry about their marathon times if their house is underwater. That is definitely understandable. But the resulting financial loss put me in a bit of a pinch, so much that I had to scramble for ideas on how to retain those people (I gave some of my services for free, just to give them a helping hand in a dire situation) and how to start everything back up from scratch again.

A couple of my ideas for drumming up business did generate a lot of friction between me and some of the people I know. It's really times like these that determine who are your real friends and who are not.

Although I wasn't directly affected by the storm, but I was still a victim to it.

Today, people are still feeling the effects of that storm. Although my coaching has picked up quite a bit from that fateful storm, I still know that people are still rebuilding from that horrible storm and I feel for them.

It also gave me a little foresight to prepare myself a little better financially in case a storm like this hits. And I think people in general are a bit more wary and won't be caught with their guard down the next time a calamity like this hits close to home.

I don't think all of us will be caught with our pants down next time.


1 comment:

  1. Beautifully and compassionately written IronPete.

    ReplyDelete