Saturday, February 4th, come join us to honor the fallen. Our members, Jason and Stacey Carse, lost their loved one in February of 2011. Let us gather as a community and honor Carse, and all fallen soldiers.
We will run two heats, 8am and 9am. You will have one hour to complete the workout, scale accordingly. The link for heat sign-ups is below.
We appreciate your cooperation for this special event and look forward to honoring our fallen brother by doing what we love to do, SWEAT! Below is a little something Carse’s brother-in-law wrote about his life.
Nathan Carse | Challenging the Status Quo and Truly Living
February 10, 2011
Any other brother would’ve kicked my ass. The first time I met Nathan Carse was under some pretty heavy pretenses. Megan, his younger sister, and me were planning on marrying and we were expecting our son Jackson. To add to the anxiety and pressure of the situation, Chuck Carse (Nathan’s father) was present to meet me as well. And the women left me alone with both of them. Chuck took my hand to shake it and I honestly don’t believe I ever got it back. But after Chuck left the dining room, it was just me and Nathan. He looked me in the eye, and I told him I wouldn’t blame him if he punched me, but he responded, “I’m not pissed at you, things happen for a reason.”
Now, he was a still a big brother and consequently took me out back of the house to shoot guns. Go Harrod. If you know me, you know that I can’t handle a gun; don’t know the names of guns; only know that you pull a trigger to make them go ‘bang’. Nathan picked off cans of pop from 30 yards with little to no pause between shots. Some of you may be thinking, “Well shoot, I could do that,” but to me that was impressive and a bit frightening. Sort of reminds me of the time he skinned a deer in the back of his truck by himself because the place he was going to take it to wouldn’t do it for whatever reason and he didn’t want to see the meat go to waste. Skinned it in the bed of his truck with a knife. He had a stomach and was a man’s man for sure.
I also remember taking a trip down to see Nathan while he was studing at LSU. We went during the summer; Janis, Kristin, Megan, me and our son Jackson (who was two years old at the time). After the 14 hour drive to Nathan’s “living quarters” he immediately put me to work. I mean this literally – I got out of the van (which by the way the A/C broke down in it halfway there) and he pointed me towards cement blocks that he had begun to use to construct a grill-like pit. He had coolers of whole chickens marinating. So, begrudgingly, I began to stack the cement blocks (as instructed) in the humid 100 degree heat of Louisiana at high noon. Soon, several of Nathan’s rugby buddies began to show up. He put them to work too. It was amazing, he orchestrated the whole thing. He would show each small group of guys what to do and how he wanted it done and then would back out and they would do it. It was at this moment I realized he was a natural and respected leader.
The party, which was supposed to be a “small” gathering of friends but turned into a bash for all of LSU’s finest, hosted over 150 people. Nathan worked the party and I learned something else about him that night. People were naturally attracted to him. It was because of his charm…if you didn’t get a good laugh on that one then you should take a moment and laugh now. It wasn’t his charm (in my opinion). It was his authenticity. He was real and kept it real. It was his ability to listen to you when you talked. Something he learned from his mother Janis, no doubt. It was his ability to befriend anyone in a moment and seamlessly connect you with others around you so that you had a great time and felt at home. He should’ve been in sales. But he had a higher purpose than that.
I mentioned LSU above. Did you know that Nathan was a genius? Oh yeah. He graduated first from Capital University with a Bachelor’s in Biology and then went on to LSU to earn his Masters in Civil Engineering. I would give him a hard time and say that most people who went to college for nearly 7 years were going for the MD…he said he liked college too much. Agreed.
After graduating from LSU, he worked for a consulting firm in Louisiana as a Civil Engineer, rebuilding the Louisiana sewage systems. When home for the holidays one year, he told me he wasn’t happy with his work. He didn’t like the job. He was very much interested in enlisiting in the Army. Why? That was my first response (in my head of course – remember, I didn’t want to get my ass kicked, he was a stocky rugby playing guy that skins deers with his bare hands in the back of trucks).
Why would you leave a nice safe job with a great pension and benefits to go to one of the most dangerous environments on the face of the world right now to live in a tent? That was my personal thought. But it wasn’t about what he was going to give up. It was about NOT doing something that he was most passionate about. So, despite many of our concerns and warnings of “safe, sound advice”, Nathan enlisted and went off to boot camp.
After boot camp he came home for a very brief visit before leaving for Afghanistan. I had just won a raffle at a networking event – 4 free tickets to a Toledo Mudhens game for the following week. It was short notice and I thought about sharing them with clients of mine, but Megan suggested I take my dad, Nathan, and Jackson. Great idea! We went and had an awesome time. My dad and Nathan connected at a deep level on the drive up and back. Jackson had another great experience with him at the game. After we got home from the game, my dad took Jackson home with him. Megan had to work that night and Janis had our other son Aidin. So me and Nathan hit up The Beagle in Ada for a few frosty beverages. We controlled the Juke Box, which I’m sure the college kids hated – Nathan had a great taste in tunes, we listened to Bob Seger all night. We laughed all night. We walked through McDonald’s drive-thru for food. It was a great night. He confided in me that night that he felt like he finally found his niche and his passion. He was on purpose for what felt like the first time in a long time. I’m thankful for that last night I had with him.
What I have learned from this tragedy is simply this – we each have a purpose, a passion, a dream, or something inside of us that makes us feel obligated to ourselves to do and carry out…but most of us choose the nice, safe job with the pension plan and benefits; or we choose to do nothing at all. We hold back for fear of disappointing others close to us. For fear of losing a lifestyle. For fear of rejection or failure. Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com (a billionaire by the way), once said, “Sometimes in life you have to be willing to be misunderstood.” He said this in reference to the critics of Amazon when it was first going to launch – no one thought people would buy used books online. Jeff has earned billions to date thanks to his choice to move forward with an idea that few saw as logical. Nathan has earned much more than billions. Nathan chose to be misunderstood by many of us for choosing to do what he did with his career. But with that decision, he truly lived. He lived a life of purpose in the end because he chose to challenge the status quo for someone who had his education and experience. Do you have a passion or idea that you are holding back on, because of the fear of rejection or not fitting the mold?
I have been changed for the better after knowing Nathan and having watched him on his journey, as brief as my experience with him was. What a great friend; brother; son, uncle; nephew; grandson; hero; genius; conversationalist; hunter; leader; man’s man; soldier; life of the party; (insert here). Thank you Nathan for truly living; in your death, I too have learned to truly live. -Matt Brown