Why I’m Running: For a Friendship, by Derek Puhl

My name is Derek Puhl and I am running the reWarding 5k this November at North Park near Pittsburgh for friendship.

Friendship is a critical interpersonal relationship that we are honored to experience through our lives. It strengthens us when we are lacking, shapes us when we are growing, and supports us in our successes. Adam was the perfect friend and the epitome of what it means to have a friend, a buddy, and a comrade. He was always there with a laugh or a wise anecdote. Adam also gave the greatest and warmest hugs in the universe. Anyone who had the privilege of this experience can relate.

I met Adam in 1994 in junior high school. We were in the band together, we had classes together, and we played Dungeons and Dragons several weekends a month. We knew we were friends as soon as we met. Awkward teenagers meeting in our formative years, seeing something in each other, and knowing we would experience a great friendship.

We continued to grow through our shared love of orcs & dwarves, video games, movies, books, music, philosophy, and history. Adam loved to quote movie lines, and he was great at it.

As we graduated high school, we knew we were embarking on the grandest adventure, even though we would be separated between Adam in Slippery Rock, and my journey to Philadelphia. It was a bittersweet departure, but we continued to stay closely in touch through our college years, and we visited each other frequently.

After college, we stayed in close contact, and we shared frequent text messages and phone calls that would last hours, catching up on our lives, and giving each other input, advice, and sharing funny stories. We shared our failures, successes, and offered advice to one another.

Every time we met in person, it was like no time had elapsed at all. Ours was a true friendship for the ages.

Adam’s friendship has left me changed permanently. I will always be a better person for knowing him. He has given me insight into what it is like to be an exemplary friend, and apply those lessons with other friends in my life, paying forward the messages he presented to the world. I am running this race to help raise money to foster research for cancer, in hopes that they can develop a cure.

Please join me and run, walk, donate, or volunteer for this legacy event.

The ReWarding 5k (runsignup.com) — what could be more ReWarding than that? Thank you for your time, and for reading about my friend, Adam.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.