Editor’s note: The Following blog post is written for a much loved member of Easton Training Center’s community in Arvada who recently left this plane too soon. The image above shows Doug receiving his blue belt several years ago.
Doug Carver. His name immediately brings to mine a large, flashing white smile that permanently stamped on his face and a shock of white hair. His sharp humor always hid waiting behind that smile, ready to launch a joke into our lives. We all miss him.
Doug died Thursday, June 9th after coming home from Jiu Jitsu.
All his life, Doug was either coming from or going somewhere. His life was remarkably full. In a world where most people do very little with their time, Doug rarely had enough to satisfy the myriad of things he enthusiastically enjoyed. He was an avid traveler, devoted to his loving family and genuinely curious about the world. He engaged with fully and presently every chance he got.
Unsurprisingly, it was nearly impossible to find a parking spot at his funeral. It was overflowing with people that loved him and were deeply affected by his loss.
Whether golf, travel, practicing Spanish with indigenous people and giving away contents of his surgical kit to communities that had none, or teaching others to ski, everyone has a story about his generosity and zeal.
Our community is no different. He had a unique way of making everyone he interacted with feel like they were the only person in the room.
Doug’s passing struck our academy hard. Everyone loved him, as he did all of us.
The week Doug left us happened to be the same week Professor Chris planned to award him a purple belt, and it was also the week he was going on an adventure with one of his daughters.
Studies claim that only 18 percent of people that start BJJ earn a purple belt. Most give up long before then.
Doug had no quit in him. An oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Doug had just retired from his long and prosperous career. He didn’t need to do BJJ; he was never gong to be the purple belt winning all the medals and smashing everyone, but it didn’t matter. Doug loved BJJ as much or more than anyone, and he clearly loved us.
Doug had some parting words for all of us written in his will and shared at his funeral. While the exact language escapes memory for the moment, the sprit is clear: be good to each other and live well. Enjoy your life and keep a good sense of humor. Spend your time with people you love and doing things you love.
Never stop learning. Never stop exploring. Be the person in the room that makes someone feel loved. No need to fear death when you have lived well.
Godspeed, Doug. We miss you.