Posted by: Joe | May 27, 2009

Memorial

It’s been almost 6 months since my friend and coach died unexpectedly.  He’s in my mind whenever I’m at the gym–and while I’m not training for anything specific right now, that’s still a lot and there are few days that I don’t think of him.

A few days after his death I had an idea for a memorial proposal, and after running the idea by his family I sent this letter to Oakville Town Councillor Ralph Robinson:

Dear Councillor Robinson,

My name is Joe Miller.  I am an amateur boxer, and I am writing to you on behalf of the family and friends of Mike “Prime Time” Post.

You may have read in the local papers (http://www.oakvilletoday.ca/news/article/222938), about 6 weeks ago Mike passed away suddenly.  Mike was an exceptional athlete, excelling in football and track&field before finding his niche in boxing.  Undefeated in the amateur ranks, Mike had compiled a 17-1-1 record as a professional.  He was poised to break out among boxing’s elite, recently traveling to Puerto Rico to serve as a sparring partner for former WBO light welterweight champion Miguel Cotto, and was to fight for the IBA World Junior Welterweight championship next May.

In addition to being an great athlete, Mike was an entrepreneur, owning a popular gym in Oakville (Prime Time Personal Fitness and Boxing).  In addition to doing a significant portion of his own training at the gym, Mike was a tireless proponent of amateur boxing in Ontario, and ran an amateur boxing program.  Mike loved giving back to the community, recently making the gym available to local high school classes to introduce young people to the sport.

I was at the gym for an early morning workout this spring to prepare for an amateur bout, to do some hill sprints at a spot not far from the gym.  When I had finished and returned to the gym, Mike was there and we talked for a bit about The Hill’s effectiveness as a training tool.

All of the Team Primetime fighters are very familiar with The Hill.  The Hill in question is a narrow lane off of Bronte Road, leading down the side of the Bronte Creek valley, into a parking lot in Petro Canada Park.  It’s short, about 150 meters at most.

That morning Mike and I both agreed that it didn’t matter who you were, or how good you think your physical condition is, The Hill will kick your butt.  If you’ve done a dozen sprints up the hill and aren’t totally exhausted, it’s because you didn’t push yourself.  It doesn’t matter if your name is Joe Miller, or Mike Post, or Donovan Bailey–The Hill will beat you every time.

At the end of our discussion, Mike joked that he’d run up The Hill so many times that “by the end of my career, they’ll name it after me.”

Mike was truly one of Oakville’s finest young citizens–a community leader in every respect.  He was an example to everyone who knew him that a positive attitude, respect and hard work could make your dreams possible, no matter how high your aim. We miss him dearly, and would like investigate having this hill named in his memory.  What do we need to do to make this happen?

Sincerely,

Joe Miller

On behalf of,

Family:

Team Primetime:

Prime Time Fitness & Boxing Staff:

Friends:

Thousands of others to be found on the following Facebook groups:
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=38350701685
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=42090731722

Coincidentally, when Councillor Robinson received my email, he was meeting with one of the other amateur fighter’s mother on Oakville town business.  As well, one of the other town councillors did some occasional sparring with Mike, so the proposal gained immediate traction.  However, as is typical with municipal politics, the proposal was shelved pending a feasibility report, and it wasn’t until tonight that it actually went to a vote before the Community Services Committee.

Ex-Dallas Cowboy/Toronto Argo Chris Schultz is also a member of Primetime Fitness, and was a close of friend of Mike’s.  He made a heartfelt argument before the Committee, which went a long way to winning their support.

However, it turns out the land doesn’t belong to the town–it’s on a long-term lease to Oakville from Petro Canada, who were resistant to the idea of naming their property.  However as an alternative, they were open to the idea of a memorial plaque on the hill, which is sort of what I had imagined in the first place.  And the Committee voted to absorb the cost of purchasing and installing the memorial, which would normally be the responsibility of the group making the request.

So while we didn’t get everything that we wanted, I’m happy with the compromise.  And in the end, if Mike’s name and face are permanently at the top, it will be Primetime Hill regardless of what’s printed on the street sign.

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Responses

  1. That’s awesome. A touching coda for a sad story.

    • Joe,
      Thanks for your support.
      You were a true friend of Mike’s and one of the hardest working guys he had.
      I remember you were one of the few who could push him to work even harder.
      He respected you because of your determination and mental toughness.
      I will not forget your kind thoughts and support.

      Your friend,

      Greg Post


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