Obituary: Edward (Ted) MacBlane
June 12, 1965 – November 28, 2020
Ted MacBlane was hard to miss—if not for his strawberry-blonde curls, then for the grace and confidence with which he tele-skied. And skate-skied. And mountain biked, and road biked, and did pretty much everything else in his life. Now he’ll be impossible not to miss.
Born and raised in Denver, Ted passed away suddenly on Saturday, November 28th from a recently diagnosed cancer. He leaves behind his wife and best friend, Annie (Bollinger) MacBlane; his parents, Ed and Pat (Steckel) MacBlane; his sister and niece, Karen and Caulene MacBlane; and his brother, Kevin MacBlane.
In 1993, a B.S. in Kinesiology from the University of Colorado led Ted back to Aspen to become a personal trainer, then Pilates instructor. He opened his own Pilates studio in 2019 and was never happier. He loved being a teacher and mentor, and never stopped honing and expanding his skills deeper into and beyond traditional Pilates. This passion was obvious to anyone fortunate enough to have been subjected by him to the Hundred, Teaser, Swimming, or Swan—and other forms of torture he’d devised and had the generosity to first practice on himself. His long relationships with his clients attest not only to this dedication, but to the friendships that inevitably developed. Client or friend, the two were one and the same.
Ted felt blessed by his life—by Annie, with whom he shared his love for the outdoors, by his family and friends, and by his beautiful surroundings and ability to enjoy them. Every morning at dawn (his favorite time to be out), he’d take Wiley, his and Annie’s new rescue pup, for walks and runs in Hunter Creek Valley. When he had time, he’d disappear for hours into a book or the wilderness, happily and comfortably by himself. Biking, skiing, hiking, occasionally running…time alone, often in Highlands Bowl on a snowy day, is how he recharged. He only reluctantly, and very belatedly, got a cell phone, undoubtedly more for Annie’s sake than his own.
Even framed as the gentlest of suggestions, Ted almost never took well to being told what to do. He was so straightforward and honest that his irritation was impossible to hide (not that he ever tried). Arguing with him was pointless—he almost always won. He would have probably scoffed at the idea that teaching a bunch of six-year-olds how to ski could be fun. But when he became a volunteer AVSC cross-country ski coach two years ago, even Ted might have admitted he was wrong. The spunkier the kid, the more fun he had. Ted never shirked from a challenge, even when it threatened to derail him.
In September 2002, Ted was involved in a bike crash resulting in a ruptured spleen, collapsed lung, cracked pelvis, and broken ribs. Eleven months later, he was racing in his third of ten Leadville 100 MTB races. He considered quitting during that race, he said in an interview, “but I knew I would be so angry with myself.” That was Ted. He loved to compete and loved to win, but he measured his personal success against his own potential and, in this regard, was an unrelenting master. And while he relished opportunities to test his mettle against others—on two wheels or two skis—what he most valued was the camaraderie and kindness he found in his fellow competitors.
But cancer is no friend, and it isn’t kind to anyone. “The road ahead bumpy,” Ted texted after his initial biopsy, “but I’m prepared to take this on.” He had the grit and determination to fight harder against this malignancy than any competitor he’d ever faced. Tragically, he wasn’t given that chance: His cancer took him only days into the race.
Ted’s memorial service will be held this summer, when his friends and family can gather in person to remember and celebrate him the way he would have wanted.
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