Get Busy Livin'

Today, he will be running for his younger brother, Dylan Meier.
Dylan, a Wildcat quarterback from 2002-06, was a free soul. He was adventurous. He helped others and touched many lives.  
So, when a tragic hiking accident took Dylan's life on April 19, 2010, Shad knew he had to do something to keep Dylan's memory alive.
"We started Get Busy Livin' after Dylan left us," explained Shad about the foundation created in memory of his brother. "It started with the purpose to carry on the message and the life that he lived; to carry on what he valued: a zestful, adventurous life, a concern for health, a help to others.
"At first, we didn't really know what we were going to do," continued Shad, "but we knew if we could just get something started, get a name, we'd be fine."
And so the Dylan Meier Get Busy Livin' Foundation was born.
Established in 2011, Get Busy Livin' provides support to individuals who embody the values and lifestyle of Dylan Meier. Every year the foundation gives out seven academic-type and lifestyle-type scholarships to Crawford County high school seniors that show excellence in academics, school and community involvement as well as a Pittsburg High Football Scholarship and a Kpreps Player of the Year Award scholarship.  
Along with the scholarships, Get Busy Livin' has also supported numerous community projects. From helping Pittsburg High with a drag racing car project to donating money to a Tennessee high school that didn't have enough funds to start up a football program, Get Busy Livin' has gotten busy helping. 
"We are messengers of the way Dylan conducted his life," continued Shad. "This is nothing other than a reminder that we were put on this earth to live. Non conforming, thinking outside of the box, pushing yourself, that's what Get Busy Livin' is all about. It's about never taking anything for granted because, as we know, it can be taken from you in a heartbeat."
The first big event for Get Busy Livin' was a 5K run in the brothers' hometown of Pittsburg, Kansas. In April of 2011, friends, family and supporters of Get Busy Livin' gathered to run to remember the life of Dylan Meier.
Today, five years later, they're still running.
"We started with a 5K run, that was the initial event we wanted to do," said Shad. "It took a lot of coordination, a whole, whole lot more coordination than I ever expected, but this will be the fifth year in a row and it's really grown."
The run starts and ends at the Pittsburg High School football field and the course, according to the foundation's website, is "designed and inspired by the number 9" - Dylan's number throughout his Pittsburg High and K-State career. 
This year is expected to be the biggest year yet. 
"The first year or two we had it, it was really intense," said Shad about his emotions leading up to the 5K each year. "I found myself weeping up in the stands because you have this collection of people - it's that whole team concept. None of this could have happened with just one person, but when you put all these people together it comes together in a beautiful way. Everything has just worked out. The music gets going and it is like a reunion for a lot of people. It's a reset button; you get back to what's important.
"We have people come out from all over the United States. They fly in; that's not easy. It takes a conscious, extra effort to do it, and it means a lot."
During his time at K-State, Shad, an All-Big 12 tight end for the Wildcats, was a two-year starter for head coach Bill Snyder. He played for one of the best offensive K-State teams in school history, and, after his K-State career, was selected by the Tennessee Titans in the third round of the 2001 NFL Draft. 
Shad was the first of a long line of successful Meier football players as, along with Dylan, his younger brothers Adam (Pittsburg State) and Kerry (University of Kansas) also played collegiate football.
Though the four brothers all had football in common, Shad was thrilled when Dylan announced he'd also be playing football at K-State.
"We had enough space between us where we didn't overlap or anything, but, selfishly, I really loved that he chose to go to K-State," said Shad. "It was such a wonderful experience for myself, and I really believed in the family atmosphere of K-State football. I really believe in Coach Snyder. It was neat to share the purple with him."
At K-State, Dylan became the first Kansas native to start at quarterback under Snyder. He started six games during his sophomore season in 2004, but he missed the entire 2005 season with injury. Displaying toughness and grit, he got back on the field his senior year and started the first five games of 2006. Overall, the Pittsburg High star played in 35 games during his K-State career and threw for 2,287 yards and 12 touchdowns. He was also a member of the 2003 Big 12 Championship team.
"Coach Snyder came and spoke at Dylan's funeral, and he gave a wonderful speech to a lot of people," said Shad. "That was very touching to us. Coach Snyder expressed how Dylan had an impact on him, and I was awed. You never expect players or students to have impacts on their coaches or teachers, but, on special occasions, they do. And that just shows you that Dylan was a special person." 
A special person who left a very special legacy, Dylan's spirit continues to inspire, help others and live on through the Get Busy Livin' Foundation.
"He was an unbelievable young man in all the right ways," Snyder said to Mark Schremmer in a story published on April 19, 2010, in the Topeka Capital-Journal. "When he was here in our program, he was as good a leader as one could wish for. He was mature beyond his years. He possessed all the intrinsic values that make people successful, and he guided us in that direction as well.
"The spirit and the passion he had for life and for adventure and for other people as well is the thing that will live on in our minds and our hearts, all of us that he touched around here."
To learn more about the Dylan Meier Get Busy Livin' Foundation, its mission, scholarships and the annual 5K, please click here
 

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