When I first met Daniel 10 years ago, he was a single guy in his late 30s. He pretty much just worked and went to the gym. In winter he went snowboarding, a sport he had enjoyed since childhood (or he skiied as a kid and then snowboarded later? I just know he threw himself down mountains with sticks of some sort strapped to his feet). Anyway. He was in great shape. One time early in our relationship he went to visit a friend in Denver and decided to just go ahead and run a 10K. He had not been training for aforementioned 10K. Just ran it. Probably didn't even sweat.
He also used to bike a lot. But that was way before me. Something like 15 years ago, he and his friends rode a bike race from Seattle to Vancouver BC. They still vividly remember the hills and all the other details, like what they ate and border crossings and such. I've heard a lot about this ride over the years.
ANYWAY. Daniel was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis a couple of years back. And, even though this disease causes joint pain, one of the best ways to help prevent flare ups is to stay active. He occasionally went to work out, but his old job was crazy and so he didn't go often.
And then last year sometime, he started talking about doing a big bike ride. Even though he hadn't actually been on his bike in the entire time I'd known him. The bike had been taken apart and resided behind our couch in our old house. But it is good to have goals, so I was supportive of his idea. He started talking to the friends that had done the RSVP (Seattle to Vancouver) ride with him 15 years before and they were weighing the options of doing that race or the somewhat easier one to Portland (which still sounds completely insane to me).
I tried to be subtle in conversation (anyone who knows me knows how difficult that is for me to do), but casually mentioned that, perhaps, since they were all now in their late 40s and hadn't done a bike ride of that magnitude in something like 15 years, the ride to Vancouver was possibly not the best of ideas. And since one of the guys lives in Portland anyway, that race makes more sense.
So, fast forward a bit. Daniel has been impressing the heck out of me. He got a new bike and has been biking to and from work almost every day. He's even getting up before work and going to spinning class at 6 am. I deeply question his sanity on the days when he goes spinning and then rides to and from work. I also poke him a lot when he falls asleep on my shoulder at 7 pm because he's completely worn out from all that biking.
He's starting to get worried about the race though. The last time that we drove to Portland (about 200 miles), he kept muttering "this is FAR" to himself. One of the two guys that he was going to do the race with has already dropped out, since family emergencies kept him from training enough. The other one did a 50 mile ride last weekend and messaged Daniel with ideas for how to get me to pick them up at the halfway point. Something about them being too old to do this.
Personally, I would not ride a bike to the end of the block, much less 200 miles, but I'm proud of the guys for trying! Keep your fingers crossed for them.