Years ago, a boyfriend (who later turned husband) was visiting me in my hometown of Salem, Oregon. At the time, we were both eighteen. I was living with my best friend’s family, and her mother wouldn’t allow my boyfriend to stay over, so he bachelor-padded it with my dad during the visit. My boyfriend slept on the couch in the living room, and woke up before light had even begun to touch the sky. Dad was preparing for one of his many bike rides, and he didn’t care that it was a Saturday, a day where most people would sleep in. The loud noises and clanging about had disturbed my boyfriend’s beauty rest, and I remember the annoyance he expressed when he saw my dad walking around in biking shorts. “It’s still dark outside! Does the guy not sleep? Why is he even up before the sun is out?”
Dad took off for the beach. He had no where to be, no particular destination. He had decided to hop on his bike, and ride the near 60 miles it would take to reach Lincoln City. Stop. And then return to Salem, as if it were no big deal. My boyfriend was tongue-in-cheek about the whole thing, and for years after, anytime we’d see a lone bike rider out and about, he’d comment: “Russ? Is that you?” It didn’t matter where we were. Oregon. Texas. Nebraska. Arizona. He’d always comment when we’d see a rider, and I’d always laugh my ass off, because it was so funny, and so true. To this day, I still do it. I’m not with that guy anymore, but his biking joke lives on.
It wouldn’t be so funny, if I didn’t appreciate how insanely awesome my dad is. He’s in his mid-fifties, and you’d never know it. The man rides bike marathons. He instructs a spin class. He let me lead him through a RIPPED routine, and enjoyed it. He works hard, and he trains hard, and he’s in great shape. When I hear people grumble about their age, I look to my dad for some inspiration. I hope as I age, I’ll be able to continue on my fitness journey, just like he’s done, and that I’ll do okay as the years creep by. Or speed by, it seems it goes faster the older you get.
Here’s to you, Dad. I hope you have a fantastic birthday today, and I love you very much! Thank you for always supporting me in my endeavors! I can’t wait to hear about your next adventure!