Last evening we had a church event at a lake about seven miles south of town, and she decided she wanted to ride her bike there. (I, of course, had to drive, because I had to bring a guitar…not that I would have attempted the ride anyway.) But to avoid the main highway, she plotted a course that took her through about 11 miles of county roads. Given that the main highway route involves a long, steep hill, she knew that regardless of the route, there would be some uphill climbing involved. She had hoped all of the county roads would be paved, but as it turns out, a good deal of the route was gravel roads. Undaunted, she pressed on, tackling steep hills, avoiding a pair of dogs that chased her and nipped at her heels, finally arriving at the event site, hot and tired, but triumphant. She said it was the worst ride she had ever taken. She commented later that the only thing worse than riding up a steep gravel road was riding DOWN a steep gravel road. But the bike held up, she didn’t get bitten by the dogs, and she accomplished something that she wasn’t sure she could do about half way through the ride.
I was setting up to play, warming up on my guitar, and I kept glancing up toward the road I expected her to ride in on, and then I saw the silhouette of her on her bike, turning into the field. She dismounted and walked toward the event site, pouring the remaining contents of her water bottle over her face—I don’t know that I’ve ever been prouder of her than in that moment.
She’s the love of my life, and after nearly 25 years of marriage, she still inspires me.