These days, the term partner has a number of different connotations such as life, romantic or sporting as well as the old staples of professional and crime. I believe that it is rare that one is able to successfully find a single person that fills all of those categories, to some degree or another, and is the perfect match. I'm not going to turn this post into some big sappy reflection but will keep this on the lighter side. The point is simple, I'm very lucky to be married to someone that shares so many like qualities, goals and ideals.
Earlier this week, I tried to round people up to go out and do something crazy like ride for a few hours on the road on a windy and well below freezing day or mountain bike in the winter, through the snow, ice and cold, after dark, on a weeknight. It was with no real surprise that I came up almost completely dry on both counts. All of the usual cohorts except for John passed on the road ride and all of the self-deemed tough-guys wanted no part of or had some excuse that precluded them from the mountain bike ride.
My wife on the other hand, was as always, willing, able and enthusiastic to join. We made it about two hours on the road, with Cathy clearly working hard, before she decided to head back toward home. Then the other night, we went out and rode mountain bike for a couple of hours and had a great time being outside, active and together. The ride was nothing special, and certainly not a hammerfest. It was on some of the local paths and trails that had gotten enough foot traffic to pack them to the point where they were rideable. For the most part, you would deem this a pleasant ride, but to some degree or another, they all are.
Last night after multiple passes at shoveling the driveway during the day and actually working from home, we stole away for some snowshoeing. At first we packed up the truck and headed for some local trail-heads, while the tail end of the storm was still raging. Of course not one of the places that we normally park at had been plowed and thus we we completely shut down. Back home we went and donned our shoes. We started by tracking through the yard on onto the unplowed sidewalk. From there we ducked into the woods behind Shawsheen Cemetary, a block of conservation land that we ride mountain bikes through. We made one big loop and then ventured back home to grill a big rack of beef ribs and watch the new release on DVD, Piranha. An excellent day.
As I reflect back over the years this has been a recurring theme, be it with 100 mile Notch attacks, 200 plus mile 12 hour snowmobile days in the cold, snow or even rain, or winter snowshoe or XC ski epics through feet of untracked snow. Others have always expressed interest but when the time comes, more often than not, they tend to back out. However, one thing has remained constant, Cathy has remained there as the one and only partner that I can consistently rely on, a fact that I am very appreciative of and thankful for.
I look forward to the new year of adventures, together with my partner, my wife. Just wait until she hears about all the neat things I have planned for us this year.