Paul and I grabbed a quick bite, then went our separate ways. I had a great time riding with him, and I am grateful to him and my brother and eternal riding partner, Patfish Hunter, who has done every Challenge with me. I missed the people who could not be there, Jennifer, Michael, Kurt, Sean, Randy, George and Brad.
The ride home is always a cramp-fest, with quads, calves, and even my lower back seizing up. It's always been that way, and this trip was no different. I came home to an empty house as Mrs. Fish had taken Li' Fish over to church. I stretched, got a shower, stretched, cleaned up my gear and stretched. Mrs. Fish came home and I just hugged her, grateful to have had the last amazing 19 years with her.
Then I had to go pick up Li'l Fish. I walked into church and a lot of the youth group were really happy to see me and then I heard "DADDY!" It was the same voice I heard six years ago when I finished my first Challenge, and an eight-year-old Li'l Fish came bobbing across the parking lot into the arms of her daddy. Tonight, a young woman looked me almost eye-to-eye, and I realized just how much she has grown since that first Challenge, and just how much I have been given in these six years.
I am blessed...