The last posting of the year... Leo is really Robert, but he's Leo on Facebook.
Leo called me on Sunday and after we talked for awhile, he said, "Beth, I'd like to give you my Spinergys." Spinergys are racing tires. Leo let me borrow them when I made the climb up to Vail this past summer, because he was recovering from surgery, and they made the climb easier because they weigh almost nothing. When I went to visit him and pick them up, he also coached me on how to make it up Vail. There's a part coming out of Copper, he said, and you have to get momentum going for it. And the hardest part is right at the top, where the switchbacks are.
You see, the Spinergys are not the gift. Leo, or Robert, is the gift. We met one summer handcycling. He was at a handcycle camp where I/we climbed Montezuma (the picture on this blog) the summer before Vail. He made it up way before me. But he waited at the top with 2 other friends. And I made it! We biked at Leadville together. Then he found one of my Montezuma pictures on Facebook (of us at the top) and we became Facebook friends. At some point we learned we both went to great, small liberal arts colleges, we both majored in math, and at some point did some programming for work.
I saw Leo in the hospital after a back surgery and then during his recovery at home. And then he started handcycling again!
Our last ride together was in the fall, at Bear Creek State Park. Big group ride with a long and short option. I started the long route and had no idea where I was. Leo rode with me. We had our own route--it was kind of like riding with your brother and just talking, not pushing. And he knew I was having shoulder problems and was somehow making sure I didn't push too hard, that I turned around at the right time, and that kind of thing.
So I got this great gift--Leo. I appreciate the tires and will use them. I would rather ride with him than know he can't ride. I hope the tires last. But the better gift is Leo and that friendship. I hope that lasts.
So, a prayer for Leo--that he makes it through the coming challenging months; that the pain he has passes; that the friendship between us continues; and that he finds another time to give me some coaching.
God helping us muddle through it all, and finding true friends for us along our many adventures. I do believe that. To end the year, thanks be to God.