I first met Dan in 2008 when he invited himself to a 43Things meet in California. He was apprehensive about doing that, but I was glad he did because he was someone I’d been wanting to meet but didn’t realize he was in close proximity to where the meet was being held. Dan was shy that first meeting, but with each subsequent meet up he’s opened up more and more and I truly consider him to be a friend.
Dan has been very open with his confusion about social conventions such as friendship. He’s asked for advice on understanding colloquialisms and expressions as well as facial cues. He recognizes his limitations, and notices the similarities between him and Asperger’s though he’s not be officially diagnosed.
Dan works to improve himself both physically and mentally. He learned as an adult how to swim, and worked to perfect his breath control. He recognized he needed to change his sleep patterns and documented his progress until he succeeded. He fixed his teeth, and has passed many of his professional exams. He runs regularly and strive to improve his pace and distance.
Over the past four years, I’ve watched Dan grow into a more confident person. He is intelligent and erudite. He has a keen eye for photography and composition, and has no fear posing nude for other artists. He used to fake it until he made it, but he made it a long time ago even if he doesn’t realize it.
I admire Dan.
I have never met Daniel in person, but I’ve communicated a lot with him over the past six years. He’s always been friendly and understanding, looking at things from all sides and not taking a defensive stance even when faced with criticism.
Daniel is accepting. While others would be angry or resentful, Daniel is able to recognize the difficulties and move beyond them. He doesn’t see limitations, but possibilities and challenges to overcome. He remains optimistic and positive.
Daniel isn’t afraid to take chances. He recognizes what he wants and pursues it. At a time when lots of people are staying with a job just to have a job, he recognized it was time to move on and pursue his new interests. He married a wonderful woman, and is making beautiful music with Maktub. He even worked out of his van for a while.
I admire Daniel.
Matt shared that he’s going to do the Otway Classic 145km ride. It doesn’t surprise me at all since the first time I met him he went and rode his bike from the San Juan Islands all the way down to Renton with a stop for a haircut along the way and a few wrong turns adding to the distance. It was his running goals that inspired me to run farther and run faster. He’s offered advice on running shoes and pronation, not just to me but to anyone who asks.
Matt is not afraid to embrace others. He has sought out love and found it. He moved halfway around the world for it. He shares his feelings in not just words, but deeds. He loves with his whole being, and extends that love to his friends and humanity. And he continues to show himself to be a reverent father and husband.
Matt works to strengthen both his mind and body. He impressed the hardened workers in Australia that he wasn’t some pansy American wuss. He runs, swims and bikes longer and faster than most. He reads and retains the knowledge he obtains. He challenges his mind with word play and poetry, creating beauty out of a minimum of lexeme.
Matt is a beautiful soul. He accepts people for who they are, and extends his friendship freely. He makes you smile and feel good just being with him. He inspires you to work harder at being a better runner or person in general.
I admire and am inspired by Matt.
Josh recently shared that he’s going to Haiti for a month as a volunteer. It didn’t surprise me at all because that’s the kind of man that he is.
Josh isn’t afraid to ask questions on his quest. He seeks out knowledge through books, people, and experiences. He isn’t one to rest on his laurels, but is constantly seeking new opportunities to learn and grow. And he doesn’t hesitate to share his findings with others, to help them along their path.
Josh isn’t just limited to his mind. He also strives to improve his body and utilize it to its fullest potential. He is a martial artist, and works with his hands. He creates things of both functional value and frivolous beauty. He utilizes the best of his youth and the breast of his experiences to achieve things that he can be proud of.
Josh is loyal, caring and friendly. He is open. He is not afraid to share his faults and learns from his mistakes. Everyday he lives with his eyes open for possibilities.
I admire Josh.