When Ryan called me in early 2009 to ask me logistical questions about how Dave and I ran across the US, I could tell right away that he was different than the 3 to 4 other calls I would get each year seeking logistical advice about long “adventure runs.” Ryan was different because I could quickly sense that he was pursuing his trip out of passion and a true sense of adventure. He had cast aside the idea of raising money for a cause or accepting sponsorships to fund his trip. He was focused only on running as light as he possibly could, for adventure, and to study the art and architecture of Europe. I thought it was awesome and pure.
So when Ryan began his journey I went along with him each morning while drinking my cup of coffee at work. His detailed daily blog was my first stop every morning to see where he was, what he was doing, and whom he had met. Reading his blog each day made me nostalgic for my run across the US, and the sense of excitement, wonderment, and curiosity that would greet Dave and I each and every day we were on the road.
Upon completing his run, I emailed Ryan a note of congratulations and told him that I look forward to a day where I could meet him in person, buy him a beer, and hear a first hand account about his trip. In the 4+ years that have passed since his run, unfortunately I am yet to meet him. But he was one of about 30 people that I put on my first list of potential podcast guests. So I was thrilled when he set aside the time to speak with me about his journey. On top of our lengthy conversation about his run, it was fun to learn is that Ryan is now involved in industrial robotic design at Princeton University. While I know next to nothing about industrial robotic design, the videos I watched of Ryan working with his 2.5 ton robot are quite interesting. I encourage you to check them out here.
Thank you Ryan for your time and insight. I still look forward to buying you that beer.