Dedication is something in no short supply when it comes to Run It Up nation. People travel from far and wide to come to Reno, New Jersey, or Calgary to play cards with Jason Somerville and the other warriors.
We are certainly grateful for every person who made the trip, be it from across the street or across the country. But we have to tell you guys what David Lander went through to get here because it takes the question of "who loves it most?" to a new level.
We begin in Oskarshamn, Sweden, a coastal town in the central part of the country. At 6pm the evening before his trip, Lander boarded a bus for Stockholm. Six hours later, he arrived in the capital around midnight. Since he had a few hours to wait before his plane took off, Lander checked into a hotel to get a little sleep before his flight.
By a little, we mean 3.5 hours. That is all the time he had before he had to get up a little after 5 am to get to his gate. The flight went from Stockholm to London. From London, the next leg took Lander to Dallas.
It is a long flight to begin with, but the second leg of his trip felt even longer. Two words: middle seat.
Crammed between two people, Lander barely had wiggle room. Just when it seemed like the flight was over though, more bad news came in. Thanks to a massive storm in the Dallas area, the plane was about to experience some serious turbulence for 90 minutes, and this was after the plane rerouted to avoid the worst of the thunder.
Lander said the experience was surreal, as he was surrounded by an equal number of terrified adults and happy small children who thought they were on some sort of thrill ride. While the kids giggled with delight, several of the adults ended up throwing up as a result of the motion sickness. One person was so affected by the turbulence they fainted.
Dallas was the last stop off before Reno. Door-to-door, it took Lander 37 hours to get from Oskarshamn to the Peppermill.
Was it worth it?
"It was absolutely worth it," he responded without pause. He came out here in October as well and there is very little that will stop him from coming back for this event, which he ranks as some of the best fun he has ever had.
There is one thing that will keep him from joining us next spring though. His 30th birthday. Scandinavians tend to make a to do about birthdays, especially milestone birthdays, so he can't really justify leaving town and not celebrating with his mom and his friends.
Far be it from us to come between a guy and a birthday celebration, so we will just celebrate that he is one of many RIU Warriors who blow us away with how dedicated they are to being a part of the Run It Up community.