This is something new to me. I'm not really that used to being dirty, at least not on the outside. I have a white collar engineering job that keeps me clean, cool, and inside (barring the very rare trips to the field) for the most part. So it came as a bit of a shock to me when I found myself not only getting covered in grease and dirt from working on my bike, but also looking for chances to do the same for others.
I have found in myself a great joy in working with my hands, in engineering I have designed many a machine that I never actually got to see built and working. Doing the design and making the drawings was always enough for me to be satisfied (at most I would build a 3D model). Now the idea of actually tearing apart a bike for my 'Evil Project' and building it back up as something else has evolved from something I dreamed of doing, gone past something I think I can do, and made it all the way to something I can't wait to get back to.
I made this realization on Saturday as I volunteered at Free-Ride. I spent the time helping people fix their bikes up. I also learned quite a bit about parts of bikes that I didn't know. Knowledge that will serve me well in the future when I have to make similar repairs. When I left Free-Ride I was hot, sweaty, greasy, tired, and well worn. I was also happy, fulfilled, at peace, and feeling like I had, in some small way, made the world just a little bit better.