Hi, there. May I call you Nathan? I’d call you “Captain,” but I’m sure you get enough of that, especially from the Internet.

Here’s the thing, Nathan: I had a hell of a tough weekend. 22 miles on foot on Saturday, then 1.5 hours in the Pacific (water temps somewhere in the high 50s), then 8 hours in the saddle. I was supposed to bring in 115 miles, and the weather was beautiful, just the kind you’d want on a big ride. Problem was, see, I still can’t do the hills on PCH, so I had to go south along the bike path. And if I thought it was a good day for cycling, so did half the city. The other half decided it was perfect for walking and rollerblading, and that the bike path would be the perfect spot to get their mobile on.

So, it was a long day of slowing down, dodging pedestrians, helping people out with flats because I wasn’t going fast enough to escape their pleas for help, everything. And the sun was going down, and I still hadn’t found the last 17 miles and…

Nathan, I had to pack it in. I probably could’ve grabbed my windbreaker and lights, slugged down one more Powerbar and done a fast Marina loop, but I was done. No more dodging cars, no more looking out for taxis fighting for fares, no more swerving around jaywalking Venice hipster wanktards. Finito. Finished. Done.

I felt like an utter failure, that I was going to travel to Taupo only to get pulled from the bike course because I couldn’t finish the bike course in time. It’s been a long nine months, man, and I’m sure you could imagine how frustrating that would be. I flopped on the floor, without even the energy to stretch, and I flipped on the tube, hoping to have myself a good manly cry.

And there you were. TNT was playing “Saving Private Ryan,” right at your scene.

I don’t know if your turn as James Frederick Ryan, Minnesota, is one you recall with fondness (though, dude, getting a speaking part like that in a Spielberg movie had to mean a pretty good paycheck), but it has now earned a special place in my heart because, just at that moment when I lay on the floor, completely out of gas, and you started bawling. And I mean bawling, just sobbing your guts out like the entire world had come to an end and there was nothing else to do.

And I realized: I don’t need to cry, because you did it for me.

After watching that bit a few times (thanks, Tivo!), I felt better. Granted, the hot shower, banana and resting in my wife’s lap helped, but I will always know that it was you, Nathan Fillion, who pulled me out of that funk. And for that, sir, I thank you.

-A.