Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Training Together

We're roughly a week and a half away from the marathon. And training for it is as difficult and wonderful as I remembered. This time around, however, my husband is running with me. Which certainly adds a new element of interest to the experience.

You see, running has always been my thing. It was the thing I did without him. And I wasn't sure how I felt about sharing it with him. Let's be honest: marriage requires me to share almost everything with my spouse. Selfishly, I wanted it to keep this one thing for myself.

But as we began training, I realized it was an enjoyable experience. There's just something refreshing about running alongside the person you've chosen as your life partner. You see people (even the ones you know quite well) in an entirely new light when you're struggling through something physically demanding together.

Sure, it isn't always an idyllic situation. We don't always get along. This is primarily due to our opposing personalities. I'm not a person who "flies by the seat of their pants" and I don't like to "see where the road takes me." It's just not my thing---and I'm married to someone who finds enjoyment in both of those activities. Your classic Type A/Type B scenario.

(I don't like reading instructions either. He ALWAYS reads them. Studies them, even. Thinks about them. Who has time for that?)

I'm a planner. I plan things---ALL the things. That way, I know what to expect. I like to feel prepared for the road ahead, literally and figuratively. And getting lost? Forgetaboutit. That's the best way to trigger a mental breakdown. It's happened: we got lost in Orlando, Florida in the pouring rain once and let's just say it was a defining moment. And thank God for taxicabs.

And he also does this thing where he only talks when he has something important to say. I mean, seriously: how does he fill the awkward silences? And how, exactly, can he keep things to himself? It's a concept that escapes me. The first time we went on a long run together, I asked him if we were going to talk while we ran (something the mostly-female group I run with does regularly) and his reply was that he'd rather focus on his form. And if I'd like to talk about something, I was more than welcome to bring it up.

So we ran in silence.

But an Uptight-Plan-All-The-Things-And-Worry-About-Them person like me can learn a thing or two from a Just-Relax-And-Enjoy-The-Ride guy like my husband. I've been with this man for a decade and can tell you this: he doesn't freak out about much. He's a calm guy. And a perfect mate for someone who has never been described as "calm" before.

And if you know anything about running and the torture it can sometimes bring to your body, a calming presence is a lovely addition to the party. In fact, it just might be the best thing. Especially when you don't have anything important to talk about.

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