I get asked a lot about how my husband and I both manage to race and train at the same time. I know we’re extremely fortunate to have found similar interests and hobbies that we both enjoy. But that doesn’t mean it’s always easy.
Marriage is hard. Can we just say that? Can we just be real and open and honest and ok with the reality that it’s HARD? It takes work. We have been married for 12 years…together for 15. We’ve experienced a lot together. 3 pregnancies. Hard ones. 3 individual people that we are both responsible for raising…together. We’ve experienced high school, college, first jobs, failure, loss, sickness, disappointment, disagreements. We each have dreams and goals and aspirations for our lives and for ourselves as individuals.
We have both discovered this love of running and racing and triathlon later in life. It wasn’t part of our relationship until after we had kids. We’ve had to learn how to make it work. We’ve had to learn how to be healthy and active without being extreme or sacrificing all the good stuff. I talk to so many athletes who struggle with fitting in their training and workouts without sacrificing time with their spouse and kids. I know a lot of you don’t have supportive spouses or ones that understand where you are coming from. Maybe you are a little like us and you both have goals that you are trying to navigate around. It’s hard…but not impossible.
Can I just say that I’m not an expert. At all. I don’t have all the answers or a perfect relationship for you to model. We are healthy. We love each other. We love seeing each other succeed and reach our goals…but we’re not perfect. We’re human and selfish. In order for us to set goals and reach them we need each other’s support. We need to be on the same page. Sometimes our individual goals have to be put on hold because it’s just not the right season of our lives. Sometimes, we make sacrifices for each other to help that marathon or half ironman become a reality. Sometimes we shoot for the same goal and make sacrifices so we can accomplish something great…together.
We have to be a team or this doesn’t work. If it’s just me or just him then resentment settles in. I think one thing we have learned over the years is how important it is that we each have outlets. We can throw some passion into something other than careers and household chores and kids and enjoy life. We gave each other permission years ago to have hobbies. He needs it. He lives under a heavy load to provide and lead our little family. I need it. I have 3 minds and hearts with me all the time and it’s on me to mold them and pray God captures them up at an early age. It’s on US to teach and train and mold and shape and laugh and enjoy them. To enjoy our life. To live.
That reaches beyond our everyday responsibilities. It’s ok to have things we enjoy doing. However, it only happens and is only really successful and fun and rewarding if we support each other in it. We have had to sit down and have hard talks. I’ve had to put off my love of triathlon so he can reach for some big goals. It’s a hard sport to train for at the same time. It’s much easier for him to tackle a big 70.3 training plan all summer and for me to run. I can manage that while he trains. Then, we switch places. I am doing a full marathon in December and he’s taking the fall off from racing. We take turns, set practical goals and know that we have to be willing to let some goals go for the things that are more important in our lives.