An awkward question... when asked by a long lost friend over tea and cake last Saturday when she asked what our plans were for the next day. 'I'm going off running all morning,' is the answer. All eyes turned expectantly to Husband McDreamy - 'you let her do this?' 'What do you get in return?' 'Oh I'm supposed to get something in return?' he laughed as we brushed over the moment, but the comment stayed with me for quite a while. When I mentioned it to my husband when we got home, he laughed it off. Why do I need something in return? This is not a bank transaction, this is our lives and we balance the responsibilities, its not about you get this and I get that, its all about how can we make this work?
Someone get that man an award.
We have been together a long time and been married for a few years now. We have been through some tough times, job losses, job gains, house moves, commuting, serving in war zones, hard pregnancies, even harder childbirths, 2 kids in 18 months, and now busy jobs and two mad kids, but we have come through it all, together. The one thing being consistent in our relationship is that we support each other. When you have two children who can together create the noise and havoc of a small country you must stick together, never let them tear you apart!
I am absolutely blessed with my choice of husband. We are the ultimate team, he is my total confidence. He knows me, he gets me. We don't speak in full sentences, we know each others train of thought, we know how to rile each other up with just a comment and how to calm each other down with just a touch. He is my backbone and I often feel inadequate to his kindness and sharing spirit. I am a selfish athlete, we all are. I want to do my training. I want to fit that in round everything else. I WILL make everything else work. You have to make sacrifices that make your heart ache to get to be the athlete you aspire to be. And so when people say, especially at the moment, as my training has taken over family life for the past few months, what does he get in return, it riles me a little. We balance this relationship, he supports me, he holds my dreams right now, they are his dreams too. Soon enough this time in my life will be over and we will be onto a different chapter, the boys are growing fast, time will become focused on their hobbies and the balance will shift. With this shift we will move again along the scale, making sacrifices, changing outlooks and realigning our expectations of ourselves and each other.
With this balance and this total support of my personal aspirations I do have a huge fear of failure. Having put so much effort into a goal and knowing how much everyone sacrifices to let me run fuels both my training and aspirations, but it also makes me grip my trainers with terror. I so want to make sure my racing reflects not only my hard work, but also my gratitude to my loved ones. I know the result in the end wont matter in the least to him or to the boys, its the getting to the start line together that matters.
So the next person that asks what my long suffering husband gets in return. He gets me. He gets us.We are the balance, we are this scale of weights, trying to get everything to stay in place. We are a unit and he is running next to me even when I seem all alone.