Friday, June 3, 2011

Do What You Love With the One You Love

It's no secret that Nick and I both love running, trail running, ultra running, hiking, pretty much anything we can do outside with our legs.  I also love all the fun places our hobbies take us.  I love our road trips to races in Arkansas or the Flint Hills of Kansas.  I sometimes say that I want to go on a vacation that doesn't involve racing, but if it weren't for the races, we might never go visit those awesome places.

Just like any couple, we have our rough spots from time to time.  And when I think about the circumstances surrounding the difficult times, it usually comes down to one or both of us NOT being able to do what we love. 

I was in grad school and working part time for two years of our relationship, which caused me to cut way back on my running and almost eliminate all ultra running.  I could get pretty grumpy with all the stress and all the NOT running.  On top of that, I found myself becoming extremely jealous of and resentful that Nick was still running ultras, running his first 100's, while I sat on the sidelines handing off water bottles and salt caps.  Hey, I'm not proud, but I'm not perfect.  All I can do is recognize I have flaws and work on minimizing my b****iness.

Last summer, after months of butt and leg pain, Nick found out that he had to have surgery to remove some broken off chunks from one of his discs (the back kind).  He was in a lot of pain for the month or two leading up to the surgery.  Pretty much everything was uncomfortable for him.  And of course he could not run.  There was nothing I could do to make it better.  No going for walks, no hiking trips.  Even sitting at a restaurant was out.  He was nice enough to volunteer at my first 50 miler for 13 hours while I ran.  I imagine he felt some of the same jealousy that I did during his races.

But now I'm all done with school.  I'm still not sure the stress was worth the diploma.  And Nick is all healed up.  And we're back to running races together!  This is our golden age of running happiness.  Hopefully it lasts for a long long time.  So the moral of the story is, try your hardest to do what you love with the one you love.  And if one of you can't do what you love, be understanding when the one you love is a total pain in the butt.


  1. Your Dad and I are so thankful to see the wisdom you've gained in and through your relationship with "the American Eagle guy." As two who continue to learn to love each other better more than 36 years after we first began trying, we encourage you two that we anticipate much joy yet to come. You're going at it with honesty and patience. Mom and Dad

  2. Good subject! I married an ultrarunner, thank goodness. It's wonderful. I'm not sure how non-ultra running partners deal with the roller coaster emotions, training, injuries and time commitments.