I was reading a post this morning on a sports training page that I follow about a woman that was so grateful how people randomly chip in to do things so that she doesn’t have to cut corners on her training. She gave an example how another mom had some time, so she took over carpool for the afternoon so the woman wouldn’t have to cut her run short, and the woman called her son when he got home and asked if she needed to come home to help with homework and he told her that he had it handled, that all she needed to do was continue being awesome on her run. The woman went on to process these thoughts with such gratitude that it in the times when she feels selfish–the sheer volume of time it takes to train for an ironman–that those around her are there with love to support her in the best ways that they know possible. They can’t necessarily train and do the hard work for her, but they can pick up the slack in other ways. That’s pretty cool stuff.
Yesterday, on another platform, I was reading of another woman who is so grateful for her husband’s support in her half ironman training, that she was looking for ideas from the collective on how to show her appreciation for him. Her husband supports her training efforts in a lot of ways, but also trains for his own crossfit events and some other thing that I can’t remember. So we were all brainstorming how she could make that special for him.
So, of course, because my brain never shuts down, this made me reflect on my own life. I am blessed in my activities to have a whole host of support and accountability, lots of people that I can reach out to in different ways. As I look at training plans for building distance and endurance, ultimately preparing for various races, I have the privilege of flexibility in managing my own schedule that I’m not burdened by punching a time clock (but that also creates a burden of overwork too–another topic for another time), but now I also get the support of a coach (that’s so cool!) for awhile and a the camaraderie of a sponsorship team of athletes. But most importantly, my husband has always been there.
I totally get where these two ladies above are coming from. When I step back and look at it, the gratitude is overwhelming. My husband is amazing–I know I fall short in giving him the credit he’s due daily in all areas of life, and he knows that, I confess that often, but when it comes to our active life–here’s my little ode to him:
My husband is pretty darn selfless. He puts up with the fact that I get up in the wee hours of the morning to put my time in to train, and how I’ve restructured my days and routine to make life happen without objection or question. I’m in bed at night early and he doesn’t complain. He runs a pretty opposite schedule and is a night owl with his training and usually goes out to the gym or bike rides once I go to bed at night and only goes to sleep a couple hours before I wake up–he does his desert runs in the morning with our dog usually hours after I’ve been up and gone so that he trains for his respective races. Because we work together as a team, we’ve been able to tag team the schedule and make sure that the day-to-day responsibilities still happen at the level of our expectation and nothing suffers, but that our dreams don’t get squashed either–we did that for too long early on in our ministry and it didn’t breed too much good in any arena of life. We also have made concessions in our personal budget to afford gear, races, etc–expenses we haven’t had before because these things weren’t a priority in our life, but the things we’ve sacrificed for it are worth it, so it’s a win-win in the end. The quality time that we spend together looks different than it used to and we’re content with that, life and relationships evolve–that’s a pretty cool thing too. I love my husband more and more every day, there’s no doubt about that fact.
I’m happy to put in the time to travel and cheer on his races, sherpa him with his fuel and things he may need, have all the fun, and celebrate his successes because he’s done the absolute same for me, and quite honestly more. My husband is my biggest cheerleader in all areas of life and ministry–he’s always been one of my greatest gifts from God, and his encouragement in this area of my life is no different. No matter the crazy idea I get, he says go for it. I need people that support the insanity–and I’m grateful for the handful I’ve got around that get it and the strangers that I’ve picked up along the way too.
Support is so important, because there are so many nay-sayers out there. Those are the ones that are blatant about it–they clearly don’t support your dreams, and that’s okay, they can go merrily on their way of making someone else miserable. But there’s other discouragers that are a little bit sneakier–they may not even realize they are doing it. These are the people in our lives that don’t take the time to necessarily understand why our passions make us tick and are constantly feeding us the comments of “slow down” and “don’t you think that’s too much” or “you’re overdoing it” when you’re not–they may be consciously or unconsciously trying to sabotage our goals, contentedness, or happiness. I’m not saying these people need to be eliminated from our lives–quite often they’re people we love very much–but we have to figure out how to deal with them when their comments grate on every nerve fiber in your body.
There’s a teeny-tiny bit of benefit in the nay-sayers and saboteurs too. Honestly, some days, they give that stroke to the fire that fuel it just a little bit longer–they help us to push harder, run longer, and kick our mental walls in the teeth. They may have meant to tear you down when ultimately it fired you up all the more. God has bigger plans than the trash.
No matter who we are, where we are, what we’re doing, and what we’re striving to do–I think it does take people around us, not only those to keep us accountable in our goals, but the village–not only to be an encourager in the good and rough times, but to occasionally pitch in with the practical stuff, without prompt or request, because help may not even be realized that it’s needed. We need each other whether we realize it or not. And this applies in every life!