2/18/11

A Love Triangle

In life we are lucky to have one great love. I have two.

The Boyfriend is one of them (in case you were worried)

The other is fitness.

Fortunately for me neither are a secret love affair and at times they have even found ways to co-exist.

Is it me or does he have a GIANT hand in this picture?

























But if you are like me, and caught in the middle, you probably know it's not always that easy. Sometimes you have to choose.

Stay in bed on a Sunday and enjoy a morning coffee with your partner or go for a scheduled 10 mile long run......

Nachos and beer during the game with your partner or pasta and H2O before a big race...

Late nights and one too many glasses of wine enjoyed with your partner or early mornings and Gatorade enjoyed on the treadmill....

Yes, sometimes you have to choose.

























I read an article recently called A Workout Ate My Marriage which takes a closer look at how an active lifestyle can sometimes get in the way of a happy relationship. You may have heard the terms "exercise widow" or "triathlon widow" and as funny as they seem they are no joke. Actual couples have faced serious marital issues as a result of one partner's commitment to fitness/sport. For some couples it gets so out of hand that the relationship ends entirely. Now that's serious!

I want to believe that my relationship is safe from that fate but then again I am the one leaving one love for another. When I crawl out of bed with the sun on the weekend The Boyfriend is left with an empty bed and no one to sip coffee with. Hmmm...could there be more here then I realized?

The Boyfriend is a good support system and fan. He gets up early for races and contends with road closures and crowds to meet me at the finish line. He listens to me go on (and on and on and on..) about my latest Tabata class or a funny post on another blog. He even tries to pretend he understands why I consume more spinach than Popeye or travel around town looking for Greek yogurt. Yeah, he's good like that.

























But despite his Super Fan status I can't help but wonder am I doing enough to strike a balance between two of my biggest priorities? Does he know that the difference between him and my training is true love and a passion?

Would I give up working out and training for races because he asked me to? No. But I love him because he never would. He knows how much it means to me and wouldn't expect or want me to sacrifice a huge part of my life for him. (He also wouldn't want to deal with my insane crankiness if I didn't de-stress through activity but that's another story for another day)

To show my appreciation I try work out in the morning or at lunch so our evenings are ours. I am happier and more well rounded when I exercise and that doesn't go unnoticed (how could it, did I mention a grouchy lady lives inside me??) And I try to be a fan for him whenever the opportunity comes up because as much as I like taking part in a challenge there is something to be said for being the loud obnoxious spectator. Any hockey game he plays in, no matter how informal it may be, and I am going to make every effort to be there, steaming cup of hot chocolate and all! (I'd get a giant foam finger but he might actually leave me for that one)





















So to my boyfriend and every other Super Fan out there, who stands on the sidelines while we crazy fitness types do our thing, I thank you. My booty, my heart and my lungs thank you. The moody girl that doesn't have as many excuses to rear her ugly head doesn't thank you, but who cares what she thinks, she's a witch anyway.

xoxoxo

So tell me, how does you partner/family/friends support you? How do you return the favor?
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15 comments:

  1. This is actually an issue with me and my husband. He doesn't think we have enough quality time together as it is and exercise gets in the way. We started working out together but I don't think he counts that as quality time. So I try to do my long runs on sundays when he has family time with his parents. it's getting better but still an ongoing issue.

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  2. My boyfriend is really supportive and never questions my training. I always try to make my plans so that they won't interfere with "our" plans. It also helps that he's very involved with hockey and golf. We both have activities that we're passionate about so we understand each other that way. It's great that you have a loving, supportive relationship that allows you to pursue your passions! That's a must :)

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  3. Man...you hit the nail on the head with this post! I started dating a guy that isn't very active or health centered this past summer. It was fun at first "fixing" things (...yes, I know how unhealthy that just sounded) and introducing him to new stuff. I even got him into running. I gave him a gift certificate to the running store for Christmas and he even registered for his first half-marathon. I would love to say that this story ends with him obtaining a gym membership and adopting a healthy lifestyle, but it doesn't. In fact this story ends with him in physical therapy 2 times a week and me dealing with the fact that I am not dating Lance Armstrong. I think that in my attempt at turning him into the endurance athlete dream boyfriend, I missed out on a lot of his good qualities. I am still trying to deal with how to balance my love of running and working out and having a healthy relationship.

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  4. I just wrote about the exact same thing on Friday! My husband is very supportive of my races and everything, but I still feel guilty about it.

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  5. Oh my gosh, I can totally relate! This post was perfect & actually a lot of what I have been dealing with going on in my mind. My fiance is supportive, but to a limit. He loves that I workout, but comments sometimes that I workout too much. (I don't think so- 6 days a week- 1 hour to an hour & a half workout) He also is kind of iffy about me doing more races. I am trying to run a few half marthons this year, then end the year with a marathon. For me it's an accomplishment, something most people will never do. For him he sees it as me just running , running, and running. Forgetting about him, or just silly stuff. Like he says that I don't eat enough for as much as I workout. I know I do! I have to stay energized for long runs :)
    Thanks so much for posting about this, I guess you could say it really hit home for me!

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  6. such a great post and so important for anyone in a relationship. thanks for sharing!
    Katherine

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  7. This is a really interesting post. And I think you raise some good points. I am definitely more committed to overall fitness and running than my boyfriend is, but I'm lucky that he is so supportive (I don't think we would've lasted this long otherwise!!). And while I make sure to avoid scheduling my workouts, etc during times we're supposed to be together, I would never give up the active lifestyle altogether. Because I think it makes me a better ME. Like you said, I'm not the same person when I don't get to exercise. So having that commitment to myself makes me a better person in our relationship. I've also really enjoyed the fact that even though we have our own interests (he's way into baseball which I try to be supportive about) we have run some races together. Being active together is probably one of my favorite things in the world.

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  8. Great post! Thankfully this is not an issue in my marriage. My husband does not run, or do any kind of working out. However, he is totally supportive of my running. He doesn't want me to travel to other states for races, or really very far for races, but he doesn't mind if I race once or twice a month.

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  9. I love this post! First off, you both are so adorable that it makes me smile.

    My SuperFan fiance is behind me 100% when it comes to working out, blogging, and creating healthy meals. He even really really wanted Wendy's today, but hit up Subway on our drive home, because he knows how picky I am about "fast food". How I repay him? I listen intently when he talks about his passions (stock trading) and will shut down my computer when he comes home.

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  10. What a great topic. I would love to read the original article. I've found that as long as the boyfriend/husband has time and attention the triangle works. It also helps when the partner likes working out too. I find both work (blogged today) and workouts can be time sucks and important that date time and down time scheduled along with runs and blogging etc. I'm going to RT this, really intertesting. And you guys are an adorable couple.

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  11. Aw, I think this is sweet! And I feel like as long as fitness doesn't border on the brink of an unhealthy obsession, that someone who loves you (you in the general sense... I don't think you have an unhealthy obsession AT ALL) would completely understand your excitement to get out and run before coffee :)
    Sounds like you have a keeper!

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  12. Great post!! It can definitely be tough when you have something that you love for yourself and you have to think about others (partner, kids, family etc)..Since I started really caring about fitness, I have taken more time out for myself than I ever have since being in a relationship and having kids. Sometimes I feel a bit guilty but in the long run its best for everyone!! :)

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  13. I am so lucky to have a husband that supports everything that I do. He's at all of my races and he's always pushing me to be the best that I can. I also support him in everything he does. I think that's how we maintain such a good relationship. We need to be our own people.

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  14. Love this post!

    I try to fit in my running/other workouts either early in the morning or when my hubby is at work or school. I do need my alone time and my exercise time to stay sane and my hubby 100% supports this :) The only exception to this is Sunday mornings when I do my long runs. He does his long runs on that day too, so we just trade off! Otherwise, we try to make the most of our time together.

    I think that health and exercise is a REALLY important part of a relationship. Not only do I want to spend as much time with my guy(and as healthy as possible), but I also want to keep up that attraction we have to each other and being fit definitely helps! Like you said - it's not always perfect and sometimes sacrifices are made, but I do think it's worth the effort to find the balance.

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  15. Love this. Last week I actually cut my long run short because we had to go somewhere and I still almost made us late. My husband said "you know... these races aren't everything.". (He's not a runner ;) I try to keep it all in perspective but there are times I may get a little crazy.
    Having said that... my running is for me only. Nobody has ever come to see me cross a finish line (my friend tried once, but missed it). On the one hand, it makes me really sad. But on the other, it makes me realize that I don't run for my husband, my parents, my friends... I run for myself. And everyone else can just deal with it! :)

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