Sunday, July 29, 2012

My spouse is seeing another woman and her name is Triathlon

My last posting was quite some time ago and since October things have changed quite a bit. The new baby is here (he's not so new anymore - 5 months have just flown by!) and the twinadoes (as I like to call them) are a whirlwind of activity and silliness. The tween is now "the tween formerly known as angsty" and the pets have seemingly forgiven me for bringing home a new pink thing. You know, as long as a promise not to bring home any more pink things. This posting, however, is not about me - per se - or an update on my menagerie.   That will come at a later date. This is about someone else and something else equally as important. Curious? Read on...

The New Year always comes with the feeling that we all have been granted a blank slate to start over again. For some reason when the clock strokes twelve and the calendar flips from December 31st to January 1st we tend to find ourselves with mixed feelings of regret and hope. Regret for what we perceive to be 365 squandered days full of "woulda, coulda, shoulda," 52 weeks worth of dust on all the books to be read, 12 months of wasted money on gym memberships or diet plans. I am sure this is why so many people drink themselves into oblivion; one beer isn't going to help you forget... 12 beers and a few shots will! It will also help you dance like a zombie on bath salts and make you forget where you left your pants/car keys/cat but at least no one knows you never used that Work Out World tag on your keys more than twice this year! But I digress... There is a point to this, I swear.

My husband - Bryan for those who do not know him - took this New Year seriously and announced he was ready to start getting back into shape. By March I knew when the boxes of P90X crap started showing up on the porch that things were getting out of hand. And it wasn't just that bag of Shakeology or vat of Muscle Milk that scared me. The crazy weights that magically appeared in the living room didn't seem so innocent anymore. In the hall, the door frame "hang-by-your arms-like-a-deranged-monkey" thingy mocked me if I tried to walk past it, thinking that it wasn't a sign of fitness greatness to come. The weird looking rainbow rubber bands with handles hanging from the glass slider's door jam was starting to make me sweat because I knew what this meant: I waslosing my spouse to exercise. And I was freaked.

Why would this freak me out? This was time, in my opinion, that could be spent helping me out with our twin toddlers, the new newborn, the 11 yr old, the dogs, the housework that was piling up, etc. etc. etc. I will admit that I felt that doing P90X was like having an affair. Bryan works ridiculous hours and is very rarely home as a result. For those unfamiliar with the break from reality that is P90X, this isn't JUST a full 90 minutes of redonk. You have to factor in the warm up, the cool down, maybe you add in the AB RIPPER X afterward (no, really, that is what it's called), the consumption of the recovery beverage (that looks, tastes and smells like crushed up Smarties or NECCO wafers mixed with water), the inevitable shower that must be taken after such an undertaking and at the beginning, when you're still a weak little baby-man, your muscles are screaming for hours afterward... it's WAY MORE THAN 90 MINUTES. It should be called P90plustherestofyourdaywillbejunkX.  Also, why does HE get to do something for himself when I spend every waking moment of my day doing things for everyone else? This is an irrational feeling, I know, but all you stay-at-home mom and dads know what I am talking about. This goes double for those of you with multiples or multiple kids under 2. I would give ANYTHING for 90 minutes to do something for me. For time to get rid of all this baby weight while he was dropping weight so effortlessly (it seemed, at least). Then it happened. The ultimate undertaking. The mistress to end all mistresses. The time vampire to beat all time vampires:

He signed up for a triathlon through Team In Training

I used to work for the LLS (Leukemia & Lymphoma Society []) and specifically, I was a campaign coordinator for Team In Training. I knew intimately what was involved in training for a triathlon. It meant thousands of dollars would be spent on bikes, tri clothing and other gear. Hours would now be spent swimming, cycling and running. Whole Saturday and Sunday mornings would be ripped from the family and given to his TEAM during the long runs and rides and open water swim training. And the fundraising. Oh, the thousands of dollars of fundraising. I was pissed. Come to think of it, pissed might be an understatement. I was full of resentment. I stewed for weeks on this. But then I had one of those "aha!" moments and this is where I get to the point of this is blog post.

I have three babies that are my children by birth and one big kid who is my son in love. I have 4 kids who are the reason I get up in the morning, the reason I smile and (I feel) are the reason I was put on this earth. I would lay my life down for them and for their father without batting an eyelash. I have been blessed in so many ways, not the least of those blessings being that these are the healthiest kids I have ever seen and that I have a spouse who is willing to work those long hours I mentioned before in order to provide for us and allow me to drink in each moment with them every day. HE needed time to do something for himself, too, and I shouldn't attempt to hijack that just because I was feeling overwhelmed - he was probably feeling overwhelmed by responsibility, too. I felt lighter. 

I started to feel better about the whole triathlon situation. I needed to take a step back and think clearly. I needed to recognize that this wasn't a huge deal and that my resentment was more jealously that he had the drive to do this and see it through. I needed to understand that he was sacrificing, too. The training and the fundraising - he was doing it for a cause. Cancer research and patient support. Another "aha" moment was brewing:

Bryan is training for the LLS. What if one of my babies or my goofy 'tween developed childhood cancer? What if the cure was right around the corner and just ONE of the dollars Bryan raised was responsible for the development of that medicine? What if someone close to us needed financial help because their cancer treatments left them broke and Bryan's efforts were being used to keep that patient assistance fund afloat? What if it was a stranger who needed a spiritual booster and got it knowing that there were people out there pulling for them? I knew that if it was ME who wanted to train and raise funds for a cause, Bryan would support me. I needed to do that same. 

My anger and  feelings of betrayal we replaced by something else: pride and admiration. Hell, there was some envy, too. Swim, cycle and run. Yikes. When I run people wonder what scared me and if they should run, too. When I get on a bike I fear that it looks like my butt is eating my bike seat (at least it feels like it is after a while). Sometimes I hold my nose when I swim. Bryan makes tri training look easy. What isn't coming easily is the fundraising. So I decided that if I was able to do anything to support him with my limited time THAT is something that maybe I can do.

So, now that you have read this far I am going to ask if you will help Bryan in his fundraising efforts. We will be in Washington, D.C. in September for the Nation's Triathlon and all of us - babies and kiddo included - will be cheering Bryan on, watching with pride the realization of his goal and the result of all of these months of training and sacrifice. Give a dollar, give 5, give 50 - literally every penny will allow him to press on and make all of this worthwhile. If he can do the training when we can't, let us give to the cause instead. He has to raise over $3K and the dealing is looming. You will be helping save lives, guys!! And not just the lives of the patients struggling with a cancer diagnosis...

You would be saving Bryan's quality of life, too. I know how much he spent on that damn tri bike. I may have had an epiphany regarding his training but that doesn't mean I'm not still suffering from sticker shock over the cost of that stupid bike. People better donate because if he has to pay out anything due to him not raising his fundraising requirement I'm not necessarily going to kill him, but you can bet that I am sure as Hell going to make his life freaking miserable for a very, very, very long time. So donate. Do it for the kids, do it for the patients, do it to save Bryan's butt.

Here is the link to make a donation in support of Bryan's tri training (aka "Ensure Bryan's Quality of Life Fund"):

And on that note - I gotta "run!"

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