Staying Together

Doing a little digital cleaning and found a piece that still makes me smile. Originally published on Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Relationships are tricky. When we’re young we think maintaining them has something to do with the number of hours we spend on the phone with our special someone. The litmus test of love: running out of battery.

Then it’s about going out—to dances, dinners, bars, trips, etc. This is the fun part. Until it isn’t.

Eventually, it becomes about staying in. How long can we take being locked up together? At what point does the romance turn ugly?

Hubby and I talk a lot about what we think is the actual glue that holds us together. The things we come up with range from ridiculous to down right philosophical, depending on our mood. One that crops up consistently, though is admiration.

To stick with someone for the long haul, there has to be something about them you truly respect.

Something I marvel at when I see my partner in love and war is his willingness to take life as an adventure. He throws himself into things with a sense of curiosity and excitement that’s contagious.

The latest and greatest: at 41 and without specific training, hubby man ran his first marathon—26.2 miles. Before this past Sunday [Dec 1, 2008], the longest he had ever run was 14 miles, and the longest he had run in the last 10 years was 5 miles.

Taking on these challenges, without bothering to ask himself whether he can pull it off or not, is amazing to me.

When I asked him what was going through his mind while he was running, he laughed. Everything and nothing, he said. He focused on enjoying the moment, taking in everything around him and within him, not thinking of the next mile or even the next step, just the one he was on.

Every now and then, he would look back and see how much he had covered. Many miles into the race, he cleared the ten-mile turn around the lake and felt a surge of energy and inspiration.

Only those of us cheering on the sidelines cared that he was about to start on the harder part of the course. He just smiled and waved as he passed me, unaware and unconcerned with the uphill trek starting at mile 19.

While I needlessly worried about his wellbeing, he was coming out of the climb overwhelmed to see the downtown skyline. Flooded with a sense of beauty and success, he looked up and could see the finish line.

The last half mile he kicked into a sprint and flew over the finish line. Sweet victory. Another bucket list experience.

I don’t think it’s actually hit him entirely just yet. People’s reaction to his feat, though, has him smiling and laughing to himself. He just shakes his head and can’t believe that it really happened.

And I’m so proud I could just burst. The physical accomplishment is definitely admirable, but what I find most astonishing is his capacity to let fear, doubt, and all other obstacles just melt away. I’m in awe.

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