It’s been ages since I’ve been running with my True Love. Zumba coincided with the amp-up of activity that is spring, so dance classes have been pretty much my only exercise method over the past few weeks. I love Zumba. Booty camp, more, really. Perhaps I just love exercise classes. Honestly, though, love might not be a strong enough word for it. I luuuurve booty camp/Zumba! I have big, squishy girl crushes all over it! I am a big, happy, sweaty pile of worked-out flesh for Zumba and the people who I get to do it with.
But I love my husband. The whole reason I decided to get started on this whole body project* was because I love him so stinking much and I’m greedy for more time on earth to spend with him. My kids, too. I couldn’t see my own value yet, I couldn’t do it for me so when I started losing weight and getting healthier it was all for them. Part of doing it for them was bringing them along on a healthier trend, and about two months into the running part of my body project Bradley decided to join me.
It moves me to tears, sometimes, to think of his dedication to me. When I first started ‘running’ it was so incredibly slow. I was hitting 15 minute miles quite often. I had read (and believe) that just running for time was the goal- not the speed or distance. I learned that sometimes I might be jogging slower than I could walk because I was building muscle memory, endurance and I was doing what I could. I would make Bradley run about twenty feet ahead of me otherwise I’d accuse him of trying to speed me up by pulling me along. I displaced my exhaustion from running as anger onto him and I would pick fights with him and accuse him of doing things to me. He’d talk in the middle of my podcast, I’d lose track of what was going on and harrumph at the annoyance of it. I would yell at him for getting in my way or being on the wrong side of the sidewalk. I wouldn’t allow him to walk next to me as I was jogging so slow he was almost hopping in place- and he did it all, took it all because he knew that he was standing in for my insecurities. That running was so scary and hard for me that I’d often get mad or have an anxiety attack mid-run and I’d take it out on him. Failure was ever in front of me and he bore the brunt of my fear, but he still ran next to me. He still congratulated me at the end of every run and I got better. I’m not mean or anxious anymore. I know myself as an athlete and I’m not afraid anymore. That’s partially due to him and his belief in me. His patience with me. He’s an amazing partner. Extraordinary.
He told me that he needs me, now, that since I started Zumba he hasn’t run once. I’ve run a few times, but looking back, I’ve completely neglected my greatest supporter of my body project since Zumba began. This year has been a running desert with the work time shift. It got too difficult to balance exercise and sleep and family this year, so running outdoors together became rare while independent treadmill running became the rule. Last weekend was busy with the color run and the bike ride, but this weekend I badgered him until this morning we finally got into it again and ran a little over two miles, together at the track and we made a date to run again tomorrow. He’s been missing me. After leaning on him so much for so long, I guess it feels pretty good to be needed and leaned on in return.
*I’ve said it before, but the word ‘journey’ seems so trite and annoying to me. I know that it’s just a game of semantics, but when I start to talk about my ‘weight loss journey,’ I want to throw up a little in my mouth. I think ‘journey’ feels a little too passive to me; It reads a little too lifetime movie channel, schmaltzy and precious, I suppose. And it’s not a journey, it’s a never ending project that I have to work at. I’m not walking a path, it’s not a vacation. I’m blazing a trail for myself and it’s a huge project: My Body Project.