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Anniversary Eve

I did not make this morning’s 5 AM trainer session.

Instead, I was successful in not only sleeping in and avoiding a semi-scheduled workout but also in giving others in my cycling circle advice on indoor trainers & training programs, neither of which proved popular among others in the cycling circle. But I know it works for me…when I actually use it.

Looking back a dozen plus one years ago, and I’m not sure if previous me would recognize present me. I was a very different person in so many respects, one of them being that I was single. At least for the next few hours.

Tomorrow, December 6th, is my 13th wedding anniversary to Nicholle. It’s her anniversary to me, too—and for the same number of years, if you can believe that!—but, rather than wax nostalgic and get all sympathetic, I’ve been thinking about the changes that married couples go through after a dozen or more years together but especially the changes in my own life, in our lives, in our relationship.

Rumors had it that some said we wouldn’t make it a year or another year after that one and so on. Despite—or maybe because of what happened with Nicholle’s diagnosis with MS 13 months after marrying one another—we’re still together and probably stronger than we would have been under different circumstances. Sure, she depends on me for so much of day-to-day life, but I depend on her as my bedrock. She keeps me grounded, keeps me focused on the realities of life.

There are no more weekends dashing one place or another for one race or another. While I do miss the thrills of racing and the perks of training (a much slimmer me, for starters), even without Nicholle’s diagnosis and what it’s meant to her with all that she’s lost, there’s so much for me to do at home that does not involve swimming or cycling or running. But I wouldn’t give any of this up for the opportunity to go galavant and play triathlete or bike racer or marathon pacer, no matter how exhausted being caretaker and spouse and dad and teacher in today’s climate makes me. Because I wouldn’t be me—I’d be that previous version of me who lacked the vision, lacked the ability to be all he needed to be. Heck, I lack a lot of that now, but what I do have was well worth the trade for whatever times I used to post, whatever milage I used to accrue. The fact remains that I can still crank out miles at a respectable pace, a respectable wattage, and I can do it all under and/or after what life continues to deal me.

While I may sometimes bemoan what has befallen us, I know we have to push on. It’s what we do, it’s what we’ve always done. Before it was through a race course, fighting for whatever finishing time we could muster. Now, it’s fighting for whatever scraps of life we’re able to live for one another, even if it is just making it through the perils of the day without going crazy.

It’s been an incredible thirteen years. I’m very much looking forward to what the next year and the years to come bring for our marriage, for our family. Naturally, I’ll keep you updated on what that is, so keep checking back as you can or are otherwise inclined.

Until then, thanks for reading.

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