Marie writes over at the Lazy W. Together with Handsome, her husband of thirteen years, she run a super casual little nine-acre hobby farm just east of Oklahoma City. Marie is also a fairly new runner, having completed a few 5K’s, one half marathon, and one full marathon with many more on the horizon. She loves running running and says it has certainly changed her life for the better.
Handsome? Not a runner. He exercises in other ways and leaves this obsession to me. Despite this difference I can say with a lot of gratitude that we have learned how to cooperate with each other.
When Cassie invited me to guest post about fitness and how it plays into our marriage, I thought about it a lot and realized that as solitary a sport as running can be, without Handsome’s help I might not make as much room for it as I do. For my non-running spouse to be so supportive is a wonderful blessing.
Sometimes we do encounter a scheduling conflict, because for sure running is time consuming. But overall we’ve found ways to make it work. For my part, I try to schedule my long runs away from our valuable alone time. Anything past seven or eight miles, I try to accomplish while he’s at work. That gets trickier as marathon training ramps up, but the trade off is wonderful.
How does he support me? In a thousand ways. Allow me to count a few of them, Elizabeth Barrett Browning style…
- He keeps my iPod loaded with fresh music, because he’s the technical wizard in our union.
- He surprises me with fun little bits of running gear like Velcro armbands and hydration belts, because he is a gadget guy and thinks I might want to become a gadget girl (unlikely). He almost always orders them in pink, too, which is sweet.
- I usually run on a quarter-mile loop around our west llama pasture, and to help me he keeps it mowed and free of fallen tree branches. He asks me throughout the summer, “How’s your trail looking? Need any attention?” This is so romantic to me.
- He provides moral support during races, out-performing every other spectator spouse out there by way of hand-drawn signs and such. Blows everyone else out of the water! He makes me feel so treasured.
But I think the biggest thing my husband does to support my love for running is to simply understand that it’s good for me. He sees now that when I get outside on a regular basis, alone except for my music and a deep river of thoughts, he is rewarded with a healthier, happier wife.
My nerves are more settled. My appetite is healthier. I have gobs more energy and feel better about myself physically, which translates to all kinds of marital fun. And as much as I hate to admit this, the more I run the less needy I am emotionally. Not that it’s bad to lean on and need each other, of course! But running helps me siphon off negative energy and replace that with confidence and enthusiasm for life. This only helps me live my days more simply, with less anxiety and stress. That’s a win for both of us, obviously.
So besides practical favors (the music especially) the best thing my non-running husband does to support me in health and fitness is to appreciate the dividends running pays in our life together. And he encourages me and assures me he sees a positive difference in his wife and best friend.
So I keep running.
How does your spouse support you as a runner?
Thanks for the invitation, Cassie! I’m so happy to meet some of your readers and find out how other couples make room for fitness.