While I wouldn’t say I’m exercise addicted, the fact is that working out has been woven into the fabric of my life and is simply a basic part of my weekly routine at this point. It’s been a little over 10 full years now that this has been the case, typically working out 4-6 days a week, usually training toward some goal. I like the feeling of challenging myself to get better, to be consistent and see the improvement over a long period of time and the general positive endorphin increase after a good workout. Though my focus has changed some over the last couple years, the bottom line is I like training and competing.
I’m coming up on two weeks now that I haven’t done ANYTHING! This is the longest I’ve taken any time off in over 7 years; the last time being over a month off after the last Ironman triathlon I did. I had to cancel my entry into a Crossfit competition I was going to do next month and feel a little weird right now just doing nothing. My hand is healing well, but it will be awhile before I can do any weights with it. I can tell that my body is still working to get rid of the MRSA superbug and I’ve been really tired for the last 2 weeks or so, even before I went to the hospital. For someone who’s so motivated to at least maintain, if not get better, this is mentally challenging. Holly asked me last night if I was depressed, to which I responded something like “No, but I can see myself staring it down and winning right now.” I’m certainly not happy, am not depressed either, mostly just flat-lined emotionally about the situation.
In general, the last three weeks have been challenging, but as a team, Holly and I have been really positive. She’s been busy doing networking and technical conferences for groups she’s still involved with, going to the gym during the day instead of early morning, and taking care of the house and kids more. My wife has been very sweet the last couple weeks towards me and actually been more calm and happy on a more regular basis than when she was working. Perhaps it’s simply being removed from a situation that was a little stressful was all she needed.
While I don’t think doing the stay-at-home thing long term is what she’s cut out for, for the short term it’s a good thing for our family. She stated recently that she knew I liked her staying home, and I do. If I made a little more money, I think it would be a good thing for her to work only part-time or perhaps no-time, but for now that’s not probably in our family’s long-term best interest. I told her that for a man to be happy, all he needs is a full belly and an empty [sack], to which she responded in mock indignation with a huge smile on her face. My point being, I’d try and support whatever route she’d want to take in life as long as it was generally in our family’s best interest and my belly and sack can continue to be satisfied.
So while it hasn’t exactly been a great time for us, we’re staying mostly positive. Based on some of the going ons this week, Holly won’t be out of work for long, not that I was really worried about that. The challenge will be choosing what’s the best fit for her as she moves forward. For me, I just need to find other ways to pass my time and not get too hung up on losing some strength and fitness. That’s sort of hard since Holly and many of my friends have the same mentality and I see Facebook updates on the accomplishments in the gym and am, admittedly, a little jealous.
It’s pretty easy to go through this stretch together and continue to lean on each other. On the other hand, if she or I had checked out of the marriage or wasn’t as focused on being a good spouse, it would be mentally draining as we may look on each other with disgust or pity. Instead, we’re enjoying the extra time, perhaps having more sex than before (when I can stay awake past 8 pm that is) and continuing to stay positive despite what will hopefully be the toughest stretch we have for awhile.