2nd anniversary blog

Posted: August 17, 2015 in Uncategorized

Today was our 2nd anniversary.  We’ve been celebrating that for the last week in various conversations, in which we paused to remember what we were doing this time 2 years ago.  Today, we checked out of life as usual to celebrate our union by going spelunking together – that is, exploring caves.  It was great fun.

As we navigated the trails and caves, I couldn’t help but reflect how things change.  When G and I got together, I had known him for a couple of years.  Here we are, on the very first night of my very first visit to him in Chicago as his “girlfriend”…

394410_3984620928539_1059568195_nI was the most fit I had been in my adult life.  G was the heaviest he’d been in the time I had known him.  Now mind you, that didn’t turn me off in the least – I found him absolutely irresistible just exactly as he was, and had no need for him to change even a little bit, appearance wise.  But I did quietly wonder to myself if he was going to struggle to keep up with me, as I was running miles at a time and regularly enjoying 50-mile bike rides.  It was okay if he couldn’t – we’d work around it.  I just wondered.

That was ironic to me today as I thought about it.  He started working on getting fit as soon as we got together, and has pressed into that goal without ceasing every since.  He has been my incredible shrinking husband.  His adorable round belly that I sincerely could hardly keep my hands off of has gone down so much that an older coworker recently pulled him aside to make sure he’s not sick.  He’s not sick.  He’s just working out, and watching how much he eats, and continually improving what goes into his mouth.  That’s why he looked like this today, on our adventure:

IMG_0955

(It was hot out and his shirt was drying while we ate – not just going for gratuitous skin.  LOL)

I, on the other hand, got derailed on my great fitness journey by arthritis and then a whole lot of buried resentment about arthritis and all the bad eating behaviors that can come with such buried resentments.  So while he’s ever fitter, I’ve been getting ever fatter all this time, until quite recently.  That has been hard to deal with, to put it mildly.

G is a tremendous amount of help with my weight insecurity issues.  He intentionally loves me just as I am, no matter what that looks like on any given day.

I was trying to think what might be good to share on my 2nd anniversary to capture where we are, and then something happened while we were out on the trail that just exemplified it so well that we’ll settle for that story.

When we got to the park, I knew that G had never been to any cave, so I was a woman on a mission:  help G enjoy the day as fully as possible.  I wasn’t trying to cut any part short, which is something I can tend to do amidst physical challenges.  I was looking around everywhere, trying to help him not to miss a single adventure opportunity, since I know what an adventure hound he is.  It gave me great pleasure to find another spot where he could take a tiny, steep, and apparently treacherous trail up to some little cave just barely big enough for him to crawl through on his belly.  It filled me with joy to encourage him, to wait patiently for him, to try and get as many pictures as I could, since I know he’s all about the pictures.  Me in any past relationship would have gotten tired of standing waiting, bored, impatient, and would have glossed past things that might get missed if I was the only one noticing them.  But me with G is all about making it rock for him – not about making it only comfortable for me.  And I know I have to watch out for each opportunity for him, because all along the way, all he’s doing is looking for ways to make it great for me, and can tend to miss a lot of details of stuff he might love, because…you know…that’s not what he’s looking for.

I’m a very timid hiker.  My entire life, I have been pretty careful about how my body moves through space (other than when I was on horseback as a kid, at which point there was no risk I would not take – but that was reliance on my horse and reliance on the symbiotic way the we worked together.)  I used to be terrified of heights.  I am not graceful.  I am afraid of falling.  I lack confidence for physical challenges.  I move slowly and with much more caution than is needed, no doubt.  In the early afternoon, we came to another of those spots where he could detour up a wildly steep hill to climb up to a little cave.  I watched him, and I wondered – could I do that?  I mean…could I?  What if I could?

Once he had crawled out of sight into the cave, I decided to try.  It was HARD.  It took about all I had in me (and if any fit person is scoffing about this – strap 150 extra pounds to your body and start climbing.  THEN try mocking me.  I was rocking it!)  I held on to rocks and tree roots.  I carefully tested my footing with every step.  I grunted and puffed and sucked in air.  I had to take little breaks on the way up.  But…I DID IT!  I freakin’ did it.  I climbed all the way up, and then also all the way back down, and I didn’t get hurt, and I didn’t need help, and I DID IT.

You wanna know what one of the biggest factors was, in me trying it?  The way G treated me on the trail.  My whole life, as I have struggled with my issues on this front, people have tried to just force me to try things.  Have shamed me, reasoned with me, coaxed me, sighed, and struggled not to roll their eyes.  That kind of pressure does NOT do good things in me.  G had zero expectations of me.  He didn’t treat me like I couldn’t do any part of any trail or cave, but he also didn’t try to talk me into doing things when I didn’t want to.  If I came with, he was happy.  If I stood and waited while he did the more gymnastic stuff, he was happy.  When I needed a hand to navigate, he rushed in to help.  When I was managing on my own, he didn’t act like I was some kind of helpless female.  And he was, as he always is, wildly supportive in a non-condescending way of everything I did.  That fantastic attitude had already empowered me earlier on the trail to cross a ravine with him that was beyond what I’d have tried in many settings, and then it went on to leave me utterly free to climb that wall without being embarrassed or afraid that he might be embarrassed of me dragging my butt up and down the hill like that.

That’s a great picture of who we are to one another, and it is by far better than I knew how to ask for, all those years when I was on my own.  It was worth waiting for.

IMG_0953This picture was taken at the top, after scaling those heights.  🙂

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