Why I’m a Better Support System Than a Runner

11910553793_6733d1cc3fWe all have things that we’re good at or that we enjoy doing, and I’m blessed to be in a partnership where our strengths compliment each other. Young people are told to find someone with common interests and hobbies in a mate; I say balderdash. Sure, you can have some common interests, but what you really want is someone with complimentary strengths to your weaknesses. I understand that’s a bit of a hard question to fill out on a dating profile, but 13 years ago, when Cody and I got married, we had nothing much in common. To this day we still don’t have a whole lot in common, but we do have a lot that we’re good at together.

I love to cook, but I hate doing dishes. Cody loves to eat but he’s a mediocre chef. We have an agreement in our house that I do the cooking and he does the cleaning, and it works out beautifully; I get to do something I love and we both benefit with tasty food. The dynamic would be thrown off terribly if he enjoyed cooking and we both hated doing dishes as much as I do. We’ve found what works.

Last year, I got this crazy idea that I wanted to be a runner. I was going to make it a goal to compete in the Walt Disney World Princess Half-Marathon, because if I was going to be a runner, I was going to run through Disney World; I was going to wear a tiara, and I was going to get a gorgeous medal at the end. I began a training program and agreed to give it a solid effort so I too could experience a runner’s high and the sense of accomplishment that comes with training for and completing a race. There was only one tiny problem — after a month of solid effort, I still hated running. I hated getting ready to run, I hated the beginning of a run, and I hated every single moment until I was done running and back in regular clothes. Hated it.

How was I ever going to earn my medal? How was I going to complete 13.1 miles if I hated running? I wasn’t. Simple as that. I’m not a runner. It’s not my thing. Give me yoga, Zumba or a bike any day of the week over running.

Cody doesn’t exactly love running either, but he loves what it does for him and he enjoys competing. He likes his runner highs, he likes putting on his headphones and getting away from everything. Good for you bro, because I hate it. With Cody completing two marathons in the last four months it meant training for at least the last seven months, and there’s no way Cody and I both could have trained for distance running without either killing each other or orphaning our children. I am his support system, and guess what? I love being his support system more than I ever loved a single moment of running.

mini marathon

I love that I’m the smiling face he sees at the end of a race. I love the stories he tells me about other runners, I love hearing about the moments when he thought he was going to die and the crazy stuff that happens in his races. While it’s sometimes frustrating and lonely, I love that I am able to enable him to do what he loves to do. I love screaming for him as he crosses the finish line even though he pretends he doesn’t know me. I love that he is able to set one example for our children by completing the challenges he sets for himself while I am able to set another example of the importance of family and support in the big things you do in life.

Someday I’ll want to do something else, and I know Cody will be right there to back me up whether he too enjoys what I’m doing or not.

With the completion of Cody’s last race, I didn’t feel left out of all the celebration, because we are part of a team — and I know for a fact he couldn’t do all of this without me as his support system. I may not get a shiny medal, but I get a happy husband and absolutely zero chafing on my tender areas.

mini marathon 2013

*****

Did you know if you’re supporting a runner at a runDisney event you can join the ChEAR Squad and receive exclusive access to insider information, reserved seating, continental breakfast, exclusive merchandise, and prime race viewing locations? If you’ve supported your runner through training you may as well make your experience a special one as well – you’ve earned it!

 

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