Tri a Little Tenderness

Posted: February 15, 2013 in In Transition
Tags: , ,

Today represents the second year that I have not found myself laying around today in my boxer shorts back at my tiny bachelor pad watching reruns of the X-Files while waiting for the phone to ring (it never did of course).  I realize, obviously, that this is just another one of those made up consumer Hallmark holidays aimed at lining the pockets of CEO’s with the hard earned dollars from us disheveled wage donkeys (like myself) but, still, I have lots to be thankful and appreciative of this year.

Let’s face it; dating a triathlete isn’t necessarily easy as it comes with all its own unique set of challenges and obstacles.  Having said that, I don’t know what I did in another life to have deserved such a girlfriend as Kelly, but it must have been pretty special indeed.  It was certainly worth all those years unceremoniously lounging around in my underwear.

At this time last year, we were still pretty fresh into our relationship and, in actuality, preparing to take the next scary plunge of moving in together.  Most of those stories have been chronicled either here as they relate themselves to my training, or on another of personal blog I keep called ‘God Help Me’, which more details the adventures of a professional ‘Man of Leisure’ transitioning into a domestic relationship and pseudo step-dad.  I’d like to say it has been an easy process and, honestly, I CAN!  How awesome is that?  It has been a very smooth transition actually.  So while we may have chosen to forgo the usual customary boxes of chocolates and bouquets of overpriced flowers this year, I would still like to make some comments on why I am so thankfully to have this person in my life now, so you may want to pop some Gravol, or pour yourself a stiff drink, whatever, because it’s about to get all mushy up in here.

Who you calling Sissypants?

Who you calling Sissypants?

Under the rule of Emperor Claudius II, Rome was involved in many bloody and unpopular campaigns.  And over the past few years, particularly the last one, I was involved in my own.  Back then ‘Claudius the Cruel’  was having a difficult time getting soldiers to join his military leagues and believed that the reason was that the Roman men did not want to leave their loves or families so he attempted to thwart the romantic inclinations by callously cancelled all marriages and engagements in Rome.  Kelly might have had a similar negative impression whenever I announced my training objectives on any given day whether it be a 30k  run, a 130k  bike ride, or a 4k  early morning swim in the canal, or a combination of all the above, and similarly try to shut it all down but she didn’t.  Instead, she encouraged me and actually became a part of the training process.  Seldom would I ever return home after the long, hot training days in the summer and there wasn’t a glass of cold water or chocolate milk out on the back porch waiting for me.  She literally inserted herself into my recovery plan this way by drawing a hot bath, having a warm meal ready after my cold morning runs, slipping me a couple ibuprofens whenever required, while constantly reminding me to hydrate; all the things that tended to slip my mind when I was exhausted and broken.  She even went so far as to put together her own ‘Race Kit’ with all the necessary less known triathlon tools like rubber gloves and baby powder (for putting on my wetsuit, pervo), Band-Aids, recovery formulas, my extra pair of swim goggles, etc. , and then brought that kit to all my races.  It more felt like we were a team, and not just me, alone, against the World.  It was awesome.  Furthermore, she will put on her best ‘Oh, this is so interesting dear!’  look whenever I relate even my most mundane training outcomes including pace, time, etc., you know, the really boring kind of information that would lure any normal person into a coma.  Through it all she nods, pays attention, and best of all, comments on it.  She probably knows as much about my training progress as I do and knows just what to say when the workouts don’t go the way I think they should (whiny bitch that I am).  Cool, right?

Last embrace before "Go Time".  Doing my best "Stay Cool!" here.

Last embrace before “Go Time”. Doing my best “Stay Cool!” here.

Another reason this partnership has worked out so well is largely due to her genuine interest in what I do.  I was already competing in triathlon when we met and courted, and it was just accepted that it was just a part of who I am.  In fact, she was present the evening I registered for Ironman Wales and then saw that journey through to the end at the finish line a year later in Tenby.  I can see (and have heard) where a growing disinterest could develop amongst certain spouses towards their triathlon focused partners when they enter into new relationships, particularly when they learn how much time it consumes.  The term ‘Tri Widow’ didn’t just magically appear for no reason now did it?  Kelly has attended literally EVERY  race and event I have participated in since we met, bar none, and that’s pretty awesome.  How many others can say that?  Now don’t get me wrong, I can definitely understand why someone wouldn’t want to go spectate at a triathlon, particularly the Iron distance races as they can be rather, well, shall we say, about as much fun as watching paint dry – it’s true.  But there she is, with sign in hand, clapping, cheering and ringing obnoxious cow bells, the lot.  It’s my own private cheering section.  Anyone who’s ever raced knows what’s like to have this kind of support along the way when the doubt and pain start to seep in and it’s something that I probably appreciate above all else.

Thirdly, she is beginning to involve herself more directly by participating in some events with me, as is Kidzilla, so I am thrilled at the prospect of this becoming a potential family bonding opportunity.  More than ever, it has become more of an ‘Us’ type of scenario, and less about me.  I love that.  She has purchased her first road bike and has been diligently training on my trainer to prepare for our big Tour du Lac event planned for this summer, then a Sprint triathlon relay in August where she has volunteered to do the bike leg (knowing full well that there is one monster climb to contend with), as well as some other volunteer opportunities with me for local charity rides.

Yes, it’s true, I’m very lucky indeed.  Happy Valentine’s Day, sweetheart, and know that I’m looking forward to whatever the future may hold for us, and then enjoying that continuing journey together.

  1. Jan says:

    I couldn’t have prayed for more for the two of you. Sounds like Kelly is as giving and helpful, loving through what could have been TryingTris to be there for her. Just as you prepare meals, encourage and help train both Kelly and half-pint. Love the stories of you playing with half-pint and the pics of cooking or Bar B Qing that you have done for them. You two are meant for each other. So when is the marriage date? I definitely want to know when that date is set. Happy Valentines Day to you and your new family Terry. I’m so happy for all three of you.

  2. Jeff says:

    so happy for you buddy

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