Just When You Think You Know A Guy…

My husband and I are one of those weird high school sweetheart stories. We dated all through high school and college, and then got married at 21 and 22 years old. We lived happily ever after with our three kids and our cows on a farm in the middle of nowhere. I kid you not. What are the odds of a high school relationship actually lasting long term? Pretty slim. We’re just cool like that. ūüėČ

So after a total of seventeen years together (married for ten), I’ve got the guy pretty well figured out. He hates raisins and can spit them out of otherwise tasty baking like¬†watermelon seeds. He has a soft spot for baby animals and vintage farm machinery, and loves the smell of dirt waiting to be seeded in the spring. He has a strong dislike for hipsters. And his eyes glaze over when I talk about running.

“I don’t run unless something is chasing me.” That has been Brett’s go-to line for the past couple of years. It’s usually preceded by a neighbour saying “I saw your crazy wife out running again. You never go with her, hey? Hahaha!” or something similar.

So when he casually asked me one evening if my treadmill was set for kilometres or miles I was completely¬†caught off guard. “Killlllommmmmetresssss…. ummmmm, whyyyyyy?” When he replied, “I went for a walk after lunch,” I almost fell over. Seriously. Brett is a pretty naturally fit guy, just from doing his daily jobs around the farm, but to actually seek out physical activity was completely out of character. A high school football knee injury had left him with permanent¬†ligament damage and pain if he works it too hard. A giant custom brace (“go-go-Gadget leg!”) helps, but is uncomfortable and awkward.

The next evening, Brett walked past me with a look that told me not to dare say a word and went downstairs. I heard the treadmill start and him walking. I went down to check on him after a while and was met with a defiant stare. “No making fun of me for exercising!” After I gently reminded him that I had run 18 km that morning and was the last person on earth who would dream of making fun of anyone – especially my stubborn farmer – for exercising, I turned to leave. What he said next stopped me in my tracks. “I’m thinking of walking the 5K in Vegas while you’re running the half.”

“For real?!”

“Well yeah, I’ll be there anyway, so I may as well go for a walk while I’m waiting for you. I’m already at 2.5 km and it’s still two months away. I think I have time to work up to 5K.”

I went upstairs and was looking at the event website and schedule when he came up. We confirmed that yes, the 5K would start a while after the half and end before I was done. This would mean I wouldn’t see him finish, but he seemed okay with that. I pointed out that he’d get a shirt and a medal and he seemed surprisingly excited.

“Click on the results from last year!” Oh crap. I’d been avoiding that. I clicked overall results and he discovered that he wouldn’t be last, that the last place person in 2014 had taken over two hours… then he noticed the age category column and realized that that walker was over 70 years old. “Where’s my age category?” This is what I had¬†wanted to avoid. 33 year old men don’t typically walk 5K’s, and yes, we saw that he’d likely be last in his age category. That was it. I sighed, knowing he’d pack it in then. I knew he would never run, but also that he couldn’t handle being last.

“Maybe I could run some of it.”

WHAT?! Once I picked myself up off the floor, I told him about Couch¬†to 5K plans, and he found one. The next day, he started running a bit, following the plan. It’s only been a week or so, but his level of fitness was higher than week one of the plan, so he’s moved through it a bit quicker and is now running for five minutes at a time, and five kilometres total. Go-Go-Gadget Leg has been adjusted to fit better, we’ve talked about breathing techniques, and new shoes are on the list next. He’s only told a few select people (his chiropractor was just as shocked as I was), and is pretty hush-hush about this whole running thing. I asked when he planned to tell his Mom, and he said “well, she’ll see a picture of us at the finish line in Vegas together and then she’ll know!” Oh honey, you don’t have to tell other people, but you have to tell your Mom!

I’m so unbelievably proud of that guy. I’ve talked about how running is contagious, but my husband is the last person on Earth I ever expected it to rub off on. I can’t wait to meet him at the Red Rock Canyon finish line and send a picture to his Mom.

Disclaimer: Brett gave me permission to write and publish this post for the world to see. I made him tell his Mom first.

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6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Russell Matthews on January 23, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    Fantastic! I really like hearing stories like this. Keep up the great work Brett!

    Reply

  2. Posted by Sheryl Kielo on January 23, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    Smiling ear to ear! I can’t believe it either. Go gadget go! And Run mommy run!

    Reply

  3. That’s awesome news! Now you have something else to share and love together!

    Reply

  4. Posted by Ken Regier on January 24, 2015 at 2:17 am

    Hi five to Brett!

    Reply

  5. Posted by BradShann on January 24, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    You go Brett. I’m also married to a hyper-runner. I “run for fun. If it ain’t fun it don’t get fun” (my apologies to the grammar police everywhere). But I started running just so my sweetie and I could have more in common and enjoy the races together. I show up and I’m a runner. That’s cool. I’m the clocked-with-a-calendar-so-slow-last 5K guy while my wife strives to finish top 5 in her 10k age group. What I’ve learned – don’t lose the “run for fun” philosophy. I don’t care where I finish. I just run to be with my sweetie.

    Reply

  6. I love this post! One of my favorite running writers Kristin Armstrong has a line in her book that says “The beach is like your most interesting friend (or your spouse, if you are really lucky), always surprising and yet still somehow a comfort at the same time.”
    http://www.momontherunsanity.com

    Reply

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