I made time for me today. I put it in my google calendar. Got all my menial tasks done early. And went to the track.
I’m a triathlete. Not a very good one, mind you. But I’ve run a couple races. Even a half Ironman. I’ve invested enough time and money at this point that I’m okay with calling myself that. “Triathlete.” Or maybe “Tri-Geek.” It is the most painful, time consuming, obsessive compulsive hobby that I’ve ever been a part of. But I love it. You get so lost in the sweat, the heat, the exhaustion, the beep of the heart rate monitor, the stats on my Garmin, the music in my headphones…that everything else melts away.
I picked it up after the breakup. 1) I needed to lose weight and I know myself well enough to know that I need something to compete in for me to stay motivated enough to stick it out. 2) It’s one of those things that you see people do and think, “They’re crazy, I could never do that…but what if I did?” So I did.
This has been a shit week. I don’t know of a more eloquent way to put it. Work is crazy, my family is crazy, and all of this with her. Well that’s next level crazy. She’s made it very clear she wants a step back to feel things out. I deserve that and don’t blame her. But I sent her a simple text in the middle of court today. “I miss you.” The response: “I know. ”
That’s a certain type of crushing feeling that I’ve never felt before. I appreciate the acknowledgment of my feelings. But to have messed up so bad that I can’t get something other than “I know,” back? Well. Devastating.
In the past, that would have been a great excuse to do some terrible things to my body. Bourbon. Beer. Whatever. Whatever it takes to dull the edge of the realization that this may not work. If I’m truly honest with myself: probably won’t. I confided in a good friend about the whole situation. The type of friend who will give you a real, honest assessment of a situation. “Yeah, I’m sorry buddy. It doesn’t look good,” she said. Now, I trust God. But I’m also not sure that even God understands the intricacies of a woman’s mind more than another woman. (Kidding of course.)
So I laced up the Asics. Grabbed my headphones. Turned the music up loud enough to drown out all of my racing thoughts. And just ran. Jogged. Sprinted. Laps. Hills. Bleachers. All of it. One hour and one soaked tee-shirt later my mind slowed down enough to process the last couple weeks.
I haven’t made time for me recently. I’ve been so lost in her and doing whatever I could do to win her heart. Add that to seventy-hour work weeks. Add that to the family responsibilities that come with living in the small town where you grew up. Me-time got lost in that shuffle. God, being the friend that he is to me, inserted this song into my playlist.
“I’m giving you up for now.” I think the song is probably more about calling the whole thing off. That’s not how I took it. It spoke so much truth into my heart that I actually slowed to a walk. (I hate walking). If only for the time it takes to make sure that I’m physically, mentally, and spiritually healthy — I’ve got to give her up sometimes. Give everything up sometimes. I’ve got to sweat all of the stress and doubt out of my system. I’ve got to give up the weight of it all to God. Even if just for an hour. I said a quick prayer. “Thanks for that, Big Guy. Check myself more? Got it. Thank you — for everything.”
I don’t want — and she doesn’t deserve — for me to be this trembling mess of a man that this has turned me into at times. If she’s going to love me. If I’m going to get the ending I’m praying for. I want it to be with a version of me I’m proud of. Capable of shouldering not just my own burdens, but hers. I worry about that sometimes. Whether I’m mentally capable of that. I’m training for it, though, just like I’m training my body. With a little help of course.
I’m not giving up on her. I’ve defied the odds more than a couple of times in my life. And no matter how confusing things have gotten or how badly I’ve screwed up, the gut feeling is still the same. She’s it. If not the one made for me, then the closest I’ve ever seen. But for an hour it was good to give her up. If one day I truly get her, I’ll be better for it.