Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Something to be said for knowing your weaknesses.

My friend Robyn just ran and completed the New York City Marathon this weekend. Robyn is a pediatric nurse and a mother of two young girls. And she found time to train, qualify and then run the NYC Marathon. Not to be outdone, I succeeded in eating too much candy corn this weekend and watching some really lousy old movies. (Don't watch Sliding Doors. Not worth it.) So, there's a lot there to feel good about.

I really like the idea of being one of those people, you know? Not neccesarily a marathoner, but someone who can just push through the pain and be determined to succeed no matter what. But I just don't think I am. I will push myself to a point. And then I'll be all, Hey, you've done pretty well. There's no need to be excessive! Let's go read a book.

This is probably why I ended up with Jason. If you haven't read my post about our differing views on sports, check it out. He played pretty much every sport ever invented, and was good at everything. Here the phrase "opposites attract" comes to mind, as I can manage to fail pretty spectacularly at any physical endeavor.

When we do premarital counseling with engaged couples, we often talk about recognizing your partner's different philosophies surrounding challenges, change, or hard times. The story we always tell is about an Ultimate Frisbee game Jason and I played once. We were playing against another couple in a local park. I wasn't too keen on playing, but I was trying to be all, "Yeah, I'm totally sporty. I got this." But after about 10 minutes of playing and constant running, my side started to hurt. Well, that wasn't fun. So I stopped running. "I think I'm done now. I don't wanna play anymore," I said, panting.

Jason looked at me and bless him, his jaw literally dropped. "What? You're just stopping?" "Yeah," I said, "I'm tired. Let's do something else." And it was like he could not compute the idea that someone would do that. It was like in A League of Their Own, when Tom Hanks moans in disgust, "There's no crying in baseball!!"

"But-but we're in the middle of the game! You can't just stop cause you're tired! Everybody gets tired, you just have to keep going." And as surprised as he was at my quitting, I was surprised that it bothered him so much. It simply hadn't occurred to me that that was a strange thing to do--quitting in the middle of the game. For me it was just like, this is supposed to be just for fun, this isn't fun anymore, I'm out. "But I don't have to keep going," I said, "I don't wanna run anymore."

Hee hee. Yeah, so that was a little moment for us. One of those times when you expect someone to be on the same page as you are, and they are totally not. That moment has been repeated in many ways throughout our relationship. I am trying to develop more perseverance and determination--not just in physical stuff, but elsewhere too. But really? I'm not sure I'll ever be much like Jason--or Robyn. I mean, I do have backbone--but I think it is mostly comprised of candy corn. Or cooked pasta. But if you wanna hang out and read gossip magazines together? I'm your girl.

Robyn, good onya girl! You're my hero. And now I know whom to call next time Jase wants to play Ultimate Frisbee.


  1. Oh, Amy! I know exactly what you mean! I am SO that person who just hangs it up when I want to quit. But thankfully, for both of us, it's about sports and not other aspects of our lives. I often have dreams in which I am running for pleasure. But in my waking life? Not so much. I can well imagine Jason's surprise when you quit the game. BTW, that's a great picture of you two. I recognize that kitchen.

  2. Hey, I am with you. Pushing that way for a sport is not me. I will chat for hours with you about celebs. Ya know, my Hubs played a lot as a kid because that was his parents' expectations and they supported him and his sibs and made sure they enrolled and drove them there. Mine, not so much. And as an adult when I can drive myself places...well... I don't get much free time and get about 6.5 hours of sleep a night so I am not about to get up any earlier in the a.m. than I already do.
    And, like the poster above, I agree too that sports is one example, and not a parallel of how one acts during real marital challenges.
    Now, where did those boys hide their Halloween candy?

  3. Amy...I didn't know I was going to make your blog. I would have put on a little make up or pinched my cheeks for a little more color : ) You really do crack me up! I remember the ultimate frisbee story and can totally hear Jason and see his face : ) I remember the days of ultimate frisbee at Lakeside Park and for the record...I am not a fan of ultimate frisbee and it is okay to quit if things are not fun. But for me, in a very sick way, marathon running and just running in general...makes me happy no matter the pain experienced during the run or after : ) Hugs and kisses to you!

  4. I love that story of you and J. It is very illustrative of your different approaches.

    And way to go Robyn! That is just incredible!

  5. Robyn, no pinching of cheeks required! You look radiant, even more so for someone who has just run 26.2 miles. :) Love you, girl!