The Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays. Not because four days later I celebrate a birthday (shameless plug) but because I love that it’s a holiday with no cards, it’s casual, fun, and I generally get to be out on a boat or in the water. It’s a day I look forward to with earnest and with a great deal of enthusiasm. Today was very much the same, water, sun, a few cold drinks but there was a dark cloud I have to address.
YES… I’m divorced and single. Yes. That’s real, but it’s not indicative of my emotional state. I’m a really happy person, my life is amazing, I’ve truly never been happier. Not everyone in my life can appreciate that though…
So I was asked today by a good friend, “Oh honey, such a pretty girl like you… I don’t understand why you don’t have a boyfriend. You can get a boyfriend so easily!” I smiled politely and mumbled my way through the moment. To be clear, I don’t generally blog about my love life in this blog. I spend plenty of time doing that at www.effandotherwords.com but I’m almost 30 so I get to do whatever I want I’ve decided. And to be honest, I don’t really have a love life to speak of and that's okay. I don't suck. My boyfriend is my “Gym” and I love that. I love not being accountable to expectations. Do I get lonely? Yes, but VERY infrequently and it’s generally fueled by one too many cocktails and is easily forgotten in the morning. “Lonely” is such a relative term and is so impermanent, it’s almost useless to even discuss. I’m a learner so this time around, my expectations of a partner are pretty significant and completely immovable. And make no mistake, I’m patient as hell. It will come or it won’t, but I am the same regardless and that isn’t changing.
My male friends are some of the people I am closest to on the planet. I’ve always been lucky to be surrounded by amazing men in an age where men tend to get a bad wrap. I can’t complain. I am grateful for that. I take my friendships very seriously and I take their place in my life very seriously. My guys… the men in my life… well, they rock.
My guys are some of the best I’ve ever known, and their place in my world is something I don’t take for granted. I have training partners, friends, confidants, inspirations, and they would go to war for me. I know that. They support me unconditionally in the same breath that they give me a hard time. They make me better because they expect it from me and I won’t let them down. They push me. They push me HARD but they encourage me too.
My boys, my MEN, help me keep it together, keep it moving forward, make me stronger and better. They show up when I need it and they’ve helped me to push my own boundaries. Dan Svoboda was at my triathlon when my fractured rib made me want to quit but his presence there on the dock made me realize it wasn’t worth the drop. Matt aka Matt App, who never lets me quit and quietly reminds me I'm not done with my training, even when it was all I wanted to do and who's one-liners should make up the pages of a book one day. Travis H who makes me remember that among all of the physical things I do, I am a writer too who needs to tell my stories completely...
My dad who always showed me what integrity looked like, and didn't just talk about it… my cousin, Doug who never failed to be there for me when I needed help, as a coach, teammate, and even wing man. I miss you since you moved. Jim Collison has been a rock star to me since day one, a running partner, friend, supporter… a person I could count on no matter what. So many who were actively acknowledging my crazy spirit and encouraging me regardless (Jason Phipps). Brad, who introduced me to red wine and who shares my skill of ninja sleeping... falling asleep suddenly mid conversation with someone.
My running team – the Mud Mafia – there may very well be over a dozen of you or so who have helped me move my own personal mountains and I can’t name you all but you know who you are (kaizenn, Bingo, Run DMC, Jimmy the "Ice Man", Dan, Trips, Meat, Big Daddy, DanCamp, Mud King). Jason J for always thinking to fill me in after a zen like two hour fire sit where you come up with a new idea or a philosophical idiom that only I would appreciate.
To all my Death Racers (so many of you) who inspired me with your finishes and attempts (Joe C, Johnny, Joe D., Kristopher, Daren, John Mc, Jack, Patrick, Kevin, Neil, Andrew, Owen), to Bryan S who let me crew for you, trusting me with such a responsibility, I appreciate the opportunity and you're welcome for all the delicious sandwiches. I only hope I’ve been as much back at you all. My only hesitation in writing this post is knowing I will not acknowledge enough. If you are in my life, you know how I feel. I tell you.
The long runs, the gym sessions, the laughs, the dinners (you know I like to cook), the phone calls, the emails, the texts…all the smack you talk to me. I owe you all so much. I’m probably the happiest single woman on the planet and it’s because you all take such good care of me.
So thank you to all the men in my life who aren’t the “man” in my life. I’d be so very much less without all of you…
I didn’t list you all, but I know you know. We’re pretty cool like that (and you probably don't read my blog anyway).