triathlete

I recently spoke to a newbie triwife about her experience at her husband’s first half Ironman. She honestly talked nonstop about how he did, the race, her kids, how they spectated…for almost a half hour. I kept wanting to add my comments, but didn’t want to interrupt her flow. She was so animated in her description that I truly felt I had been at the triathlon with her. In those 6 + race hours, she had become one of us…

I first had to chuckle to myself…

She actually got more into advanced triathlon spectating. She talked about all the ways he could improve his time for the next race. His transition times left a bit to be desired, especially the swim to bike and needed work. She complained that if he hadn’t stopped to chat with all the volunteers at the aid stations, his time would have been much better. She noted that he needs to learn to swim in open water without a wetsuit. She was a bit upset that she and the kids had to make sure he his nutritional needs were met post race, as he wasn’t eating or drinking anything and that was unacceptable.

Then, I got a little teary eyed…

After filling me in on all the details, she started talking about how awesome he looked and the emotions she felt when she saw that medal around his neck. She was so proud of what he had accomplished at his age and with a bad knee and back. I could tell she was seeing him again through the eyes of when she first fell in love. She was remembering all the qualities that had attracted her to him and probably, finding some new ones.

Then, I was back to smiling again…

As if all this was not enough, she talked about next year’s races and had already looked into where they’d be staying for a race in June and how the kids would get there. How he would speak with his coach and decide what other races would be best for him and their timing. We discussed which half Ironman races we have been to and the pros and cons and that Challenge Family and Rev3 also have some great venues. This was where she took a breather and I chimed in.

Then, I got REALLY teary eyed and a little teed off…

Towards the end of the conversation, she said something that I at first just went, “Wow, that’s one of the sweetest things I’ve heard. What a thoughtful husband and father.” Immediately followed by, “Hey, where’s my show of appreciation triathlete husband? I’ve been doing this a lot longer than she has.”

When they got home, she and the kids found gifts waiting for them. She got a huge bouquet of flowers, her daughter got an orchid, and her son got a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue – yes, they are adult children. But, not only did they each get a gift, they each got a card telling them how much he appreciated them and their support, because he realized he was a “bit difficult” and a “bit needy”. I was not only duly impressed, but okay, admittedly, a bit jealous.

I tried to think back to our first race and if I got any token of appreciation. Nothing came to mind, so assuming that’s a NO! I did start a tradition of buying myself something at each full distance race. It’s usually a piece of jewelry, but I buy it myself to show ME how much I appreciate ME for all I put up with. Oh, I know over the years he has told me he couldn’t do this without me, but something in writing would be nice, especially to look back on during those times when he’s a “bit difficult and needy”…

SHERRY

DO YOU GET A SHOW OF APPRECIATION FOR YOUR SUPPORT FROM YOUR TRIATHLETE?