one tough mudder.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I hadn't even scratched the surface on the complexities of this man,
the inner workings of his mind during the many years we dated.
Even the blissful first years of marriage and one child.
Oh, I had a good idea of who he was and who he'd be.
But not really.
I DO have to laugh when couples post how fabulous their spouses are on Facebook
when they celebrate their anniversary.
How it's been the best 5-10 years of their life.
"Really?  Has it really?  Has your husband REALLY been that awesome?  The best days of your life?  Sure 'bout that?"
And I snicker, partly because I know the couples posting and I know a lot of what goes on behind the scenes.  Partly because there ARE people being 100% honest about those feelings.
But often times, as married peeps, we have to dig deep and find good reason in our CHOICE.
Sift through the chaos our homes have become to find the love and respect buried at the bottom of oodles of laundry, that seemed so readily available in the beginning.
Marriage is tough.
It's just as much a workout as parenting.
Some days loving a spouse DOES feel like a full time job,
one that requires as much attention as the other odd jobs you've attached to your resume.
Some days, the sweet idiosyncrasies of our spouses,
well, only a mother could love.
Certainly not a worn, ragged wife and mother of three who has NO time for more requests, complaints and needs other than those of herself and her children.
Some days the bliss and naivete that coated every corner like sweet chocolate and caramel as a girlfriend, have become a nuisance as a wife.
Simply a stale peep marshmallow bunny that got lost from the pack,
only to be found with an ear missing, all the sugar licked off and stale as can be.
It's not Easter.  And it's not our anniversary.
Just a little acknowledgement of the messy course that is marriage.
But also THIS man, who is my husband.
Keeping a marriage alive and thriving is work.  Plain and simple.
And often times, it takes the backseat in our mini van filled with dirty baseball socks, rotting food and clothes that haven't made it to the cleaners yet.
But it can't.  And it shouldn't.
Like any relationship, no matter how strong,
there is an ebb and flow.  The undertow sometimes stronger than the crest of the wave.
But you figure out how to ride it out and follow it safely to the shore.
And I, fortunately, don't have to dig too deep to find love, appreciation and gratitude for this man. 
Through our most recent years of challenging illness and children,
I have slowly watched my husband transform.
Had I known the man he would BECOME 14 years ago when we first met,
my knight on a shiny bar stool,
I would've been even MORE excited about our future.
He recently competed in the Tough Mudder race.
My response to his goal of training for it and actually FINISHING it, was met with skepticism.
"You have fun with that, honey.  I'll come watch."
And I knew he'd do it and do just fine.:)
With a goal in sight, he began a transformation of body, mind and spirit, not just to better health,
but on a limitless road of setting his sights high and even greater accomplishments.
What a great event to document a small reflection of his life, through the messy images I managed to capture,
of the heart, strength and soul that drives him on a daily basis.
I have been dumbfounded on the sidelines as I've watched him morph physically and emotionally in to a new man.
I have watched him army crawl through muddy waters,
Do his best to navigate through unfathomable grief and loss.
I have watched him take running starts in to the unknown,
with an unimaginable amount of determination, persistence and focus. 
Totally un-phased by the chaos on either side of him. 
I have watched him reach out, help and give back with all the devotion and strength he could muster.  No matter how tired or fed up.
I have watched him be the bigger person, a big brother, an amazing father, time and time again,
despite anger, frustration, disappointment and heartache.
I have watched his hours of endless discipline and energy,
hard work and dedication,
pay off.
Not only preparing his heart and mind for what may lie ahead,
but in planning for the future of his family.
Working to balance on the fine line that divides career and ambition
with living fully.
I have watched him take leaps,
{it's much higher than it looks.}
I've watched him fall,
to always be brought back to ONE truth about this man,
no matter the obstacle in his way,
he will take it on without looking back.
And come out even stronger.
Witnessed firsthand the loyalty and devotion so ingrained in his being, 
to carry his team.  This one. . .
And this one.
 {An oldie but goodie.}

I am BEYOND proud and blessed to know this exceptional human being who is my husband and the father of my children.
Not just for training for and completing a grueling race,
that will merely be a blip in his life of great accomplishments,
but for everything he does each day, that keeps THIS team thriving.


gabbygrace said...

melt my heart....perfectly stated and so proud of both of you!!!! :))) You are both tough mudders :)

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