My Ex Says I Can't Do It
Wednesday, August 07, 2013
I have to vent. I know you'll understand.
My ex (with whom I share my daughter, so of course I have to see her often) has always been very strong, and has worked in construction most of her adult life. She is also former military, and you know those folks are strong! Anyway, for the past 15 years or so, she's been steadily gaining weight, so although she continues to have great upper body strength, she's carrying about 70 lbs of extra weight and may even be into the "obese" category on the BMI.
Last year, she did a "Tough Mudder" obstacle course race. I know she finished it, and is proud of her achievement. In fact, she's always been very proud of her physical strength, being as she is a woman in a traditionally male field of work. Our daughter and I talked at the time about how awesome it was that my ex did the race. It was exciting for our daughter.
So I've decided that this year, to culminate my weight loss process, I'm going to do a 5K obstacle course race. I'm planning to compete in the "Spartan Sprint" in Malibu this December. I mentioned this to my ex by email, inviting her to do it with me and letting her know I'm committed for that weekend.
Yesterday, when we were together in person, my ex launched into telling me all the things that I should be "scared" about with regard to an obstacle course race. She went into how hard it is, how many obstacles there are, how I have to have a lot of upper body strength, I'll have to carry weights while running uphill ("that's really hard, you know"), and how her back hurt after the race, etc. She was full of reasons why I'm choosing a challenge that is too difficult for me.
I looked at her (tried to keep a smile on my face), and said, "Are you saying I can't do it? You think I can't do it!" She backed off a little, but then launched into more reasons why it's "too much" for me. I know she's threatened that I'm losing weight and getting strong. Somehow, she feels diminished. She doesn't want me in her territory (endurance, strength). She's trying to get me to back off.
I guess she's forgotten who I am. Tell me I can't do something and I'll double down to get it done. I'm stubborn that way. But I'm not doing this to take anything away from her. I'm doing this for me. I'm going to prove to myself that I can do it.
She got to me, but I'm just going to turn it into more determination to train hard and be ready to do my best on race day.