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Hidden Motivator

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The bottom line:
I just developed a new motivator: giving David a run for his money ... a literal run.

The background:

My significant other, David, is generally very healthy, although he has weight to lose, too. Quite a bit, even, but he has a lot of muscle, massive strength (he picked up two of his co-workers the other day - one on each shoulder), and incredible stamina, as well as a high level of vitality. Rarely gets sick and usually fights it off fast. Also he walks a lot faster than I do.

This disparity in walking has been a bone of contention between us for a while. He walks anywhere from a stride or two to about 20 feet ahead of me. He talks to me while he does this, and expects me to be able to hear him.

I find it frustrating because I feel it's rude, and also I can't hear him, and also when he's in front but close, I can't see my path - he's tall and solidly built and pretty much blocks out the upcoming terrain when he's in front of me. Don't get me wrong, aside from this situation I mostly enjoy his height and build and vitality. But constantly leaving me trailing behind is obnoxious.

Anyway. once I lost my temper and demanded to know why he does that, when I have asked him to stay at least somewhere near me, when we are walking together, especially when it's for exercise or enjoyment (i.e., not just walking to get somewhere). He got angry with me and finally said he hates being held back, and then FINALLY said, "because I can."

I didn't like that. I ***hated*** that. And then I accepted it. Sometimes he walks ahead and it still bugs me, and sometimes he keeps to about my pace. I have sped up before to try to keep up with him, but he just walks faster and faster, which I can't maintain. He's just so much more physically fit.

SO. Lately I have been walking up flights of steps just to ramp up my level of fitness. Steps are my weakness. I can keep going on a flat course but a short bit of steps can really do me in. Like one flight. So. I have been doing it, slowly but surely, although it makes me feel light-headed and crazy and weak and sick to my stomach. I know that eventually my body will adapt and I'll feel okay doing it.

So last night, we were walking home from the train station (about a 15 minute walk for me, a 9-minute walk for him), and I decided t try lengthening my stride, as he was doing all the talking and I wasn't too winded. I did that for a bit, then picked up my pace a little. I had to breathe harder, but it was fun challenging myself.

AND THEN I noticed ... that I wasn't the only one breathing harder! He had picked up his pace a little, and then (still talking), had tried to pull ahead. And I sped up a little!

But wait: I've never heard him breathe hard at all when walking with me! Sounds terrible, but it was awesome! We kept it up till we were almost racing into the driveway. Then I stopped and slowed down to catch my breath. I don't think he was even aware that we were going faster, just maybe on a subconscious level that he had to stay ahead.

It was awesome, it was awesome, it was awesome! Thank you North Station, for your steps and letting me use them for exercise! Thank you, to my body, for improving, even though the steps make you feel so sick!

in any case, I soooo look forward to being able to challeng David physically. He's very competitive. I am usually only competitive during gaming, like video games or board games.

But he has always bested me in a physical challenge, and always makes sure he stays ahead, or on top. As an interesting aside, when I walked up the stairs at Braintree station when we were leaving the house yesterday (feeling like I was going to throw up and die, but only for about 5 minutes), he walked briskly up the escalator so he'd get there first. Competitive? Noooo, of course not.

In any case, this walking challenge will happen again, because I will make it happen. I love it! I am gaining the stamina to compete with him physically. Just a little bit so far, but it's a totally, completely new thing for me in my life, period. I really, truly love it!

So my hidden motivation is being able to challenge David when walking ... and building my stamina to do so.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I enjoyed reading about your new name, Star! And I got tickled at your hidden motivator. My husband does that too...I called it playing Chinese Wife after the ancient customs there...the wife submissively walked behind her husband. I am NOT so submissive. I found it downright annoying!

    Your step climbing and walking routine will build you up so gradually, you will hardly notice the improvement...but you will be DELIGHTED with the end results. YOU GO GIRL!

    I must edit my comment...re:submission. 1/11/09
    The Bible does place a woman in submission to her husband however, there are also limitations and directions on how he is to treat her...that being with love and respect. THAT is where I got annoyed with the "chinese wife" routine! Hope that makes sense.
    4513 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/11/2009 10:38:06 PM
    Thanks, all of you, for your comments on my blog post. It was amazing to learn that it doesn't always have to be the same (i.e. David always besting me) and even better to be able to share it and be shared with!

    4514 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/28/2008 11:16:54 AM
    This made me chuckle...it is so funny the little things we overweight people pick up on. I also find it silly that he feels he needs to beat you to point B. I hope you get him...keep us posted and thanks for the morning laugh, you are GREAT!
    4514 days ago
  • JIBBIE49
    Happy New Year 2009
    4514 days ago
    That was soooo amusing and inspiring. I love your "don't give in attitude. With that, you'll go so far. Thx for your msg on my blog. I too have a challenging walking partner....my great dane dog. I try to give him a good workout, so I am forced to lengthen my stride so that he isn't straining against his lead. Believe me at the end of a walk, I am totally exhausted but I am thrilled at the effort it took. Have fun...but then it sounds as if you already are.
    4514 days ago
    I can totally relate! My husband is 6'6" and I am 5'3". When we walk I have to jog. If he decides to jog, I have to run my fastest... and I can't do that for very long. It's really annoying as sometimes I'd just like to walk and not jog.

    Good for you for turning your frustration with him into a positive!
    4514 days ago
    I loooooove this blog!! Go girl GO!!! I love the idea of your darling David being a hidden motivator for you. I'll bet he just loves being your little mechanical rabbit on a stick as you run around the track! One day you're going to sink your teeth into his tail when you catch up to him, so he better watch out.

    My boyfriend and I are the opposite - I walk much faster than him, so while this blog is quite entertaining and inspiring, it also helped me realize that slowing down a bit for my honey is kind and respectful - I don't always have to beat him to our destinations! He acknowledges that I can trounce him in the walking/hiking departments, but when we get on our bikes he kicks my rear end all over the place. :) We do long bike tours and he often goes ahead (not too far - we like to stay in sight of each other) and doubles back to "check up" on me. :) We accept out strenghts and our weaknesses, and we have come to an understanding about waiting for and supporting each other as we both get stronger in our weaker pursuits.

    I love that you're getting stronger and using your loved one to get you there. Pushing past those feelings of sickness and dizziness is something that I do on long bike tours - it's painful and sometimes a little scary but it is worth it and it will help me (you) get stronger and faster and healthier. Go US!

    Keep on going, and please post again when you are regularly looking back at your man and wondering what's keeping him. ;) Keep up the great work, and thank you for posting today - it really made me smile and relate and feel like taking a walk with my doll today!!!

    Happy new year!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    4514 days ago
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