A little over a year ago my husband Ben walked in the front door on a Monday afternoon after work. It was like any other day except this time when he opened our front door the first thing he said to me changed our lives. I was so shocked and caught off guard that I still feel a visceral reaction to that memory.
As he opened the door I started to say my nickname for him, “GRRRrrizz!!” But he cut me off and as soon as he saw me said,
“I want a divorce.”
Just like that.
No previous fight that would put it in context.
No signs of an affair.
Nothing, just those words. That one sentence said with a definite period on the end. It wasn’t a question or complaint – it was decided.
I thought I was going to throw up. I thought I was going to pass out. No, I thought I was going to throw up and then pass out. I literally had to sit down.
(For those that are interested it was this day on the blog. And the day after we spent the weekend in Ventura on a fun lil roadtrip.)
He didn’t want to talk about it. He just grabbed a few things and walked out the door.
What now? What just happened? Am I going to die? My mind was reeling. My heart was racing.
I had did not see this coming at all.
I called my mom right after he walked in the door and she thought I was joking.
She thought I was being funny because
A.) I’m always joking and
B.) it didn’t make any sense.
We had just had dinner with my family the day before and he seemed fine.
I texted my Bible study friends and asked for prayers.
Then, I sat in shock for the rest of the evening until I took a melatonin and cried myself to sleep.
I cried a lot over the next few weeks. A LOT.
I was actually surprised the human body can produce so many tears. It’s impressive. I could have probably solved California’s drought with all the salty water flowing down my cheeks.
I ran a lot. But, my runs were so-so. I didn’t run because I was training, I ran to survive. I ran to escape. I ran to zone out. I ran to think. I ran to pray. I ran to get mad. I ran to be sad somewhere outside of my condo.
Until very recently I’ve been doing a lot of ‘junk miles’. Junk miles are basically runs that don’t really have a purpose in training like ‘speed work’, ‘distance’, ‘hill work’ but are just miles you’re putting on your body that probably fatigue it more than benefit.
But I wouldn’t change it – because it wasn’t about running, it was about survival.
Running isn’t always about races or goals or PRs or medals – sometimes running is for the soul. I ran because it made me feel better.
Over the past year my overall running ability has taken a few steps back because of this. I race a lot to stay busy and travel and review races for RER. But I wasn’t making my running goals a priority. My mental health was the priority and should always taken precedence over goals that can be considered less important.
The reason I’m sharing all of this is because I’m sore today. I’ve been sore a lot lately. Incorporating speed work and strength classes into my marathon training is really working my body! And I love it.
On some level I love the pain and the burn. I don’t see any of the results yet though, so I wanted to take this time to remind myself more that this is part of the journey.
It’s a marathon not a sprint. Literally. And the past year has been a very long marathon of wills and emotions and ups and downs and everything in between.
I can’t tell you with 100% certainty what is happening in my personal life right now. We’re still figuring it out. No divorce paper work has been filed. We still love each other. We are both jerks sometimes. And we still want to live happily ever after.
But ‘it’s complicated’ is a massive understatement as there are a lot of geographical and financial and family factors we are taking into account.
That’s not the point of this post anyway.
The point is, I feel humble and sore and happy and confused and runner-y and hungry. This last year is just one chapter of my life. I’ve handled it well. I’m proud of myself for being so prayerful and strong and turning to running and friends in tough times.
Now for my next chapter I will stick with my marathon training and strength workouts and all that fun stuff. I feel like my body is saying, “What the hell is going on?!” when I get out of bed sore in places I didn’t know existed. And I like it in some sick way.
But, the progress I can see is slow to come, my running hasn’t gotten better yet and my muscles aren’t popping.
I feel like I’m getting stronger. I’m getting stronger physically with strength training and better running workouts. And I’m emotionally stronger too. That counts for a lot and it helps a lot around mile 21 of a full marathon too!!
I want to write about this personal part of my life more in the future. It really hasn’t been appropriate for me to say much until now. I appreciate your support and understanding, especially from those of you who suspected something bad was going on but respected my privacy.
More than anything I want to pass on some love, if you are going through a rough time I am sending out hugs and strength and prayers and wisdom to make smart choices in your life.
It’s going to be okay.
It is going to be okay. You are going to be okay. I promise.
Be strong. Be brave.