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February 13, 2006

My Valentine

With today being Valentine's Day and all, I feel compelled to write a little bit about my valentine of 17 years and my wife of almost 12 years.

Thankfully, they are the same person.

(My motivation isn't pure altruism - she's been known to read this blog from time to time, so let's just say another generic post about running today would be ill-advised.)

We met as undergraduates at UCLA in my first year of college, and her second. We lived on the same floor of our dormitory, but never really spoke for almost the entire school year.

I was on the rowing team, and the spring was racing season. Our crew was favored to win the West Coast Championships that year. As a sign of toughness and solidarity, our entire boat shaved our heads before the championship race.

We would have looked like studs if we won. It was a great plan except for one thing...we forgot to win the race.

When we returned to campus, I was disconsolate. Sulking one night in the lobby of our dorm, wallowing in anger and disappointment, I heard a sympathetic voice asked me what was wrong.

I gave her the short version of the story. I didn't really feel like getting into it.

After successfully breaking the ice, she asked if she could rub my head. So, OK...a pretty girl asks to rub my head...I guess the least I could do was play along to avoid offending her.

We sat in the lobby for a few minutes like that, one stranger rubbing another stranger's shaved head. She said it felt neat. I started to forget how angry and upset I had been.

It wasn't exactly love at first sight. It took us another several months before we started dating, and several years before we got married. (Remember how I said I usually make blink decisions? One notable exception was marriage - that was a long, petrified stare analyzed from every imaginable angle. Some things deserve a second look.)

We were married in 1994, and it's generally been a "happily ever after" situation. And honestly, it hasn't been an equal distribution of responsibility - I've gotten the better end of the deal by far.

You know this whole running thing about which I feel so passionately and write so frequently? In all likelihood, 95% of it doesn't happen if she's not supporting me. The only reason I'm able to get out of the house on any given early morning is that I know another parent (OK...the better parent) is holding down the fort.

With my running adventures, I've sometimes pushed the envelope of her support more than I like to admit. There have been times when I've come home from overnight race trips half-expecting to find her Googling divorce attorneys. But she's always taken the high road of tolerance and forgiveness.

We go round and round about how much running and racing I should do. She's always sensible. I'm typically out of my mind. I think if I didn't have her as a balancing force, I'd probably get injured or burned out, or bankrupt us with all the things I'd love to do. She's almost always right. I almost never say so.

Since we've been married, there's never been anyone else that I'd rather share my life with. And despite my well-documented affection for music video vixens like Beyonce or the Pussycat Dolls, there's honestly nobody I'd give my romantic affection to besides her.

All in all, she's a great valentine.

(And if you're reading this...Happy Valentine's Day, sweetie!)


Stacey Teague 2/14/06, 10:30 AM  

That was very sweet!!!! You guys are so lucky to have eachother!

Happy Valentines Day.

olga 2/14/06, 3:34 PM  

Aww...so sweet! Now I feel horrible that we don't celebrate Valentine, but we do love each other every other day in a year:)

Dawn - Pink Chick 2/16/06, 11:33 AM  

awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww ♥ :-)

BuckeyeRunner 2/18/06, 4:49 AM  

That's so sweet. I love hearing about how couples met. (You rowed for UCLA? Impressive!)

Your wife sounds like a great lady and a top-notch support crew.

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