Right now I am sitting in beautiful Maui watching my husband take part in the XTERRA Triathlon World Champs. He was invited back to compete as part of a Legends group, which is essentially a reunion of some sorts for past elite level triathletes.
You won’t know this but my husband was quite a stud in regards to Triathlon a number of years ago and a documentary was made about him in his attempt to qualify for the 2000 Olympic games in Sydney Australia.
It was so great to be back watching these folks, men and women, compete and really push themselves to their limits. I was inspired by everyone.
But while I was sitting there waiting for Wes to come running past me, I couldn’t help but associate what these athletes were all going through and relating that to my own marriage.
Not too long ago I shared with you the personal challenges I was facing in my own marriage and how we were having a tough time. Well, we put it in a lot of work, effort, time and tears into it, to make it right. It was not always easy, but it was worth it. We both understood what we had and we knew it was something worth fighting for.
So I want to share with you my experience of watching the Triathletes in this challenging race and how you can apply the same approach to your relationships:
Preparation – If you want to get the best from your relationship you have to be prepared. You can’t just pitch up and hope for the best outcome – otherwise you’ll become just another statistic. You need to have an understanding of what makes a relationship work, what it involves in terms of commitment, trust, patience, mutual respect and love. You are no longer just an individual but part of a team.
Transition – A triathlon involves three different disciplines – swimming, cycling and running. You have to be competent in all three if you want to have a shot at winning. Each time you change from one discipline to the next, you start using different muscles in your body and it takes a little adjusting. That is why training is so important, so you get used to the transitions.
The same applies with relationships. Our relationships are going to evolve over time.
You go through the phases of first hooking up, then comes the “I Love You”, the engagement, the marriage, the moving in together, the sharing of finances, the first child, the next few kids, the career etc., etc.
Our relationships are continuously evolving and we need to evolve too, otherwise we are going to be in for an absolute shock.
You have to train for these changes and adjust your approach to each period in your life. Life is dynamic and so are relationships. We need to be dynamic too in our approach to our relationship otherwise we will fail.
Effort – The amount of effort these athletes put into their race is incredible, from both a training and racing perspective. It is driven by a fierce will and determination to succeed. What you put in, is what you get out. So if in your marriage you are going to put in very little effort, you’re going to get very little out. No one said it was going to be easy right?
You have to pitch up every day and stay committed to keep putting in the effort in order to have the relationship you want.
Pain – It is inevitable that we are going to experience pain, heartbreak, frustration, worry, anger, doubt and many other emotions during the course of our relationship. It is NO fun…I know, but we have to keep going. We don’t want to give up until all options have been explored and we have tried everything we can to work through the pain.
Stay focused on the positive outcome as a way to keep moving through the pain and getting what you want.
Post Race – After crossing the line, most of the athletes are exhausted but still manage a little smile. After a few hours of recovery the smile gets bigger and bigger. The drinks start to flow and the celebratory meal follows. The atmosphere is AMAZING and the pain is forgotten and the positive energy flows. This is what makes people want to come back again and again. The pain, the sacrifice, the challenges, pushing yourself beyond what you thought possible and coming out the other side on top…knowing you will do it all again, because you love it and it is worth it!
Hayley Hobson is an author, speaker, business coach, yogi, Pilates instructor, and holistic nutritional expert based in Boulder, CO. Her unique and intelligent style promotes strengthening while softening—empowering her clients to heal not only their physical bodies but their hearts and minds as well. To learn more about her nutritional courses, events, and custom programs, visit hayleyhobson.com or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.