I met Kerry on the trails this morning for a three mile run. Then I went to the gym to swim. My workout ended up being 2250 meters of mostly steady swimming with some sprint work built in. I hadn’t been to the gym since before the Memorial Day holiday. What struck me most this morning was how much I’d missed that place.
When I’m in regular workout mode, I’m at the gym four to five mornings a week, either to workout or to clean up after an outdoor run or ride. Packing a gym bag, greeting the girls at the front desk, waving hello to the cute old guys who drink coffee in the gym’s cafe, getting showered at my usual stall, getting dressed at my usual locker, chatting with the girls who get ready about the same time I do, and having my smoothie at the cafe before I leave are all part of my routine. I’ve missed that routine. It was lovely to be back there today.
I’m definitely someone who likes a routine. I take comfort in the familiar, and even when I’m in the unfamiliar, I try to create little routines for myself. Like in Africa, I had a routine each time we hit camp. I stayed out of my tent until the warm washing water was ready. Then I went into my tent and stripped off the day’s wet clothes and took a “bath” as best I could, using the wash water, my travel towel, and the wet wipes I carried. Then I put on the set of clothes that I’d designated as my “camp” clothes – a pair of pants, a short-sleeved technical t-shirt, a long-sleeved technical t-shirt, a flannel pullover, sock liners, and a pair of socks. Something about having a relatively clean set of clothes at camp each night felt right to me. (That clean set of clothes became my “clean” clothes for the summit day hike. It felt good to start that particularly long day in clothes that didn’t stink the way all of my other clothes did.) After my “bath,” I went into the food tent for hot coffee or tea and whatever the afternoon snack was. Then I would spend some time writing about the day’s journey. That wind down process after each day’s climb helped me create some familiarity on the mountain.
I’m about to have to do some major routine adjustment. “Have to” is unfair. I am about to have great reason to do some major routine adjusting. Dave will be moving to Austin in the coming months. Sometime this summer, he will uproot his life and come join me in mine in the great state of Texas! I’m super excited and also aware of what that means for both of us. I know it’s a hard thing to sell a house, leave a job and move from a community that is both near family and full of friends based on nothing more than a sense that this person who lives elsewhere loves you and is your future. That involves a pretty significant leap of faith, in my book, and I’m so grateful (and touched and floored and ecstatic) he’s willing to take it. He will endure most of the changes to be had, but I know my routines will change. He may become a part of some of them, but I suspect I’ll discard some altogether, and we’ll create some new routines of our own.
Right now, it’s a whole lot of uncertainty – admittedly more for him, than for me. These last weeks of race prep, the familiarity of an Ironman that I’ve done twice before (once in 2008 and once last year), and these final weeks of mornings, days and evenings based on my schedule and my routine seem really precious to me. I’m going to enjoy them, but I’m also feeling ready for what comes next with this person I trust completely and who trusts me…dare I say completely? I shouldn’t speak for him, but I think it’s safe to say that he trusts me enough to take the leap to Texas. I’m so grateful. And touched and floored and ecstatic.
And Dave knows me well enough to know I’m not all easy-breezy about change. In keeping with my sense of person and my need for routine, I should add that I’m hopeful – fingers and toes crossed – that my gym routine is not one that will get discarded. I really did miss that place and all the people in it. If I get my way, which I think I will given our like-mindedness on running and such, we’ll be adding one more really great person into the mix. I can’t wait.
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