Sam bares her soul to running. Running responds in kind
I don’t quite know how to put this but, well, I’m wondering if we need some time apart. It’s not you…i just feel like I need to take a step back and think about what I want from our relationship. Things between us haven’t been great for a while now.
Look, I understand that the first flush of excitement in a relationship can’t last forever and I’m OK with that; in many ways, I’d say we’ve grown stronger since those heady, uncertain days when we first met – 27 years ago, can you believe it? We’ve been able to depend on each other more and read each other’s funny ways. But recently, being together has felt dreary and monotonous – evenings that start out full of hope end in hurt and disappointment.
I know long-term relationships have their ups and downs, but to be honest, I can hardly recall when we last had a good time. I’ve found myself wondering whether it’s time we go our separate ways. I think maybe some space apart will help us both remember what we saw in each other when we first met all those years ago, and help us decide whether we have a future together. Of course I’ve noticed that things haven’t been right between us. You’ve barely glanced at your running shoes this week, and last week wasn’t much better. And it isn’t as if you’ve not had time – you found time to go out on that bike of yours, after all – and did I see you stepping out to a yoga class last week? It’s obvious you’ve been avoiding me.
When the going gets tough, the tough give up, eh? Is that it?
Don’t you realise relationships need constant nurturing, like houseplants: you can just throw water on them to keep them alive, but if you want them to thrive you need to give them nourishment, pick off the dead leaves – and re-pot them sometimes. You and me, we’re not thriving, we’re just surviving, our leaves yellowing at the edges. We’re in a rut. Out we go every week, same time, same places, same races – but the old routine isn’t giving you the results it used to – and it feels as if you’re blaming me for that. Hell, I’ve challenged you to the outer edges of your being and unearthed strengths you didn’t know you had. And I still can.
I can’t help thinking you’re trying to hold on to the past – labouring to improve your PBS year after year, racing too much and paying the price in injuries when, let’s face it, that era is probably over. (Though since we’re being so frank, all that cake you’re eating isn’t helping you maintain your racing weight.) We need to move things on, find different goals to strive for and new ways of relishing our time together.
But spare me the ‘it’s not you’ cliché! I know it’s not me. I am the one true constant in your life. I’ve always been there for you – to celebrate with when you’re happy, to commiserate with when you’re sad, to find clarity in when your mind is clouded and help you stop thinking all together when your frazzled brain hits overload. You’ve always taken what you need from me and all I’ve ever asked for in return is a little appreciation – and your commitment. I’ve turned a blind eye when you’ve got involved with other sports – it’s healthy to have other meaningful relationships in your life – but this time I sense you’re questioning my worth, my place in your life. It scares me that you’re so willing to consider throwing away what we’ve built up over the years together.
If you think we need some time apart, go ahead and take it. I’ll still be here for you, as I was when you found yourself all alone in Australia, aged 19, and took your first running steps on that long white beach, and years later, when you needed the comfort of our familiar routine in the days before and after your dad’s death. It’s not over. Have you by any chance seen my running shoes lying around?
Speedy 22stat The percentage improvement in V02 max in overweight people assigned endurance exercise for 17 weeks – without calorie restriction