If you’re dating or married to someone whose regular schedule involves hours of training, you may find some of these truths familiar. (Photo: Istock/Priscilla De Castro for Yahoo Health)
The first time I knew I wanted to date my now-fiancé Ross was when I saw him out for a run. We’d known each other since we were kids, but it wasn’t until I was a senior in high school — and saw him sprinting past me — that I realized the boy from second grade had grown up.
We started dating, and so began our journey of growing up together and weaving our individual passions and interests. One big one in particular: Ross’ athletic prowess and commitment to running. He ran varsity track and cross country at New York University while I studied journalism in Boston — so with his daily practices and meets on the weekends, we quickly had to learn how to compromise and support each other.
While I’m active enough — I do frequent the gym! — our athletic capabilities have never been on an equal plane. In other words, sports were always going to be his thing.
Eleven years later, we’re still together and Ross is now a competitive triathlete. We no longer have to navigate the Boston-to-New-York long-distance situation, but we now are learning to navigate his twice-a-day training schedule as he prepares for the USA Triathlon National Championships.
Throughout our relationship, and especially now that Ross is in the thick of training, there are some realities I’ve come to realize from dating someone passionate about fitness. Here are five of them:
You will become an early bird.
Before you met your S.O., 11 a.m. was a nice wake-up time. Now, it’s no sweat to get up at 6 a.m. (Photo: Getty Images/Image Source)
In order to get any sort of decent training in, especially with a full-time job, Ross must get his first workout in at sunrise (or before the sun comes up, in the wintertime). Because we live in a studio apartment, this also means that 6 a.m. is my wake-up time. And on race days, we can be out the door as early as 4:30 a.m. to make it to a meet on time.
I’d never considered myself a morning person, up until a few years ago when I started waking up early per Ross’ schedule. Now, sleeping in until 8 a.m. is a dream, and going to bed after 11 p.m. is a rarity. It may seem miserable, but this newfound sleep pattern is actually a blessing — we can be out exploring the city together before everyone else is awake. It makes us feel like we have the whole day ahead of us.
Related: How to Become a Morning Person
Your partner constantly needs ALL THE FOOD.
Hey, food is fuel! (Photo: Corbis/Andy Reynolds)
Athletes may not have a child growing inside of them, but with the amount they eat and how often their muscles are sore, you might as well be living with a pregnant woman. Since Ross can burn 3,000 calories in a bike ride alone, that means he must consume enough to not get burned out. Unfortunately for me, that means helping him satisfy his cravings for ice cream, giant steaks, and the like. With all of this food in the apartment (or ordered when we dine out), I’ve had to learn how to eat without being tempted by all the calorific goodies. Admittedly, it can be hard at times — but I’ve also learned that food is fuel and can do great things for our bodies.
Date night = working out together.
Movies and wine? What about pounding the pavement, instead? (Photo: Stocksy/Eduard Bonnin)
Sure, we have normal date nights, but with Ross’ busy schedule, there’s not a whole lot of time left over for “us” time. While I’d love to think I could keep up with my fiancé on a bike ride or a run, it simply won’t happen. But we’ve found ways to spend time together at the gym for the occasional spin class or side-by-side on the treadmill when the weather is bad. Though we don’t engage in deep conversations during that time, it’s meaningful to be pushing ourselves in our own way together. We both walk away having completed a physical goal, and research shows working out with your beau can actually strengthen your partnership.
Your S.O. will always have more “stuff” than you.
There’s no such thing as too many sneakers. (Photo: Getty Images/Richard Newstead)
Participating in three sports equals lots of stuff. In our time together, I’ve learned the difference between a road bike, a mountain bike, a time trial bike, and a fixed-gear bike, as well as the many different layers of clothing required for each activity. Did you know there’s such a thing as an at-home altitude tent? (Well now you do, and you’re welcome.)
While I’ve created a two-bike limit in our apartment, I’m always amazed at the number of new high-tech gadgets that purport to help you go faster and clock that P.R. Sure, I get excited when I buy a new pair of workout pants, but I’ve realized that Ross’ gear is much more of a necessity than mine is — and must therefore be factored into our closet space. I’ve fully accepted Ross will always have more shoes than me and the linen closet is also the bike, wetsuit, helmet and extra wheels closet. (The bonus of it all is that I have an endless list of presents to buy him.)
A vacation is never complete without a visit (or few) to the hotel gym.
You know you’ll be making a visit here no matter where you travel. (Photo: Corbis/Dan Forer)
Just because you go on vacation doesn’t mean the training can stop. To keep the momentum going, time for running, swimming, and biking is always factored into our vacation plans. Is there a gym? Is there a pool? Is it safe to run? While the answer isn’t always “yes” for each question, it certainly becomes a major consideration when planning out our destinations.
As a couple who loves to travel, making exercise part of our plans has actually led to some pretty amazing experiences. We’ve found delicious hole-in the-wall places because of a run around a city and some hidden beaches after speaking to locals about the best places to swim.
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