Dear Eric,

One of my favorite times of the year is upon us. It’s when you slip on the red spandex, air up your tires, and hop on your bike to start training for race season.

There are many reasons I love this time of year.IMG_2879

First of all, the spandex.

Enough said?

Secondly, I love watching you do something you love. It relieves your stress, recharges your mind, renews your heart. You hop off the bike a better man each and every time you go out for a ride.

Thirdly, race culture is fun! Rid and I love coming to watch you race and mingling with the other bike wives and soaking up the sun while you work your tail end off.

Fourthly, thanks to burning 1500+ calories per ride, you look dang good. (Apparently not enough was said after my first point.)

I enjoy getting to ride bicycles together, too – and I appreciate that your speedy legs slow themselves down to a leisurely pace as I huff and puff up the Reed Valley hill. I’m pickier about my riding weather and more focused on the fun of it as opposed to the challenge (one of the only areas I oddly enough don’t always feel competitive), but I do enjoy going out on long rides together. The conversation, the scenery, the silence, the sound of our gears shifting in unison ties my heart to yours, reminds me of the journey we are on together.

One of the things about marriage is that, even when we are walking through different things, we are always walking together. Work is stressful for you, and while your tasks at work don’t affect me, the way they affect you then affects me. Sometimes this is a beautiful thing – it allows me to enter into your life and encourage you and spur you on.

Sometimes, though, it’s a frustrating thing. It causes tension because I don’t understand what you are walking through so I don’t want to engage you in that place, or I don’t want to give you sympathy. I want you to be able to leave it all at work, not bring it home to me. I get annoyed and I forget the beauty that I just described above of my role as a wife to enter into your struggle.

I am sure you often feel the same way with the junk I bring to the table. And the tears – goodness, the roller coaster of emotions that you have had to deal with over the past several months has been enough to make anyone crack.

We are two broken people trying to make a marriage work, and often one of us doesn’t have the strength to press on like normal.

So we pull for each other.

You are so good about “pulling” for me on the bike. When it’s windy and I am complaining, or if we are climbing a hill and I am struggling, you slow down and allow me to draft behind you, getting my front wheel as close as possible to your rear wheel. This takes some of the burden off me – and it puts us closer together. It forces teamwork.

And that’s how I want our marriage to be. Let’s be real, I will probably never have to pull for you on the bike, but when you are struggling in life (whether it be an off day or an off week or an off month), I want to get as close to you as possible and help pull you until your legs are strong enough to confidently pedal on their own. I want to work together in understanding that we take turns pulling – sometimes, it’s your turn, and sometimes it’s mine – and that we don’t keep count of how many pulls each of us has taken. We’re not about fairness in our marriage; we’re about working together on this journey and arriving to our destination at the same time and with the same pace.

So let’s get out our bikes and ride into new adventures together, both literally and metaphorically. I’ll be by your side in case you need someone to pull for awhile.

And so I can check you out in your fancy spandex race wear.

Love,
me.

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