You don’t remember me but I was a REAL bitch to you back in July 2012.
We were both at a triathlon in Chattanooga to support our husbands. We both had two kids, around the same age, and you were wearing an IronWife shirt and making signs for your husband with your kids while waiting on him to finish the bike.
And I hated you.
Well…hate feels like a harsh word…but I really did NOT like you.
You see…2012 was the first summer I tried being an active spectator – along with my small children – in my husband’s triathlons. It was his third season and the first two seasons I used the, “Wesley is too young to really be cooperative” excuse to avoid going to races with the kids. I did spectate one or two with them, but it always made me want to jump off the nearest bridge as my son spent ages 2-5 in what I politely refer to as his, “Demon Possession” Phase. I didn’t mind spectating on my own, but when I had the kids with me it was just SO. VERY. DIFFICULT.
In 2012 my son was really old enough to control a little bit, but he was still not an easy child. And I had started to lose patience with him AND the race about 2 minutes after the start.
The weather was SO HOT and my kids were SO WHINY and I had carried too much stuff around but was too far from the hotel to take any of it back and I just found myself very irritated with the entire scene. And there you were…wearing your supportive wife shirt with your well-behaved kids…making signs going above and beyond the cheering I was doing.
And I mocked you MERCILESSLY inside my own head. You seemed happy to be there in the heat with your kids cheering for your husband and I kinda wanted to trip you while you were walking down the stairs for setting UNATTAINABLE STANDARDS by which I had to compare myself.
And I am SO SO SO Very Sorry.
Because on Sunday I plan on eclipsing your support by a million times as my husband goes to race his first Ironman.
I plan on spending all day out on my feet, in the sun, with my two kids. And I plan on LOVING EVERY SECOND of it. We will all be wearing #TeamDonnie shirts that I had made and we’ll be carrying the gear we’ve accumulated after 3 full seasons of spectating as a family. The kids will have their own cameras to document and I’m challenging them with goals for cheering on other racers from our town. We made our Ironman a Good Luck cake this weekend and he’s been reading supportive letters every morning this week written by members of the family and collected by Me.
I see your IronWife shirt from 2012 and I trump it a million times over.
I’m sorry I was so insecure and so stressed that I took my irritability out on you. I’m sorry I made fun of you and your support inside my own head. I’m sorry I didn’t take the chance to befriend you like I have so many other spouses since then. I’m sorry I was an asshat.
But know I’ve thought of you often this summer, while I’ve supported my husband in his Ironman training. I’ve actually used you as a guide, as you seemed so purely selfless that day, focused on your husband so intently. I’ve often hoped that I look as dedicated from the outside as you did.
So, Thank You. Thank you for being the supportive wife I set out to be. And if our paths should cross again, I promise I won’t be such a bitch this time.