|Mary, Ian & I. Those are hotel bathrobes, by the way.|
She's certainly put up with a lot of crap from me. Within a month after getting married, I left for London for six months. I came home two or three days every two weeks, but that was it. By the way, we had just moved to New York and she didn't know anyone.
Then she endured my drinking phase. Though I'm sure she has fond memories of the times when I could stop after we shared a bottle of wine, those moments are no doubt tainted by the night after night of the drunken foolery that came later. And at that point I was probably worse sober.
Then there is multi-sport. Clearly it is a much healthier obsession, but obsessive behavior still boils down to a low common denominator. So here we go again....
But maybe not. Mary has been very supportive. She's been very accommodating with my training schedule. She's also been to most of my races, no matter how early they start or how far we have to drive. And she's always at the finish line with Ian. I can always hear them cheering no matter how loud it is. This might be because I can always pick out the sound of Ian's cowbell. I know that sound well. We bought the cowbell at Stage 6 of this year's Tour of California, which ranks as one the best days I've spent with my son, despite the fact he rang that damned bell in the car all the way home. By the way, there is nothing better than your son telling you how proud he is of you when you've finished a race. So I should be clear: What can I say? Ian rules too.
Has it been smooth sailing the whole way? Not entirely. For starters, Mary still doesn't understand the difference between carbon and aluminum bikes or Newtons and the whatever running shoes are on sale at Big 5. It's said that financial matters are one of the top arguments between married couples. Lucky us!! - multi-sport conveniently adds another topic to throw into the mix. Coming to some sort of compromise is taking some work. But this is work that needs to be done from my side, because I can be reckless.
Still, Mary and I have been married for nine years. Above and beyond becoming a parent, I've been through more profound change in last nine years than the previous thirty-two. And a lot of the change has not been easy. Even though I've always been a survivor, survival is always easier with Mary at my side. I'm glad that she was there. And I'm glad that she has stuck with me.
Thanks baby, and I love you.