What I Needed to Hear

“I think that we should make it our goal that you qualify for Boston in three years.”

I almost cried.

We were out for a walk with the kids. It was a gorgeous day: warm breeze, sun shining, and the delighted shouts of the kids in the background. The boys were riding their bikes, and doing “tricks” in the church parking lot while we watching.  We were chatting about nothing in particular. We weren’t discussing running, or dreams, or goals, or anything.

He spoke off the cuff, like it was no big deal. Just another remark he made to his wife about something he had been thinking about.

What he didn’t realize was that his words were probably the sweetest, most romantic thing he ever could have said to me. Those seventeen words meant more to me than if he told me I was beautiful, or if he said I was the most incredible women he’d ever met.

Now some women might find that ridiculous, even insulting. For me, it was the exactly what I needed.

If you know my husband even a little, you may know he is not really forthcoming in his communication. (Which is funny, because he speaks for a living. How does that work?) I think many women could say the same thing about their husband. Most men aren’t particularly known for being chatty. And that’s ok. If your husband is very talkative, great. I’m not here to debate the communication levels of men and women.

My husband probably didn’t even realize how his words impacted me. And I know he would be embarrassed if he knew I was sharing this, but that one little sentence is worth more than twelve dozen roses, a pair of diamond earrings, and a trip to the Bahamas. Combined.

And I’m not exaggerating.

Within that one little sentence, he managed to convey so much.

He supported me.

For anyone, achieving a dream or a goal is never possible without some kind of support. Whether it’s going back to school, starting a family, or starting your own business, we need support. We need people to be on our side and encourage us. Alone, we’re scared, doubtful, and unmotivated. Dreams don’t come true when we’re afraid or when we doubt ourselves.

My husband’s words offered so much support. He called it our goal. Not mine, ours. Now, some women may bristle at the idea that someone else would take ownership of their dream and also credit of working toward it. Yeah, I  don’t give a rip about that. My husband and I are one. My success is his success, and vice versa. I wouldn’t be able to achieve this goal without him. It’s a pure fact. I shouldn’t have to point out that training for things like marathons take plenty of time, and he watches the children during those long training runs, or tune-up races.

He motivated me.

Not only did he voice a time limit, but he gave me a reason to work. I run for me, but I also run for my family and my Lord. His statement really sparked a desire in me to run for my husband. He laid it out and said he’d willingly do what it takes for me to BQ, how could I let him down? How can I skip runs or sit on my duff when my husband is willing to offer, money, time, support, and encouragement for me to do this?

I don’t care if it’s “un-feminist” of me to want to please my husband and want him to be proud of me. As I explain to my children, he’s the leader of our family. When our leader is on board, we can do anything!

He believed in me.

I’ve said before that I truly believe I can qualify for Boston in five years. I didn’t need my husband to verbally affirm it, but he did it anyway. How incredible is that? To have the one person I love and trust the most in the world, say to me, “Hey, you can do this.” was so touching, and moved me so deeply.

He’s offered encouragement to me plenty of times before, and it’s always wonderful. But this was such a huge, personal goal of mine which I really hadn’t discussed with him at length. I had mentioned it; he knew about it, but we never had in-depth conversations about this particular dream.

So when he said that, it was like the clouds parted and I felt the sun for the first time. Not only does he believe in me, but he is going to work to help me get there. How can I fail?

Nearly eight years being married to this man has taught me a lot. We still have our moments of being stinker butts with each other, but I’m so grateful and humbled by my husband’s words. Sharing our goals and dreams together bring us closer, but they also make us unstoppable.




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