Do You Ever Get In Your Own Way?
By Lauren Dykovitz
A few weeks ago, my husband and I were supposed to run a race together. I was supposed to run the 5k/10k challenge and he was going to do the 5k. I was really excited about this race and had been looking forward to it for weeks. I was going to get three medals for finishing both races; one for the 5k, one for the 10k, and one for the challenge. If you’re a runner, then you know that medals are like crack to runners. I was also excited because I knew that there was a good possibility for me to get a PR (personal record, for those non-runners) in the 10k. Anyway, I was just really looking forward to this race.
On the morning of the race, everything went to shit. We left the house too late, got there too late, and couldn’t find anywhere to park. We finally parked in the off-site parking lot, which required us to wait for a shuttle bus to drive us to the start line. We were finally sitting on said shuttle bus, waiting for the driver to decide it was time to go, at 6:45am. The race started at 7am. We waited for what seemed like an eternity before I looked at my watch for the 27th time and saw that it was 6:52am. There was no way we were going to make it in time and I had to piss like a race horse. In a fury, I stood up, got off the bus, and angrily walked to the car, huffing and puffing the entire way. When I got there, I flung open the door, threw my stuff in the backseat, got in, and slammed the door. I yelled at my husband to find somewhere for me to pee and then take me home. I was pissed.
After I got to pee, all I could think about was how mad I was. I had been looking forward to this race for weeks. I never have plans to do anything and the one time I did, it all went to shit. I started to get so mad at my husband because I knew he didn’t really want to do this race in the first place. He’s not really into running, but once in a while he will begrudgingly do a 5k with me. Knowing that he was doing this race begrudgingly, I felt bad asking him to get up any earlier than was absolutely necessary. I also felt bad asking him if we could leave the house any earlier or if we could park in the off-site parking lot to being with. I thought he would be super annoyed at having to take a shuttle bus to the start line, so I didn’t even mention it to him until I realized that there was absolutely nowhere else to park. I didn’t even want to ask him to drop me off at the start line because I knew that he had no idea where to go and I would just feel bad. So, although we woke up at the time I suggested, left the house at the time I suggested, and looked for parking in the places I suggested, I was infuriated with my husband and it was all his fault that we missed the race. Seems logical, right?
Have you ever been in the middle of a nervous breakdown when you realize that you’re completely wrong and being totally unreasonable, but you’re too far in to back down, so instead you just fully commit to it and ruin the entire day? No, just me? Awesome. Because that’s exactly what happened.
It wasn’t until a few hours later, after I had finally calmed down and stopped picturing myself crossing the finish line, that I realized what an asshole I was being. Everything that happened that morning was my own fault. If I had only told my husband that we had to wake up earlier and leave the house earlier, we would have made it in time. If I had only suggested that we park in the off-site parking lot to begin with, we would have had plenty of time to catch the shuttle bus and make it to the start line. But, the people-pleaser in me couldn’t stand the thought of him being annoyed with me for asking him to do any of those things. I hate inconveniencing anyone for anything. I knew that he wasn’t thrilled at having to get up early on his day off to go run, so I didn’t dare ask him to do anything else that he wouldn’t be thrilled about. It didn’t matter that this race was something that I wanted to do, something that I had been looking forward to for a long time. All I cared about was how he felt and I didn’t want him to be annoyed with me.
I ended up self-sabotaging the race for myself that morning because I simply couldn’t ask someone else to do something for me. I hate asking people for help, for favors, for anything. I try so hard not to do it because I don’t want to inconvenience anyone, even my own husband, even though I do tons of stuff for him that I don’t want to do. I ended up ruining the race for myself and resenting my husband for no good reason all because I didn’t want to ask him to do something for me. Once I realized this, I was no longer mad at him, but mad at myself. I had no one to blame but myself for missing that race.
I learned an important lesson that day. Putting myself first once in a while, especially if it’s for something that I really want to do, isn’t being selfish. If I had told my husband I wanted to wake up earlier or leave the house earlier, he would have done it. He might not have been excited about it, but he would have done it. Who cares if he would have been annoyed with me? Lord knows that he annoys me at every single chance he gets. I always get over it and he will, too. Just because he is annoyed with me doesn’t mean that he doesn’t love me anymore. It doesn’t mean that I’m a horrible person or that he hates me for all eternity. I do plenty for him that I don’t want to do and I shouldn’t feel bad for asking him to do the same. That’s what marriage is all about. So next time, I will get out of my own way and be a little selfish for once.
Also, shout-out to my husband, who not only diffused my psychotic breakdown with expert-level skill, but also took me to Panera for lunch later that day because he felt bad that I missed my race. He’s the one that deserves a medal.
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