My husband turned 40 on Friday just a half a year before I cross over that line. We have been together since we were in our early twenties. We have negotiated many stressful times; we have supported each other through difficult stages and challenging goals. I have seen him evolve into a man and father from a climbing bum boy. I loved the climbing bum boy but seeing him grow into a responsible adult has made me so proud. Through the evolution on this man, there are a few characteristics that have guided him and I know they will continue to as we travel through the rest of our time here together. These traits are compassion, a love for competition, and a deep humble (most of the time:) self-confidence. He is an extremely sensitive and considerate of others. He is always there when you need him and to push you along when you are not sure where to turn.
It is sometimes exhausting keeping up with his next goal, his next idea, his next plan but it has helped guide our family through. He is my biggest advocate, cheerleader and he pushes me to my limits never allowing me to make excuses. He has little understanding that us mere mortals don’t have his magical powers. To him if he can do it anyone can but I am still unsure of that.
One of my favorite stories of Matt pushing me to my limits was when we were mountain biking. He was a much better biker than I but he insisted that I could do all the advanced technical trails he could. I was in excellent shape but I was uncoordinated on the difficult trails and a little scared. We biked for hours, I crashed into multiple trees, my shins were cut up, my elbow was bleeding, and I had hit my head flying over the handlebars. My body was fatigued and my mind was shot and I was ready to go home. He kept the most technical trail for last. After crashing an additional 5 or 6 times I told him I was done for the day. I was just going to walk out my bike. He looked at me and with a frustrated edge and explained I was simply not trying hard enough. I looked over my bruised and bloody body, laughed, picked up my bike and walked off. I guess this is the difference between a hobby athlete and a professional. I was flattered that he thought so much of my skills but I simply was done. He pushes this way in his work now. He never seems intimidated or nervous, he just simply goes and works as hard as he can and is unafraid to question, share ideas or stir up the pot. Some of these qualities would come off as rude or confrontational but he is so kind and so willing to help that he is loved and respected.
Recently, I have seen him begin to push our girls in this way. He has babied them and protected them but as they grow he will push them to their limits. PP will most likely get the full force of his expectations as she looks like him, thinks like him and has his compassion. She is sensitive, smart and extremely competitive. LP and I will plug away and chase butterflies when we have time. Both girls will feel his immense love and support.
Matt has stepped away from sports. His work has consumed his thoughts and energy. It was difficult for him to retire as a professional athlete to a hobby weekender mortal. I remember the exact moment he snapped. We were in the climbing gym and I was belaying him on a 5.12C, a difficulty he used to warm up on. He fell at the crux and his frustration exploded out of him. He threw his shoes down and screaming in his disappointment and annoyance. That was the moment he gave up on being an athlete. This year he begins a new. He has committed to doing a forty-minute workout everyday for his 40th year. I am so proud of him and so happy that he has decided to try to bring balance to his life. I think our blog has inspired him and he has new friends to push him along and support him. It will be interesting to see how this year evolves. It is a new beginning for all of us.