Food, Fun, Fitness, and Following God

Posted: June 21, 2011 in Love and Marriage
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It’s the first day of summer and my wife and I have been on about a three-day eating fest.  This isn’t exactly productive, since we are both fitness buffs and summer is the busy time for competitions.  There are races and events nearly every weekend, and we should be in training mode.  In fact, we keep telling ourselves that we are, and then revising that to, “we will be starting tomorrow.”

The problem is two-fold.  One, we are both foodies, and two, we’re really enjoying our year of restoration.  There is so much wonderful food out there to eat (and to cook), and we’re having so much fun enjoying each other’s company and experiencing our second chance at love.

Last year was the first year that we were both full-time educators. It has been my dream for many years for us to have summers off together while still being paid from our school jobs.  Of course, last summer started off as a nightmare instead of a dream.  This year, we are living not only the dream of spending summer vacation together, but a summer of being in love again.

Father’s Day began with going out for breakfast at a local breakfast cafe that is really a throwback diner.  The atmosphere is great and the food is anything but healthy.  Then there was going out to lunch with my Dad and family, followed by my wife cooking dinner for our entire small group from church.  I told myself it was my “cheating day,” since I had been in a triathlon the day before.

Yesterday was spent in Kansas City catching up with my wife’s second daughter, who she put up for adoption as a baby, and who just made contact with us last year, right after we got back together.  Had we not worked our marriage out, things might not have gone so well with that relationship, but it has been a real blessing getting to know her and sharing a little bit of our lives.  We sat for more than three hours in La Bodega, a Spanish tapas bar last night, and it would be a major understatement to say that nobody left hungry.

This morning, after our workout, we stopped in for the lunch buffet at Old Chicago, another of our weaknesses, and then celebrated the release of the “Summer Crush” cupcake at our downtown cupcakery.  Tomorrow we will start eating right and being on a training diet, though.  After all, we have races coming up…(wink, wink)

I actually first met my wife when she handed me a job application at a retail store where she worked back in the early 90’s when we were both going to college.  Then, later, she showed up at the fitness center at that same college where I had since gotten a job as an instructor.  I remembered her (you don’t just forget the most beautiful eyes you’ve ever seen), and we got to know each other a little bit through the gym.

We were both education majors, so we had that in common as well.  Our friendship grew, but we were both in other relationships at the time.  When we finally found ourselves both single and available, we had been friends for so long that we almost didn’t date.  Eventually though, we did, and a third component, our spiritual lives, began to fall into place.

I had gotten away from church and anything spiritual when I had gone through my second divorce.   I knew what I believed, and I knew that eventually I would have to fix that part of my life, but I had spent too long drinking too much and doing my own thing to be much good for anyone else.  My wife didn’t know what she believed and was searching when we first got to know each other.  As I got my spiritual act together, I was able to help her sort hers out and find her way.

Those three areas of life: education, fitness, and spirituality, had formed the foundation for our friendship and dating relationship so many years ago and now have come full circle.  Now, as educators, we have the schedule that allows us to spend time together the way we do.  Working out, being active, and competing together keeps us fit and active, and greatly improves the quality of our lives.  Seeking God, and following Him gives meaning and purpose to who we are as individuals and as a couple.

Food?  Well, that just kind of evolved over the years.  We tend to agree with one of the hosts on Fox Sports Radio, who said, “I’d rather kill myself in the gym and eat whatever I want, than diet.”  Life is truly beautiful now, and we are seeing the fulfillment of so many of our dreams, as well as reaping the fruit of a lot of our hard work.  It’s mind-blowing to think of how close we came to throwing it all away, and what a horribly tragic mistake that would have been.


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