I had an interesting conversation with my buddy John this morning. We were talking about industry-related happenings when he asked me how I was doing post-engagement. I told him that I actually felt different. Like I actually had changed inside just a little. I had always heard about this mental shift, that "something just clicks" in your brain when you enter into the world of engagement and marriage.
No longer is it just about me. While that was really fun for 35 years, I know that I have a far greater responsibility now. To be a true partner in all aspects of life, putting Stephanie and her needs at the top of the list with my own. It means when friends want to visit from out of town, discussing first with Steph before blindly saying "Sure! Come on over and crash on the couch." I never used to think in those terms -- didn't have to. But now, it's instinctive. We...not me.
John chuckled when I shared this revelation. "Welcome to the fraternity," he said, adding that there's a tighter bond among married guys than single guys because of thoughts just like this.
Huh. The strange part is that I thought I was done with fraternities in college. But I can say I'm as excited to enter this exclusive club as I was my freshman year at the University of Arizona. The same sense of wonder is there. Maybe a little anxiety too, of the unknown. The motivations are different, but just as powerful.
I suppose you could say I'm now a pledge in Mu Delta: Married Dudes. I'll become an active sometime between next February and July.
On the Ironman training front, I had my first brick workout in weeks. Instead of training in the morning though, I waited until the late afternoon, when I joined LA Tri Club and Fortius Coaching members on a 90-minute bike ride up and around Griffith Park followed by a 30-minute trail run. I held my own but think my heart-rate was a little higher than I'd like, mostly zone 4 for the long hill bike climb that takes you to the Griffith Park Observatory.
I've never ridden up the long hill that passes the Hollywood sign. The road is in poor shape but the climb is a very good workout. And the reward -- a postcard view of the Los Angeles basin -- makes it all worth it.
Clearly though, the best part of the workout was having training partners to enjoy it with. I'm going to shuffle my schedule around in the future to do the Wednesday bricks -- working early in the morning and leaving earlier in the evening. It makes such a difference not to have to wake yourself up at the crack of dawn to train alone. Plus, it keeps Steph happy since she knows I'm likely to be safer in a group setting.
And these are the things I want to consider now -- especially since it's likely in the Mu Delta pledge manual.
237 days and counting.