Friday, May 26, 2017

Dating a gladiator

This is a charm on my keychain. Back in December I decided to be a cute girlfriend and get me and my dear boyfriend matching keychains! His says "Her BEAST." I did this because I liked the thought of looking down at this charm and knowing that he has one similar to it. It gives us some sort of connection in the distance. (I know, sappy right?) I chose this charm because of the dumbbell attached to it. That dumbbell did not always hold significance to me, but it did for the man I love.
I always knew Michael Shepherd to be a man addicted to working out. All those years ago when we were growing up together, he would wake up at the crack of dawn to down a pre-workout shake and rush off to the gym before the effects wore off. He would come back from the gym complaining of something being sore and tired from his "totally pumped workout." I marveled at his dedication and how he got excited over working out. I never fully understood his passion for this. 
Then, we started dating. When I would go visit him, he wouldn't skip going to the gym to hang out. He kept up his regimen. The first couple of times I stayed home and napped or visited with his grandparents. But then, I got up the guts to got to the gym with him. On my first visit to the gym, I was his toddler. I wanted to touch everything and I asked TONS of questions. I made faces at him while he worked out to make him laugh and I had NO idea what the machines did. He finally calmed my curiosity and I found a corner to sit in. I never took my eyes off him because I wanted to know why he loved this so much. I soon had an epiphany! The man I was dating, who made horrid facial expressions when lifting 100+ pounds over his head and growled when he breathed, was a gladiator! I was dating a gladiator. At that point, I realized that working out was not something Michael was going to give up anytime soon (and I didn't want him to). I also realized that I wanted to learn how to enjoy working out. I wanted the little dumbbell on my keychain to mean something. 
So, I started changing my lifestyle to somewhat match Michael's. It was a little challenging at first, but soon I embraced it and made it my own. I found myself looking up to him as a role model and hero. I wanted to be as devoted to living a healthy life as he was. I wanted to be like him. He never asked me to change or said his love was dependent on my being a certain way. I think that's why I started modeling my life after his. 

Changing my habits to match the man I love's taught me how to appreciate him. It showed me why he cared so much to workout and what a difference it made on his attitude. It helped me understand him more. Working out with him brought us together. We now have an activity we both enjoy and can do together. I still make faces at him to make him laugh. I now know what the machines do. But, I still have TONS of questions. ;) We joke and laugh together during our workouts. He makes me do more reps if I whine about it. He teaches me new techniques. And he always encourages me. 

It's hard to keep up with a gladiator in the gym. But living a healthy lifestyle and working out with the man I love is worth it.