Monday, February 24, 2014

Surviving the divorcer

My husband and I had quite an accomplishment at boot camp this morning -- we survived an exercise we have nicknamed "the divorcer." 

Thankfully, most trainers don't seem to use the divorcer too often.  I'd guess it comes up about once a year.  I am mildly concerned that our marital discord may be the reason the exercise comes up so rarely, but in reality, the one time this exercise nearly broke us was so many years ago, there's no way any trainer remembers it, but I sure do.

The exercise is basically two partners facing each other in push up position.  Each do one push up.  Each clap hands across the middle.  Then roll over and repeat.  The distance varies, but usually it's well over 50 push-ups covering about 100 meters (hard to estimate from the ground).

So the first time we ever did this, we nearly killed each other.  Even after surviving the exercise today, it's hard to say exactly what the problem is.  In short, I think it's that our abilities to do the divorcer rarely line up directly on the day we do it.  I'm weaker at the pushups, he's weaker at the rolling.  So that frequently means that I roll, do my push-up, and then have to hold myself up with one hand in the air, waiting for a clap.  That "waiting" time really bothers me because I'm just not strong enough to hold it long.  And sometimes that makes me very snippy.  Initally, I'm trying to encourage him to go faster, and then getting frustrated if he doesn't.  And so then I move into bitching, nagging, complaining, irritated mode.

He's endlessly more patient than I am.  So if we do this exercise without the roll -- just push-up, clap, push-up, clap, he has to wait for me (especially if I'm trying to do proper chest to deck push-ups).  But does he get snippy?  No.  Never in fact.  He just waits for me.  I swear, I don't know how anyone puts up with me sometimes! 

But I think what bothers me is that sometimes we don't give each other our best.  It's an interesting dynamic.  I've seen him work harder with someone other than me as his partner.  What does that mean?  That he works harder to impress someone else?  That he's comfortable being himself with me and more relaxed?  

I think I want to work harder at giving him my best me.  There's another blog I read, a big one, some people may know exactly who I mean.  Anyway, she used to write on her blog a lot about how she never washed her hair and spent all her time in workout clothes.  Well, for whatever reason, she is now going through a sudden divorce, and one thing I've noticed is that now she frequently goes out in the evening with friends after her kid has gone to bed, and she seems to be washing her hair and getting "presentable" a lot.  To tie it back to my theme, I'm about to go get ready for work -- and I haven't washed my hair since Thursday -- yuck! 

Friday there was just no chance.  I was in Montana and trying to get on a very early flight, so I was shoveling off the car long before the crack of dawn and trying to get myself to the airport on a snowy highway in a car with no working defroster. 

Saturday I showered (I ran a lactate threshold test in the morning, blech, but fortunately I saw a difference from just three weeks earlier!), but I didn't wash my hair.  We didn't have plans for Saturday night and I figured it was no big deal to leave it in a pony tail to hang out at home and watch more House of Cards.  But then plans changed.  We went out to dinner with friends but by the time that plan was made, there was just no time to wash my hair, so I chose a top that looked good with my hair up.

But yesterday.  No excuse.  I fully intended to wash my hair.  I took a very quick shower after my "long" run, but I had to do some work, and then I had a bunch of house stuff I wanted to do -- laundry, vacuuming, starting to pack for Mardi Gras, packing up a dress to return, just miscellaneous "stuff."  Well, next thing I knew, it was dinner time.  I figured maybe I'd just do it after dinner before bed.  But sucked into House of Cards.  I think we only have 4 episodes left of Season 2?  We went upstairs to get ready for bed and I asked him if he cared whether I washed my hair before bed.  And he seemed quite surprised I was even considering it, he just said, aren't you going to boot camp in like 8 hours?  So, yeah, that's how my hair has stayed in a pony tail and not been washed in three days.

Hardly giving him my best me.  But I guess that's always the danger when you feel like someone really might love you no matter what.  Even with dirty hair or slow rolls during the divorcer (or when you become a bitching partner during the divorcer). 


  1. But what does 'your best you' even mean? I mean, if I come home and my wife is in her pajamas, is that somehow lesser than her best? Or she was off all day but didn't feel like cooking, so we just make do or have breakfast for dinner or whatever.

    For me it comes down to focus - is she there when I need her, does she listen when I need to talk, will she just stop and sit for a while no matter what other stuff is happening? For me THAT is what it means to me to give me her best. Not stuff like 'sex on demand' or wearing heels and dresses or whatever ...

    Just my thoughts ...

    Oh, and I think if we tried 'the divorcer' it would be a hospital trip for Lisa :D

    Also, I am slightly ashamed that I find myself curious about the blog you are referring to ... actually more than slightly.

    1. Such a good point. You're right that being there and making your partner a priority is most important -- all the non-physical stuff in general. Maybe because my husband had been divorced before we got married, it maybe makes me a little more paranoid about wanting to stay in good shape and reasonably attractive? (Though I should note, it's not like his ex gained weight or anything.) I feel secure that he'd love me even if I gained 100 pounds, but at the same time, I feel like I should take the extra step and wash my hair a bit more than every 3-4 days... Minimal effort to be not disgusting! I want him to stay attracted to me and honestly, my hair kind of grossed me out by Sunday night and I was surprised it didn't seem to bother him.

      As for the other blog, it's frequently abbreviated "HRG", a speedy runner blog by a 20-something in Utah with a 1.5 yr old daughter. I'm guessing the fact that she sometimes went a week without washing her hair had nothing to do with her divorce (I of course have no idea), and she obviously took good care of herself otherwise (training for a sub-3), but it just struck me somehow that you should make an effort to be attractive. Not always, for sure, but not going more than a few days without hair washing should be required, at least for me.

  2. This is such an honest, vulnerable post. I think it's great that you want to give your husband your best you. But, from reading about all the marital moments that you share on this blog, it's clear that he loves every bit of you - even when your hair is less than freshly washed. And I know you feel the same way about him. You guys have a very enviable (and inspirational) marriage!

  3. That divorcer exercise sounds like a killer! I’m pretty sure I couldn’t hold a pushup stance on just one hand, even the short time it takes to do one clap of the hands. But then, I need to really be doing more strength work. I keep telling myself that I can do loads of just body weight exercises (pushups, pullups – I have a pullup bar in my bedroom doorway, squats, burpees, leg lifts, etc) and that it would only take like 15 minutes to run through like 3-4 sets of them, and that I could even sacrifice that 15 minutes of sleep on a day where I get off work at 6am and have to be back to work by 1:45pm. I also haven’t gone to my gym in about 4 months. I go to a trainer once a week and then run 3 times a week. That’s it.

    On the hair washing subject…I too find it difficult sometimes to wash my hair somewhat regularly. However, my hair seems to have gotten used to not being washed frequently anymore so it doesn’t get all gross if I don’t wash it regularly like it used to.