In fact I was tempted to label this blog entry as Don’t Be That Wife but even once I am trying to be politically correct and not to get too much into stereotypes. Well, I might …. after all. At least a little .
Earlier I have blogged about military life , and what it is like when one family member has signed the dotted line, promising to serve this country. This time I will talk a bit more about spouse’s role in the equation. My thought-provoking writing idea came yesterday when I was running and chitchatted with an Army guy.
On a gorgeous Satruday morning I decided to take Tassu out to a trail run with me. Sometimes it is more of a jog and stop than run and stop, thanks to the beagle nose that gets way too occupied with all the smells. Most of the time he keeps running pretty nicely: he knows that there will be a cool down when he can do all the sniffing in the world. What I have noticed over the years as a Beagle Mom, beagles are the cutest dogs ever, easy discussion starters (single folks, get a beagle ;-) ) and ours always gets tons of compliments for his good behavior and handsome looks. Yes, ours has been trained ever since I got him as a 12-week old puppy, and he exercises frequently so he is in a good shape with the shiny coat.
When I was getting organized with the running gear, dog & dog’s leash, another truck similar to mine pulled next to us, and this young soldier was climbing out in his ACU’s (military uniform) grabbing his backpack to run with. He started talking to me, and as we ended up heading to the trailhead at the same time, asked if he could run with us. I never have anything against running buddies since the dog is pretty quiet while we are out.
First of all, I have to give props for the guy, he was able to keep up with us for four miles albeit I did run slower than normally. The first 2-mile loop the young man was able to chat with me, second loop was way more quiet and on the third 2-miler he let me go. I didn’t want to tell the poor guy that once a week I run with a 20-30lbs vest or backpack 6-7 miles faster than I did yesterday.
I am a Curious George, no surprise there. So of course I went and asked where the soldier was from, what he does and all that regular military chitchat. He goes on and on telling about his family, his wife, and their duty stations. Without even thinking, I just bluntly asked why his wife is not running or walking with him on a beautiful, gorgeous day like yesterday. After this question I really didn’t get a chance to ask anything else.
The young man went on and on telling how his wife doesn’t care about being active but how she rather sits at home or goes to the movies, shopping… Yesterday morning when there was blue skies and sun shining, his wife had opted for staying at home instead of joining the exercise with her husband. According to the husband, his wife has never been into outdoors, working out or staying in shape. Obviously at this point I have a mental picture of a larger-size lady sitting on the couch and eating bonbons all days long. I don’t know the lady, I can only make assumptions based on my stereotypes but one thing I know ….. why wouldn’t you go out and enjoy a gorgeous day with your husband?
Military life can be hectic sometimes. It can be demanding for the relationship with the extended times spend in separations because of the duty requirements. So when there is a chance to spend time together, I wonder why the couples wouldn’t do so. Exercising is actually one of the best ways to stay also mentally fit . And no, I am not talking about training for marathons or triathlons, or puking at the Crossfit box, or doing anything extreme but it can be just simple things such as hiking, walking, jogging, …… the options are unlimited. Physical activities and outdoors have such an amazing impact on our mood and general wellbeing. Time spent with the loved combined with all the positives of exercising — how could one say no to that?
It is good to remember though that there are lots of military spouses who are extremely active, enjoy sports and outdoors and love to stay in shape. Based on my everyday observations, without any scientific analysis though, those folks who engage in some kind of exercise seem to be the toughest ones, not only physically but
especially also mentally. And then there are always stereotype spouses with the aforementioned bonbons. I don’t know if the stereotypes make the minority or majority but…. I dare say that don’t be that spouse whose husband tells to a random running buddy how he wished his wife was a bit more active. Although it is your choice, for a second I actually felt sorry for you and your husband: you don’t know what you are missing if you just stay at home doing nothing.