I’ve been noticing something lately: I hold Travis to the ridiculous, unrealistic standards that I hold myself to.
But it is something that I’ve been seeing with new eyes.
I’ve noticed it mainly in regards to the triathlon Travis just did. Over the months leading up to it, I was tempted to (and honestly, sometimes did) nag Travis about training. In my head, you just follow the plan. Not brain science.
I chalked Travis not following the plan up to his being lazy. Or indifferent. Or silently wishing he hadn’t been talked into doing a race.
Surely he doesn’t have a good excuse.
Now, I am reminded that he is working full-time and getting his Master’s. Oh and his job shipped him out to Timbuktu Utah to do God-knows-what (which they’re talking about again, if you can believe that!) for a couple weeks. Then there’s that little thing called a house, the yard I look at through my window, the car I drive to work every day, those things happening at church, and that thing called hockey that always happens after I’m in bed. Oh and bills.
He might be a tad busy.
You see, Travis did get distracted from training. He did allow other things to get in the way. But they were things like fixing our car himself to save us $600. And shooting us two antelope so we won’t starve during the long, cold winter. And refinancing our mortgage to save us money.
I want to say, “There’s no excuse. You didn’t follow the training plan and that’s all there is to it.”
But I really should say, “You were busy. You have a lot going on. It’s totally understandable. And you did a fantastic job anyway!”
Here’s what I actually said: “You should go disqualify yourself from the results.”
Let me explain: Minutes after I crossed the finish line on Saturday, Travis informed me that he “had run the entire run course on the road.” Since the run course was mostly on a sidewalk or trail, I assumed Travis had run the wrong course. How would he know if the course he ran was 3.1 miles? He wouldn’t. Ergo, he should disqualify himself.
What he really meant was that instead of going back up on the trail at the end of the run, he accidentally just stayed on the road until it met up with that trail. It was pretty much the same distance either way. Oh.
Needless to say, Travis’ enthusiasm was completely deflated with my no-nonsense response. Poor guy. Here he is, just completed his first triathlon and I tell him to go disqualify himself. It was a misunderstanding, I swear!!
Anyway, that whole situation has shown me that I hold Travis to unrealistic standards. Like when he gets sick and wants to just lay on the couch. My natural inclination is to say, “Oh quit being a whiny baby. You’re not that sick.”
Or when Travis remarks to me that 3 minutes is pretty good for his first transition and I reply, “Well, a good T1 is actually only 2 minutes.”
Men aren’t the only ones who say stupid things without thinking.
Because I expect too much of Travis, I hardly ever encourage him – I’m too busy fixating on what he hasn’t done or hasn’t done well enough.
In reality, he does
a lot of most things right. He deserves more credit than I give him.
So I’m going to try to let go of my expectations, have faith in Travis’ abilities, and look for the things he does right. I think he’d appreciate that.