Good writing, with a strong point and with life oozing out.

That’s My Girl

March 16, 2006

We don’t like to brag around our house; it’s uncouth and generally embarrassing. We sometimes make exceptions, but they are always subtle and tasteful.

Sunday night at our childbirth class, we were talking to one of our fellow birthers and I heard a word from a past life: ‘race’. Was this NASCAR, or the dragstrip, or the horse track, or a 5K? So I inquired of this fellow future father, and found out that he had raced his bicycle in a criterion that morning. Sweet.

I gave him props, dropped the names of all of the badass local racers I know, and mentioned a couple of local spots where I’ve seen the spadex-clad super-athletes congregate. So far, so good.

Next, I embarked on one of my dangerous and highly speculative hobbies—I call it Tenuous and Fatal Comparisons to Childbirth. Which I qualified a bit, and offered my running experience as a reference point, and then just jumped right in to. “Do you ever wonder how that feeling of complete fatigue and pain and naked willpower compares to childbirth?” He answered wisely, pointing out the many and varied ways in which the comparison was inadequate, and the four of us talked about exercise and exhaustion and fears about childbirth.

Then, he circled back and queried me about my marathon experience. Which I usually return with deference by mentioning a couple of races I’ve run in the area, and inquiring about the interlocutor’s athletic achievements. But the wife interrupted.

“He’s run the Marine Corp Marathon, and Richmond…” There was a rhythm to her words.

She’s doing it’, I thought, ‘she’s throwing down!

She continued, calmly chronicling my marathon resume, moving toward its inexorable, understated conclusion. I watched with a wry smile and waited. But at the critical moment, some door closed or something, taking the punch out of the key word.

Which only deterred her for a second, before she rocked back and brought the knockout punch right up the middle.

“He’s run Boston,” she sparkled, “twice.”

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5 Responses to “That’s My Girl”

  1. sonja says:

    Stacy rocks … you deserved those props.

  2. kate says:

    Mike, you are a total stud. And you two are WAAAAAY too modest. You should definitely brag more often.
    I’ll tell you what the difference is between childbirth and running — you can actually stop running, if you want to. No escape from the baby trying to spring from your loins (unless you count pain meds).
    I’m not sure what conclusion to draw. In a way, that makes running a lot more impressive. You have to CHOOSE to press on through it, knowing you’ll reach the end eventually. There’s a scary helplessness to the heavy labor stage, and (I’m afraid) no amount of Bradley classes will prepare you.
    Though, Stacy’s a pretty amazing lady. I expect she’ll be as prepared as it’s possible for a human to be!

  3. dstavlun@aol.com says:

    Many KUDOS to “the wife.”It takes an extreme athlete to even QUALIFY for the Boston! Everyone may not be aware that not just any adrenelin charged macho-man can even run!You BOTH should be boastful!

    Iowa Dad

  4. Rebecca says:

    I love to see Stacy being fiesty! So rare! I agree with Kate – you guys are too modest!

  5. WMS says:

    hahah… I loved that prose style… “interlocutor”… has all the elements… mystery, character development, a great climax and a TWIST at the end. :)

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