You know the old saying “kindness is the new manliness”? Well, that was definitely not the case with the last person I dated.
I was pretty heavily in love with him. He told me he loved me. He said we had a connection…”there’s just something between us” he said. He told me I was the person he confided in. He said he couldn’t imagine not ever talking to me again. We hung out with each other’s families. We went on the ultimate road trip date to the church that is Tiger Stadium for the LSU/Florida game. I started the process of buying a new house and we looked at them together. We chatted about which knobs would look best in the kitchen and how to utilize the outside space and which mattress would go where. In total, we dated for ten months and off-and-on again1 for another eight.
But as it turns out, he lied to me. A lot. About a lot. Pretty much about everything. And lying is never cute. He was seeing other people the entire time we “dated”, just like he continued seeing me when he was dating other people. He told me he wanted to see me exclusively, yet still had frequent “investor meetings” I came to find out were really dates with other girls. I knew something was up but, when I asked, he turned things around by making me out to be a nag. He sold some things for me on eBay and only paid me back for part of what he owed me; the other part was used to buy his next girlfriend her birthday present. Ergo, I like to think of him as the Bernie Madoff of the dating world. I could go on and on and on with a list of his lies, hurts, and indiscretions, but I’ll spare you. Two weeks after I was invited to his family’s ranch where we talked about living together, he decided he didn’t want to see me anymore. Like ever. He let me know via a yelling match on the phone while I was at work and then cut off all communication with me. He never responded to my pleas to talk — not a single time — and I didn’t hear from him again other than on occasion when he called at 10 p.m. to see what I was doing. Shortly after, I learned he’d started seeing someone else a couple of weeks before our trip to his ranch.
All of it, needless to say, took its toll. I withdrew from my friends. I stopped working out. My food habits were shot l and I gained 20 pounds (why can’t I be the girl who loses weight in times of stress?). None of the fallout was his fault; I’d just never been around an extreme narcissist before, much less involved with one, and didn’t manage it very well. I was stuck in a rut, suddenly trusted very few people and needed an outlet besides Whataburger single patty melts. My hurt was deep, but it had gone on long enough. The $60,000 question, though, was how I was going to recover.
That’s when I got down on my knees and thanked the Internet gods for the invention that is Facebook. One of my friends, Mark, had been a workout fiend for the past two years. He was the most focused and dedicated person I’d ever seen where eating habits and working out were concerned; he just did not let anything get in his way and managed to lose ~125 lbs in about 18 months. As someone who is not, and never will be, a stick figure, I was inspired. So when he posted a message on Facebook that entry for the Houston Half Marathon lottery was closing the following day, a light bulb went off — I was going to run a race.
I asked my dear friend Jody, also an avid runner, if he thought I could do it; he said yes without missing a beat. I asked my inspiring friend Mark if he thought I could do it and he said I could do anything I set my mind to. I believed him. I asked my girlfriends and they were so proud I thought they were going to cry. I asked my trainer and she was behind me 100%. So I entered the lottery and told myself that if I got in, it was meant to be.
I’ve been psyching myself up ever since. It was long past time for me to buy some new running shoes — the treads on my old trainers were literally non-existent — so I splurged and paid a visit to Luke’s Locker. I treated myself to some fancy new socks. I plunked down $280 for a 23-week training course with The Kenyan Way, one of Houston’s premier running clubs (or so I’m told). All of this in an effort to prepare my body, mind, knees and feet for a 13.1 mile trek through Houston.
Truth be told, I’m scared to death. I work out every week with a trainer and actually enjoy it, but I’ve never been a “true” runner. As I’m fond of saying, God didn’t intend for apples to run! But I’ve decided that I’m going to heal my heart and get over the way this person treated me by pounding my feet. It’s time to stop focusing on what he “did to me” and focus on the fact that I’m a pretty great person and deserve to have healthy, trustworthy relationships. Plus, it’s a goal to work towards and I figure 13.1 miles isn’t really that long — technically, my commute is half that distance and I am pretty sure I could walk from my house to work and back again in <4 hours, couldn’t I? On January 19, 2014, we’re sure going to find out. It will be a Forrest Gump-style running adventure of epic proportion.
I just keep reminding myself of this: it’s not going to be easy, but it’s going to be worth it.
Wish me luck, y’all.
1i.e., when he was seeing other people