I recently came across a blog in Engaged Marriage that likened triathlon training to marriage. The author described his physical journey leading up to the three part race, how he purchased new equipment, memorized the routes, and dedicated much time and effort toward training for it. He finished well, his hard work paid off. But his hard work also took its toll and after the race was over, he stopped exercising, gained a few pounds, and let other priorities take over.
The point the author made was that, when dating, we often are like he was when training for a triathlon, dedicated to passionately pursuing, impressing and wooing our mate. Then comes the wedding day and the honeymoon, and then real life. And often, now that we have won the heart we pursued, we stop pursuing and let other priorities take over.
As I read this piece, my mind went to how this seems to speak to wedding planning as well as race events. There is so much work, so much time, so much effort, money, passion and dedication put into planning the day you will become man and wife that, after the honeymoon, tiredness often takes the place of passion. But the author shares three ways to keep this from happening in your marriage using metaphors from his triathlon training.
He says that while it is important to have short-term goals, keeping a long-term perspective is imperative. Having the perspective that marriage is a lifetime commitment helps us keep our spouse as top priority.
For marriage, he says, dating is your exercise. Making weekly dates a priority is important, spending time with one another, enjoying each others company and constantly getting to know each other through meaningful conversation and play.
“A personal trainer provides extra help and motivation. They work with you to establish goals, and walk you down the path to a healthy and active lifestyle.” In marriage, professional counselors are personal trainers, helping you establish healthy marital habits. He recommends having a trusted third party perspective, which helps make positive improvements and needed changes.
A beautiful wedding and a fun, inventive reception are important, but they are only for a day. Make sure you also plan to keep your marriage fit and healthy for the long haul and truly live happily ever after. “Don”t just stay married. Stay engaged.”