This past week and weekend was challenging, yet successful. Those of you that know me personally or follow via social media may have seen My Champ honouring his namesake, as he won his Muay Thai fight that he headlined in Calgary. I am so incredibly proud, though I was very confident he would take it. I succeeded in my own personal goals with my triathlon training as well. This was my ‘peak volume’ week where I pushed myself beyond my own perceived limits. While we were out celebrating My Champ’s win, I was inspired to write this piece on what it is to truly love and support an elite athlete.
When My Champ and I began dating he knew what he was getting into. We were friends first, and he was well aware that I was heavy into my sport of Figure at a National level. He never once questioned the amount I had to train, the time I spent on my meal prep, the attention I may have received from both men and women, and never mind the mood swings! He not only accepted, but understood all of that. He too had dreams of his own. He was finishing his kinesiology degree, working as a trainer on top of that, and was just kicking off his Muay Thai career. If there was any common ground we shared at all, it was that we were ambitious as hell and would do whatever it takes to get what/where we wanted. Nothing has changed.
In recent times, my goals have shifted. I decided to walk away from the figure stage, and was happy to slow down- to a point. Even My Champ knew that would only go on for so long. I needed a new goal, a new challenge as I am happiest when I’m working towards something. This man is a far cry from past suitors. Most would have given anything for me to slow down, and be ecstatic at my decision to do so. But since he has my best interests at heart, he knows the busier I am, the happier I am.
So now since he has me figured out (to a degree 😉 ) I am now learning what it means to support him. Friday was the 4th fight I have been present for, but probably the 7th or 8th training camp I’ve experienced with him. Support means different things for people. For me, it’s being there for everything. I do need praise and encouragement. I need a shoulder to cry on and the odd pep talk every now and then. For My Champ, support means SPACE. Training camps involve 5 if not 6 nights a week at home alone when he’s still at training. When he gets home, he just wants to eat and go to bed. Fridays or Sundays are when I see him the most, but he’s still training on those days. He has something going on every single day of the week. He works long hours, and trains with more dedication than anyone I know. When he has a fight coming up, nothing keeps him from training.
The day before and the day of his fight, I actually keep my communication with him to a minimum. This is not easy. Even if I see him at the venue, I only come to him if he waves me over. All of me wants to text/talk to him every hour on the hour, but that’s not of use to him. That’s just it: it’s about HIM. This is his time. When I was competing it was about what I wanted- that’s why I get it. I need to not be an extra distraction for the head space he needs to be in to execute the best possible performance. I respect that, and I respect him.
I am by no stretch an expert on relationships, though I have experienced plenty of trial and errors. If there’s anything I can take away from what I have with My Champ is the tremendous amount of mutual respect we have for one another. That is so key- I now realize that was lacking in my past. I’m not here to throw ex-boyfriends under the bus, it definitely goes both ways: it’s give and take. There were times that I was either too proud or didn’t actually respect the person I was dating; there were times where I felt like I was being put down so I couldn’t continue to grow.
In love, there should be no competition as there is no ‘winner’. You are on the same team, in my eyes. You are there to challenge one another, to make each other better. Believe in their dreams as much as they do themselves. If that’s hard to accept or wrap your head around, take a look inside as to why that is. It may have nothing to do with them; maybe it’s some reservations you have on your own. Being able to look at your significant other with a sense of pride is the ultimate. You’re as good as the company you keep.