That white dress

Three days.

In just three days I will put on the white dress I knew was mine from the minute I saw it. In three days I will walk down the grassy aisle, stand in front of my closest friends and family and declare my love for the boy I met eleven years ago this month. It still doesn’t feel real to me.

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Babies (and just friends) in 2003.

 

One would think it should have sunk in by now, since we’ve literally had the longest engagement in history (Ok maybe not the longest – but over two and a half years is a pretty long time). There were many factors in our endless engagement, some of which didn’t surface until after our decision, confirming my belief once again that everything happens for a reason. But the biggest factor was the girl I was on that bitterly cold February night.

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One of the few pictures of us I have from the months around our engagement.

I can make the joke now that he didn’t “slip the ring on” – because it was incredibly tight on my pudgy little finger. In the days after we got engaged I would take my ring off and assess the imprint it had left on my skin, the same way my jeans did. And I think that’s when the panic really set in. I couldn’t imagine myself in a white gown. I couldn’t think about standing in front of my closest friends and family, looking the way I did at that moment. The road from Point A to Point B was impossible.

We all know well by now that I did make it from Point A to Point B. And I couldn’t have made it there without this incredible guy by my side the entire journey. When I came home and told him that I had found a local studio that I thought would be the answer to all my problems his response was “Call them up!”. When I cried the first week because I was hungry and too sore to move he carefully portioned out my dinner for me, brought it to the table, and told me he was proud of me. He would leave water bottles in the freezer for when I got home from bootcamp that first summer. He celebrated every pound lost with me, and he reminded me of how far I had come whenever I got frustrated. He came to cheer me on at my first race, and has rarely missed one since. When I finished my first double digit run I crawled into the house to a card and a box of Lush bath supplies because he was so proud of me for sticking with it. I smile when I catch him talking about me to someone because even though he doesn’t know a thing about running, I can hear in his voice just how proud he is.

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My biggest cheerleader, always.

Sometimes I feel incredibly selfish for the amount of time I absorb in working out, training, running, racing. I feel guilty that I go to bed early on Friday nights because I have a long run on Saturday. I feel bad that sometimes I’m too tired and sore to do anything besides lay on the couch. But I know that at the end of the day I’m not just doing this for me. I’m doing this for us, for our future. Someday I want to have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies. I’m doing this because someday I want to be that mom whose kids are used to Saturday mornings in their jammies in the running stroller. I’m doing this because I want to show my children what it means to be strong, to face challenges, and to take care of your body. I want to grow old with the love of my life in the best way possible.

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I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited to put on that gorgeous white gown on Saturday. I know how much sweat, how many tears, how many miles and inches and pounds I have fought through to get to that dress. But the truth is- I’m more excited for what comes after that white dress. Excited for this new adventure together, excited to see what comes next.  Andy has never seen me for anything other than the person he loves, even my worst times. But a relationship is that much stronger when you learn how to love yourself just as much.

And so in just three days I will begin both the shortest- and longest race of my life. A race that isn’t about how fast I get to the finish line, but enjoying it for as long as I possibly can. But just like everything else these days, it’s just right, left, right. 🙂

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About Kathleen

When your legs get tired run with your heart.

Posted on September 10, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Even I love Andy after reading this, haha! 😉

    SO EXCITED FOR YOU GUYS!!!!

  2. Have a wonderful wedding weekend. Try to take it all in because it really is an emotional blur. 9 years later my wedding day is one of the best days of my life, even though I did not look no where near the way I wanted to on my wedding day (and yes, I will be going to try on wedding dresses again when I reach my goal, just so I can see how they look! But for now I periodically try mine on, waiting for the day that it is too big for me).

    Enjoy your honeymoon! Can’t wait to see pictures of you in the white dress!

  3. Love it! Can’t wait!

  4. Kathleen, As always I read your blog, not only because I am so proud of you but because it is always so enjoyable. Thanks for sharing your hard won, successful journey, and now your Andy’s part in it. He is a great man and I congratulate you both. Saying that, I will add, not nearly as well as you are in putting into words, that I am so torn that we cannot attend your beautiful wedding day, Be assured that we will be thinking of you, and even raising a toast to you all. Your day will be as beautiful as you and your family have always dreamed of. Love and hugs, Terry and Rich

  5. So excited for your super special day! Best wishes to you and Andy for many more happy, healthy and adventurous years to come!!! Enjoy your day – I know it will be magical! Can’t wait to see your pictures!

  6. I’m not gonna lie, I got a little choked up reading the part about Andy surprising you with a little present when you hit double digits! He’s a keeper 🙂 I’m so happy for you!

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