Single Me vs. Married Me

September 7, 2012

in Life Lessons

Triathlon Body Marking

Married Me would rise most weekday mornings at 5:30 to run at least six miles. One weekend morning each week she would typically run 10. Her cycling would never be shorter than a 20-mile ride. Swimming in the summer was a mile a day, five days a week. Winter months would involve 1.5 mile swims twice a week. She could enter a sprint triathlon without any special training, completing the race comfortably. Married Me could even compete in olympic distance without much of a struggle.

Single Me ends each week, resolving to train more the following week. She has a plan, but can rarely execute the aggressive training schedule. There are no 5:30 am runs. A good week involves a couple of rides with the bike in the trainer. A great training week involves a swim or two. Single Me is racing a sprint triathlon this weekend, terrified she won’t be able to make it across the finish line. An olympic distance would require her to add more hours to the day, which she has been unsuccessfully attempting for several years.

Single Me is frustrated, chasing after Married Me, but never able to catch up. The two battle each week. Married Me flaunts her fitness level and available time to train. Single Me peers at her accomplishments with envy, bringing about a feeling of inadequacy. Single Me is beginning to give up hope in ever catching up to Married Me.

Married Me has a bit of envy as well. She sees in Single Me something she never had in her life. Married Me observes Single Me laughing deep belly laughs daily. She sees a mom enjoying being present in the moment with her children, focusing on their happiness over the arrangement of throw pillows or a closet organization project. Married Me has watched from afar Single Me loving deeply, feeling fulfilled in a relationship, and experiencing a satisfying love in return. She sees someone who is passionate about work, life, love, and friendship. Married Me has also witnessed Single Me sleeping peacefully through the night, enjoying solitude, and relishing her “me” time.

Single Me is jealous, but also grateful for Married Me giving her the greatest gift: motherhood. She loves each moment she juggles the morning routine, sports practices, homework, hosting play dates, drying tears, giving high fives, and tucking her kids in each night. She embraces this gift daily, and does recognize what amazing kids Married Me has given her.

Married Me lives in the past, and I can’t help her. My focus is on helping Single Me to release her jealousy, and only focus on her gratitude. Instead of being envious of Married Me’s fitness level, I am trying to coax her to use it as inspiration.

Part of my success will come from convincing Single Me to set realistic training goals based on her current life, not using Married Me’s abilities as her measuring stick. With Single Me competing in her first triathlon in 15 months this Sunday, I hope she will cross the finish line simply proud to step over the line, with no comparison to PR’s set by Married Me.

My wish for Single Me is seeing life as it is now.

Owning it.

Embracing it.

Celebrating it.


Sean September 7, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Part of me is proud of Single Me, that she can continue to pursue lofty goals even if they’re difficult. Part if happy for her, that she gets to enjoy all those aspects of life with a huge smile on her face and warmth in her heart. The last part of me wonders how the heck you managed 6 every morning as I’m in a sick amount of pain after my 6 this morning! Can’t wait to see your race results!

Naked Girl in a Dress September 7, 2012 at 3:56 pm

I am sorry about your 6-miler this morning, but it was good for you. :)

Thanks for the encouraging words here, and outside the internet. You are awesome.

Momma Sunshine September 7, 2012 at 3:18 pm

Good luck on your triathalon!!

It’s so funny how so many of us get caught up in the comparison game, sometimes even with a previous version of ourselves. The key is to focus on and appreciate the woman that you are right here, right now. :-)

Looking forward to reading about how it goes on Sunday.
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Naked Girl in a Dress September 7, 2012 at 3:57 pm

Thanks, Momma Sunshine! I do hope to live about it.

You are right; previous versions of ourselves can haunt us if we don’t place it in proper perspective. I hope Sunday is a lesson in this for me.

Nicole September 7, 2012 at 6:33 pm

I struggle with that same duality… not so much married me/single me, but, as Momma said, various versions of myself. I think it’s mostly a battle between the perfectionist and the eager girl… eager girl tries so hard, but perfectionist is never truly satisfied. I’m learning to be more aware of when I am pushing myself and when I’m punishing myself.

I think Married You and Single You can happily coexist. It sounds like you’re on the right track.

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Naked Girl in a Dress September 10, 2012 at 10:26 am

Thanks Nicole! It is difficult to battle with expectations we place on ourselves and who we truly are at any given moment. Dropping the expectations would probably lead to a lot more joy. I am trying.

Kate September 7, 2012 at 7:19 pm

I totally get this. I’m so grateful that my marriage gives me the time freedom to get out and train, though my husband’s less-than-enthusiasm for the sport(s) mean more balancing than perhaps I’d like. But your perspective is right on. After my first divorce, even with all the inconveniences and heartache that came with it, I still had such a feeling of freedom and possibility.

Good luck in your race this weekend! I bet you surprise yourself…especially if you leave Married You’s expectations out of it. :)
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Naked Girl in a Dress September 10, 2012 at 10:24 am

Thanks Kate! I chose to focus on the experience that day with no comparison to the past. It was a great race, and I felt so proud crossing the finish line.

Brennan September 7, 2012 at 11:00 pm

By marriage, a woman can change her home, name families and possibly her friends moreover married woman can walk with her head held high and confident because she has an unexpressed truth of being protected. The other side of the marriage is, married women are jealous of their unmarried friends.
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Lisa Arends September 9, 2012 at 4:23 am

I don’t think my married me would even recognize my single me if they met on the street. Married me was a workaholic who let fear be her chauffeur. Single me embraces the unknown and is still not afraid to work hard but is also willing to slow down and enjoy life. My tsunami divorce was the most horrific event of life but it has also been a catalyst for some amazing change. I wouldn’t change if it I could.
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Naked Girl in a Dress September 10, 2012 at 10:18 am

I would not change my circumstances either. It’s great to read your two wouldn’t recognize each other. I am working on that for myself as well.

Aimee September 9, 2012 at 8:28 pm

I struggle as well. But it is between Fantasy Me and Real Me. Fantasy Me thinks she should be able to do all of those things your Married Me did, and makes herself feel like shit when she can’t. Real Me is sitting here typing this with a pulled hamstring, a tibial stress fracture, and a torn biceps tendon because she cannot let go of Fantasy Me. Fantasy Me was supposed to run a half-marathon in October, her first halfie. Real Me would be absolutely thrilled if she could run the measly 5K Jingle Jog in December. Fantasy Me calls Real Me a fatass because she’s gained 15 pounds between her injuries and quitting smoking in April. Real Me doesn’t understand why 15 pounds is such a huge deal. But Fantasy Me is what makes Real Me get back up and keep trying. I just wish the two could meet in the middle somewhere.

Naked Girl in a Dress September 10, 2012 at 10:17 am

What might be necessary is tying up Fantasy Me and locking her in a closet. Indefinitely. Maybe forever. If you need help, I can stop by to assist in wrestling her to the ground and binding her. Oh, and we would need duct tape, too.

frelle October 9, 2012 at 12:57 pm

This was a great post, I need to write something similar one of these days. Single me is really happy, and only misses the financial security of married me.
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Naked Girl in a Dress October 9, 2012 at 8:41 pm

Single Me is much happier, too. Thanks for visiting Frelle!

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