Couples Triathlon

In my younger years, being part of a “couple” meant everything. It meant crimping my hair for the school dance and learning the lyrics to “When I See You Smile” by Bad English so that I could write them in a note and pass them to ‘Mr. Right.’ It meant wearing really bad perfume (Charlie anyone?) and lying to your friends about how far you really wanted to go with this guy. It meant doing and saying the right things at all times or risked being dumped publicly with a note, or worse, by his best friend. It meant laboring over what to wear to homecoming and prom dances. It meant bad taffeta dresses and cheesy corsages. It meant having my picture taken in an awkward pose with someone I thought I was going to marry at the ripe age of 15. It meant not getting home after curfew or risk being grounded. Further, it meant not letting my parents smell the alcohol on my breath that they already know there. It meant slow dancing, sloppy kisses and after-parties. Being in a couple in my younger years also meant having my heart broken for the first time…not broken…shattered.

Nowadays, being part of a “couple” is empowering. It’s about strength, faith and support when you’re leaning so far that you feel you might just tip over. It means hi-fives when you’ve done something cool and hugs when you can’t do anymore. It means crying when you’re at your wits end and when you think you might burst with joy. Sure, it involves dressing up in cheesy dresses and dancing to some cheesy music as well. But, that’s part of the celebration.

This weekend, being part of a “couple” also means slapping on some goggles, airing up the tires and lacing up the running shoes. It means Body Glide and Gu. (mind enters gutter) It means public display of your age on the calf and tank sun tan lines. It means walking to the start line with my best friend and husband and kicking a little tri-ass as part of Team Barrett. It means a heart-pounding swim followed by breathless bike hills, followed by a rugged trail run.

In high school, being in a couple required you to act tough. Nowaways, being in a couple requires you to be tough. This Saturday, Team Barrett is taking on the “Couples Triathlon.” I might not be wearing a corsage, but I’ll definitely be wearing something on my wrist. My stop watch.

Besides, spandex is sexier than taffeta anyways.

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