Written by Emily
There’s a guy I keep seeing. I catch him at the end of his runs in the neighborhood. We exchange “hellos” sometimes. He asks about Chloe’s music class if he has time. In passing, I tell him Sylvie’s latest trick. I smile. He smiles. He makes small talk about hockey if sticks litter the driveway. We’re neighborly. Then he’s gone. I’m gone. The rest of the day rolls on, us with it at our own paces.
When it’s been a while since we’ve seen each other, I look for him. I wonder about him. I wait for him to finish his run on our block, so I can be around, busying myself where he is.
The truth is, I have a crush on him. A crush! I thought I was finished with those a long time ago when I huddled at the end of the high school lockers with my girlfriends. But no. This guy. We don’t say much to one another, but I can hear myself giggling. I see him smiling. He’s captivating. And funny. And his eyes–too good.
I don’t see him nearly enough.
Weeks go by. We miss each other in our shuffling. Again and again, we make promises:
“I’ll find a babysitter,” I say.
“I’ll be up in a minute,” he says.
“I just want to look into this,” I say.
“As soon as I finish,” he says.
We check our calendars to fit each other in
between this and that,
before the other thing
or after the next.
Then something pops up–a deadline or exhaustion, and we’re right back where we started: staring at the calendar while the kids run laps around our legs and yell, “MOMMYDADDYMAMADADAMOMDADMOMMMMMADAAAAADEE.”
Serendipitously, though, we found a piece of every day that’s untouched–newly fallen snow before the kids press it to the earth with their marching feet. Unfortunately, that piece is too soon after I’ve closed my eyes, right around “you’ve got to be kidding is the sun even up why are you talking to me at this hour please don’t” o’ clock.
I always dreamed of being the kind of person who woke before the rest of the house, sat with a cup of coffee and the newspaper, watched the neighborhood come to life outside my window, and began the day with a peaceful heart.
That has never happened. Ever. Not Ever. I hate mornings. I loathe the birds in the morning. The sun annoys me in the morning. Words make me cringe in the morning. Get away from me, morning, you’re standing too close and your breath…yuck.
Needless to say when morning was the time we could make time, I was less than excited. I was convinced I have some kind of physical condition that makes me completely unable to be tolerant or tolerable in the morning.
Crushes are powerful things.
For the past week, we set our alarms. For the past week, we spent the first hour of the day together, just the two of us–no children, no phone calls, no computers. And I look forward to that much-too-early hour every day.
We’re not gazing into each other’s eyes. We’re not even doing much talking.
But we’re together…exercising in the basement. The Insanity exercise program is our together thing. Romantic, right?
It’s perfect for us. It’s not easy. At all. But we motivate each other–not in an obnoxious way that would be too much for me in the morning–but in a quiet way that happens simply because we’re near when things get tough. There he is. There I am. We’re there. Together. And it’s better. Sweaty and stinky, but better.
We finish just as the kids are stirring in their beds. Sometimes we smooch, a salty kiss that reminds me of the days when he’d pick me up after soccer practice. Sometimes he gives me a playful punch on the shoulder like he did when we stood on my parents’ front porch before a date. And I smile remembering him then.
It’s a funny thing me smiling so early in the morning. Me, ready to face the day before the kids’ toes touch the kitchen floor. Me, awake before coffee.
You won’t read about this in the pamphlets that come with the Insanity program. You won’t hear about it in the testimonials on the infomercial. Shaun T isn’t going to make promises about it. But I have to say, this hour that’s ours, this time before the rest of our world wakes up, this makes the sweat and the burn and the metallic taste in my throat worth it…
well, that and the abs of steel I’m hoping for. But a girl can’t have everything…