About a month ago Betsy and I had a very honest and open conversation. I was having anxiety around having people think and/or assume that we were dating, in a romantic relationship. For me, I wasn’t entirely certain why the anxiety was persisting. So we talked about it, as we talk about most things, and expressed our honest opinions on the subject. Today, I am still working through this anxiety. However, last weekend on our trip to the Western States 100, it began to become clear to me. While on a run, descending down from Emigrant Pass on the PCT the day before the race, our relationship began to make sense. Betsy Hartley is the big sister I never had.
Me and Betsy’s relationship runs far and wide. First and foremost we are great friends. Furthermore we are also business partners in Novo Veritas, LLC. Adding on that I am her running coach, her roommate, and a part of her accountability team when it comes to food. Also, we are currently talking about buying a new company car together. Even more, she is my crew chief for Ultra Marathons, training/traveling partner, co-season ticket holder for Beavs Basketball, Emery’s aunt, a founding member of my accountability team/board of advisers, and co-everything else in just about all walks of life today. We are certainly joined at the hip for most things in life that we enjoy doing.
Betsy is a fucking pain in my ass. I am twice as much of a fucking pain in her ass. For instance, as her coach, I am attempting to get her to the start line and through her first attempt at the 100 mile distance. I know that she has had a relatively quick buildup in a short amount of time in her mileage since she embarked on her own lifestyle change. After her 100 she is going to be fucking jazzed to do more and will hate me when I put on the brakes for her to allow proper recovery.
Because of our close quarters I see her, and vice versa, when times are good and when times get dark. It’s been hard to learn how to communicate when one of us shuts down, which I am more prone to doing. It’s the nature of our living situation. We’ve chosen to ride this stage of life out together as roommates. Today, I feel like Betsy can now read me and has a good idea of how to communicate and react when I feel like shit. I know this process of learning has been challenging for her.
Early in my process of recovery I realized that I was in fact an introvert. When it comes to Betsy she met me as “hotel guy” displaying a largely extroverted side, always selling something and in go-mode. When the extrovert – introvert change became more evident our relationship hit a bit of a wall. She began witnessing the pains and aches of communication with a new introvert. To be clear, Betsy is an extrovert, period. Without saying it out loud I had forced her to relearn how to communicate with me. Again, it was a very painful process for her from my point of view.
So, what makes her a big sister to me? For starters she is extremely protective of me, especially when it comes to the people who I surround myself with, always making sure that I am near positive-minded people. She knows that I am still very much in the beginning stages of recovery and she ultimately wants to see me thrive in ways that are unimaginable. She gets the fact that with one drink all of the progress that I’ve worked for would vanish in an instant. She doesn’t want to see me go backwards. I completely appreciate her support in this regard and would not have made it this far in recovery without this unwavering support. Ultimately, recovery has to come from within, but it certainly helps to know that she is firmly in my corner.
Lastly, and more importantly, everything we have done together is based upon our friendship. Without friendship, the core of our work, we would not have gotten this far in everything that we are doing together. It’s something that I’ve taken for granted in the past, probably due to the anxiety I was creating for myself that people assumed we were dating. I have found lately that we laugh more together, and just talk, rather than having everything be so black and white, compartmentalized, as it once was.
As I write this entry my anxiety over the outside perception of us being in a relationship is becoming even more clear. I guess a part of me was afraid of having that perception that we were in a relationship show the world that I was unavailable. More so, it’s becoming clear to me that the anxiety I was holding onto had nothing to do with reality. Who fucking cares what other people think, right? What other people think of me in none of my business. Furthermore, my instinct says that whatever happens to me relationship-wise will ultimately run its own course. From what I’ve heard and understand the best relationships occur when neither person is even looking. Again, my mind at work again. Breathe dude, get present.
Moving forward Betsy and I have some big ass fucking plans, not only for our business, but for our training, running, and coaching. So yeah, we are in relationship, just not the kind that everyone thinks of as a typical “relationship.” After having taking the time to process and write about this I am more excited than ever to see what the two of us can accomplish, professionally and personally. We are free to fly to create our own destiny, both individually and as a duo. Game on! Now get in the fucking car, don’t tell me for the 1000th time that you don’t know what music I want playing, stop fucking with my seat warmers, stay off your damn phone, and just drive, or better yet, just let me drive 🙂
For more about Betsy please check out her blog: https://allbetsareoff392.wordpress.com