Weightlifting and Marriage: The reason I can’t be my husband’s spotter.

I know this is a space where I usually talk about Aria, baby loss, and birth defects, but truthfully I’ve always wanted this blog to encompass more facets of my life. Since losing our daughter has fully consumed me for the last three months, and still does, that is usually the only thing I have wanted to write about. But while at the gym with Brian today, I realized something, and my mind kept telling me to write about it. So here I am…

I had finished my workout, and was about to head over to the treadmill so I could walk until Brian was done lifting. I stopped by to give him a few words of encouragement and he asked if I could spot him. “Sure! No problem.” I thought, but as he started his set, I quickly realized I was not the right person for the job.

Brian was fighting, I could see the strain in his face as he moved the weight. In his eyes, he was just working out but I could only see one thing; struggle. It was obvious he was using every bit of strength in his body to push the weight up. All I wanted to do was help, even though I knew he could lift it alone. I couldn’t stand there and watch him fight by himself. I just kept thinking “we are a team, let me help you.” As he raised the bar for the fourth time, I could tell he was summoning extra strength to keep going. I couldn’t take it anymore, I needed to help him! So I grabbed the bar and pulled it up.

“KIM! STOP! NOT YET!” Brian looked at me with dismay. He was not happy. I had just inadvertently ruined his set. Whoops.

I knew the struggle was very reason he went to the gym. He wanted to do the difficult task of lifting hundreds of pounds with his body, it’s how he stays in shape, builds muscle, and gets stronger. You know, no pain, no gain.

I just couldn’t handle it. I couldn’t stop thinking about the weeks that followed Aria’s passing. All of the nights I helplessly watched him struggle, knowing there was nothing I could do. I hated sitting there watching his heart break and not being able to do a damn thing. I couldn’t bring Aria back.

The strangest thing about our journey through grief is that we rarely cry at the same time. If I am losing it, Brian switches over to protection mode and consoles me. I always do the same for him. One of us is always trying to fix the other’s pain, even though we know it’s impossible.

So as I watched him fight to lift the weight in the gym, I realized it was the first time I saw his pain, and knew I could fix it, so I did. And you know what? Even though I “ruined” his set, I’m not sorry. I refuse to ever come to a place where I can see him struggling and not feel the need to do something. I will always be the first one there, trying to rescue him.

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