Can A Cycling Fanatic and Book Lover Make It Work?

by Andy Amick on August 14, 2013

in Personal

You better believe it.  Tomorrow is my 15th wedding anniversary and we are proof that it can work.  Of course, me being almost perfect is a big reason why.  I’m kidding, I’m kidding!

Honestly, based on our activities, my wife and I may appear to be polar opposites.  I like everything about being outside and riding my bike while she enjoys a good book, movie, or musical.  We do have different hobbies, but there is more to life than hobbies.

wedding day photoIt’s quite obvious that this is a different kind of post than the normal bikepacking gear reviews or paracord projects. Without the support of my wife, none of those other things would be possible.  I don’t mention her often on the blog, but she helps a lot behind the scenes and she is also the voice of reason that prevents most of my really bad ideas from seeing the light of day.  The last 23, oh, I mean 15 years, have been a great example of this.  (I had to include that lame joke about 23 years or my wife would know I didn’t write this.)

Different But The Same

Rather than focusing on the differences, we have learned to appreciate what makes us each unique and what bonds us together.  This is the key to making different hobbies/passions/interests work.  Our day to day activities take us in different directions, but we are on the same wavelength when it comes to the deep meaningful things that really matter – love, family, friendship, and being there for each other.

Instead of a bad attempt at explaining this further, I do better relying on song lyrics.  Jack Johnson’s ‘Angel’ has one of the best lines for this:

She gives me presents, with her presence alone.

At times, I’ve looked at the differences too much and have forgotten about her presence and how much it means to me.  The funny thing is that nothing helps me reset my mind to what matters more than long solo bike ride.

Adjusting For Each Other

I’ll admit that at times in the past, I dreamt of a family backpacking trip or some other trip into wild places.  That idea is not going to become reality and that’s ok.  Instead, my kids and I take the backcountry trips or I get my outdoor fix through early morning bike rides while on family vacations.  For it to work, it can’t be everything that one of us wants.  Instead it takes looking at situations differently so that we both fit in our hobbies.

Earlier this summer, we spent 5 nights “camping” in a yurt and spending most of our days outside enjoying horseback riding, hiking, and canoeing.  It wasn’t true roughing it in a tent, but it worked because it allowed us to take a family trip that was focused on the outdoors.  This was a huge adjustment for my wife, but we came to a common ground where everyone could enjoy the experience.

Family Camp Activities including yurts, hiking, and horses

On a different family vacation, I got up at 5AM several mornings to fit in long rides before everyone else woke up.  This allowed me to get my bike fix and still have the day to relax with my family.

Because of my wife’s appreciation for music and plays, I’ve been to more musicals than I ever thought I would attend.  The interesting thing is that they have all been very good performances.  It wasn’t the same kind of fun as riding mountain singletrack, but it was great because we were together.

When our first son was born, we figured out a schedule that allowed me to fit in long rides for my sanity.  Me being cooped up in the house was not going to be good for anyone.  I don’t believe this was my wife’s preferred parenting setup, but she adjusted for the sake of me.

She has adjusted a lot for me and I wish I had more examples of me adjusting for her hobbies.  From a selfish perspective, it may not be exactly what I want to do, but I need to do it for her.

Focus On What Matters

Nothing is ever perfect and we don’t have to expect it to be that way.  Having time to do our favorite hobbies while also spending time with the ones we love is about as close to perfect as we can get.

So to my wife, thank you for being there and understanding my need to go for bike rides and my bad fashion sense.  We may look different based on our hobbies, but where it really matters, we are exactly the same.

And to close it out, a final lyric from Jack Johnson’s ‘We’re Better Together’

It’s not always easy and
Sometimes life can be deceiving
I’ll tell you one thing, it’s always better when we’re together

About Andy Amick
A little bit nutty in general, a lotta bit nutty about bikes. Each of his boys received a bike helmet for their first birthday and the three of them have been biking together ever since.

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