>Wanted: Conflict Manager

>I’m glad I went to small group tonight. We discussed a lot of issues pertaining to trust, relationships, and resolving conflict. In third grade, we had a program at our school called “conflict managers” where we were coached in how to effectively resolve conflict and other kids would come to us with their problems. If they only knew how I really tried to resolve conflict…

I used to be a dirty fighter… verbal garbage spewing, red face fuming, cuss words flying, bygone issues of the past being brought back to life… and then I met Aaron. And he refused to yell. Interesting that we both grew up with yelling being part of conflict but he hated it and I embraced it. I didn’t embrace it for long because he has always refused to yell back at me. So I stopped yelling because it wasn’t doing any good. Not that it does anyway, but there’s a very sick satisfaction in getting the other person to yell back. He would just walk away, and that’d piss me off even more.
He forced me to be patient during an argument (or “discussion” as they are commonly called in our house). He expected me to calmly (what?!!) relate to him details of what I felt or thought the way I did about something. I was afraid he would leave. One time during an argument when I was yelling my head off (surprise, surprise), he said he was going for a walk. I made a human barrier in front of the door and told him that to get out the door, he’d have to get past me first. I’m not sure if he chuckled, but I would have if I were him.
This was in the first year of marriage, and probably the first six months. I learned quickly that if I were going to get a point across, I didn’t have to yell it. He would actually listen and acknowledge what I had to say. He wouldn’t yell back or actually leave… there would be no silent treatments. And we would actually resolve all issues before going to sleep, even if that meant waiting hours while I moved to the very very edge of the bed without falling off, pretending like I was still mad. 
We’ve always worked out our conflicts this way: not letting the sun go down on our anger.
Even into the second year of marriage, our arguments would go like this.
Elizabeth: [sigh]
Aaron: What’s wrong? or Whatcha thinkin’?
Elizabeth: Nothing.
Aaron: Are you sure? You seem like there’s something wrong.
Elizabeth: Yes, I’m fine.
      silence. ribbit. ribbit. crickets….
Elizabeth: Well, it’s just that…. [monologue]

And then the argument might escalate from there. Often I would assume he would have a much more negative response than he did. It was always so anticlimactic, too, because I imagined he would react like me:  yelling and scaring all small children within a 50-foot radius. 
But he never has. Sure, he’s raised his voice when I’ve been present, but that’s only so he can hear himself over the harsh din of my emotional outcry.
Oh. I almost forgot to mention the funniest thing I do during an argument. I try to hide as long as I can in my corner of the ring. Aaron likes to say “I love you” and hug me and grab a hold of my hand or something while I’m angry with him. He’s doing it because he really does love me and wants me to know it, and also I think secretly because he knows it ticks me off. Once I hear those words or get close to him, all bets are off. I might as well raise my white flag of surrender… sigh. Men and their magic. 
So partly this post was to show you how ridiculous it is to fight like that… just say what needs to be said and talk like adults. And partly it is to mark the three years we’ve been married (this coming Monday). We’ve made a lot of progress in that short amount of time.
And how could I forget, the best part is what we get to do after an argument or fight………. Go get ice cream! [Duh!]

>Back to training

>This week was my first real week back to running after the marathon. I say “training” because I think it’s a much more active word than “running”. I’m not quite sure what I’m training for, but I’m sure there will for sure be a race on the calendar once we get settled in El Paso. I got in the habit of recapping my weekly running while training for the marathon, so here ya go.

Saturday: Race for the Cure 5K in 27:56! PR! 
Sunday and Monday: rest
Tuesday: 2.5 miles with Tim in the 90* heat.. refreshing in a weird sort of way… maybe only runners will understand.
Wednesday: 5 mile bike ride at the gym with leg exercises.. I was definitely feeling my legs on Thursday
Thursday: 2 miles before worship practice
Friday: rest
Saturday: Gabi and I have a 5-miler scheduled and we are going as long as it isn’t a deluge of rain or thunderstorms.

After killing it last Saturday in the race, I think my legs were just worn out. I couldn’t seem to get them going any faster than a 10:15-10:30 mile. It was also hot and humid this week, and I’ve been used to training in 20-40* weather. 

I run the Washington Cherry Festival 5K with Amelia at the beginning of June.. I’m interested to see if I can break 27:30 or even 27:15 after my muscles are totally recouped from the marathon.

My attitude towards running has been much more relaxed. Even though I don’t have to go out three times a week and run, I find that I want to. This afternoon I had an overwhelming desire to go out to Detweiler Park and run repeats barefoot across the grass. I also have not been taking music with me this week, for two reasons: 1) I like to chat when I run with partners and 2) it’s a pain to remember my iPod armband and to put it on. It’s just one more thing to carry around when it’s this warm.

I thoroughly enjoyed my bike ride at the gym. Maybe it’s the fact that my legs are long and now strong, but biking is not challenging for me. I’m hoping this, along with swimming in the blazing heat of Texas, will jump start some sort of training for a triathlon. I want to do a sprint tri first to learn how to transition. My ultimate goal is a half Ironman tri… maybe I’ll hit that before age 30.

I’m excited to continue living a life of fitness.. being active gives me something to look forward to in my day.. a sense of peace and calmness (sounds like yoga, haha).. and a way to glorify God with my body. 

I Corinthians 6:19-20:

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.