Today’s post is written by none other than FBG Jenn’s hubby Ryan. Together for 11 years and married for going on four years, Ryan has been there for every step of FBG’s creation and evolution.
The first thing you need to know about being married to an FBG is … they are sneaky.* Not in a manipulative or otherwise self-serving kind of way. In fact, I’m not sure they are terribly aware of when and how they are being sneaky.
For instance, I met my FBG some years ago in college, and our first encounter culminated in me introducing myself and she, my future FBG wife, looking at me first with disinterest (or was it disdain?) and then not at all, as she apparently thought the windows of the residence hall cafeteria a more interesting view. Honestly, the thought that I might spend the rest of my life with this confident little redhead never even entered my mind. The real question is … did the thought cross her mind? Hard to tell. Like I said, sneaky.
But they are sneaky. They get these ideas. Sometimes you can see them forming in their mind before they do. Little comments here and there start to add up. And before you know it, a girl that once said, “I’m just not a natural runner. My body wasn’t made for running,” has completed a marathon with FBG Tish and is making odd comments about triathlons.
Besides being sneaky, FBGs are women of evolution. That is to say, the one you know today will certainly be different in a few years. My FBG, in fact, wasn’t an FBG at all when I married her. She was looking to find her path to success in the field of magazine journalism. After just a few years, she decided to blaze her own path. See, these women are on a journey. The FBGs are looking for something a little more than the comfort of 9-to-5, and they’ll surprise you when they decide to make a move.
One big move came during the top of the third inning while watching a Royals’ baseball game from the nosebleed section. After talking for weeks about wanting to start something called a “blog,” my FBG looked at me out of the blue and said, “What about Fit Bottomed Girls?” I had only a fraction of an idea of what she was talking about. She met my confused face with a broad smile and an immediate text to her partner-in-sneakiness, Erin. We looked back at our deplorable excuse for a Major League Baseball team, me wondering what just happened and she brainstorming tag lines. The rest, as they say, is history.
That covers the preamble. Now on to the main question, what’s it like living with an FBG?
Aside from the aforementioned sneakiness and constant state of change, they tend to turn your life into a pursuit. Yes, of fitness and healthfulness, of course, but also of happiness and meaning. While I’m reading a Steven King classic, she is reading three books centering loosely on the meaning of life. While I’m playing softball in a beer league, she’s training for her first half marathon (or second or third). While I’m checking up on my various fantasy baseball or football teams, she’s listening or speaking at a local women’s group. While I’m screwing around in the garage, she’s brainstorming playlist ideas with FBG Kristen. The FBG’s energy for their pursuit of happiness, meaning and, now that I think of it, connection, seems endless. And yet it’s not.
Being married to an FBG, and witnessing this apparently endless drive, I have sometimes taken for granted their little engine to find happiness for themselves and their readers. But, they do get tired, burnt out, over worked and down, just like the rest of us. I’ve seen the grind of generating thousands of posts of material take its toll—90-hour work weeks, writer’s block, an injured bottom.
Sure, they get down. But man, they get back up fast. An email from a reader, phone call from a friend, a few homemade dinners from the man of the house and his trusty guard dog, and they’re humming again.
And I guess that’s it in a nutshell. Being around an FBG you can’t help but get caught up in their pursuit. Not that her dreams have become mine. It’s just that being around that type of constant potential and kinetic energy is incredibly supportive. You start to get ideas—sneaky ones. Like, maybe I can learn to make things, like food, beer or music. Maybe I can MC a wedding. Maybe I can captivate a dance floor with smooth moves I still maintain I do not have. Ones that involve turning your back on four years of college and a bachelor’s degree to pursue a career in a completely different field. Maybe, I can be a dad.
Being around that FBG energy gives me a safety net of immeasurable size. Marrying one has given me a partner who will push me to become whatever it is I think I was born to be. And if I don’t make it or do reach my goal? She’ll help me start over, re-invent and move on to the next pursuit. My guess is, as a result, looking forward to my 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s and maybe even more, I’ve got few stagnant days ahead of me. That FBG pursuit will keep me moving—and that’s just fine with me. —Ryan Walters
*With no means to stereotype all FBGs, I know at least that my FBG wife is sneaky. I also know that FBG’s approach to living your healthiest and best life sneaks up and bites you, too!