When runners crumple from exhaustion midway through a marathon, do we blame luck or fitness? When the heavily favoured basketball team loses to the underdog, is it chance or effort?
I used to be an athlete. I was exceptional at sprints, especially in the 100-metre dash. I represented my schools from secondary school and in the first year of university. When it became obvious that I was not going to get the support of the university, despite representing the school at the interuniversity level competitions (NUGA), I stopped running at the competitive level. I discovered that if I missed any test or exam, I would be left on my own. I applied wisdom and ended this pursuit because I could not risk telling my parents that I had been given an extra semester or session. Financially, my family couldn’t even afford the possible implications. That was 1990. Fast forward to thirty years later, the only sports competitions I partake in are at my children’s inter-house sports. I dare to say I still have some of the skills but I can’t say the same for my fitness level. On recent occasions, I have woken up with muscle pull in the middle of the night. I am definitely in poor shape for athletics. What is my point here? Without preparedness, it’s impossible to win in athletics because no amount of luck can take the place of fitness. The same applies to every life challenge we face; being ill-prepared is a call to failure. We must work our bodies and minds to the point of qualification for participation but it doesn’t end there. We must also subject ourselves to being fit enough to be exceptional. After all, rarely does anyone participate in a contest to lose.
This scenario can be likened to relationships with partners preparing to get into marriage. Being in a relationship is an adventurous journey accompanied with good and not too good times. The challenges you face have a way of testing your state of preparedness. Preparing for some of the tests against your readiness is best before than after you enter into the marriage. Fitness checks in relationships become an inevitable area to explore. There is a need to understand and have a firm grip on it before stepping into it. Your fitness state in a relationship will largely determine how your relationship will turn out. Is this to say one’s fitness is solely about the physical build, oratory prowess, material possessions, or academic qualifications? Not quite. While these are crucial attributes, they do not guarantee the sustainability of a relationship. Like in the playfield, some relationship injuries are largely about fitness, not luck or carelessness, as is generally projected. There is a wise saying that whoever intends to build a tower and does not sit down to first count the cost and evaluate whether he has enough to finish it, is most likely to run out of resources even before the project is concluded. This also applies to marriage. To have a successful marriage, there is a need to acquire adequate knowledge before marriage. The knowledge you acquire and your willingness to apply it will ensure your marriage stands the test of time. Building a successful marriage does not start on your wedding day but from the days of your singlehood. It starts from the days when you’re still unclear of whom to marry, even before your courtship. It’s safe to add that it starts in the days when marriage is not on the horizon for you. The truth is this, the earlier you start preparing for marriage, the better your chances of getting it right. A wise man once said that you don’t prepare for marriage in marriage, you prepare before you are married. The second part of this article will highlight key areas to focus on in preparing for that lasting marriage relationship.
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