Step by step

Brit started training for the ultramarathon as a new year’s resolution.

When Tex, her fitness trainer, signed up too they became training partners. He was a man of few words, delivered gruffly. Brit found him baffling. The men she knew, students and academics, loved ideas and argument. Tex seemed, by comparison, entirely physical.

Neither of them saw the ute when it lost traction rounding a bend. It slid sideways from behind, collecting them, as a broom collects dust.

When she woke in hospital he was there, his face still swollen with bruising. When she felt for her legs Tex told her—words begrudgingly given, but not out of gruffness. He was still beside her five months later when she wheeled out of hospital. Every time she told him she’d be fine, he mumbled, ‘yes,’ and kept right on, until she stopped trying to persuade him to leave. She feared he might become dependant on her dependence on him. But he wasn’t a trainer for no reason. It was Tex who told her to do things herself when therapists were still talking about ‘a step at a time’.

And it will be the same when the little one comes. He will help, but not do. He will be there. How she loves her unlikely man. How they love each other.