I meant to write about this on September 1st - but never got around to it, or when I did have time, I forgot to write about it.
Ian and I met each other when we were very different people. I was a senior in college, loving senior life and spending as many nights as possible enjoying my remaining college days before entering the real world. Ian was a few years out of college, enjoying bachelorhood by living in Federal Hill with 2 roommates. We both drank far too much - but I guess that is part of what happens when you're young and single and enjoying college/post-college life.
As Ian and I became more serious, I knew one thing was going to have to change if we were to begin planning our lives together: smoking. Ian grew up in England and France which happens to be a very smoke friendly culture. He was in the wrong crowd (from what I hear) and began smoking cigarettes when he was about 12 years old.
While Ian and I were dating, he was normally respectful not to smoke when he was with me and shower before he would see me. But at about 1 year into being together, we came to the mutual decision that we could never live together with that habit.
So over several months, we kept chatting about the possibility of him quitting. He had tried to quit a few times before, but mentally just had not been in it because he truly enjoyed smoking (as I think most smokers do). He finally made the decision to quit. But how and when would he be able to? Smoking had become such a routine at work for him, along with being surrounded by friends who almost all smoke and fellow workers who did as well.
We planned our first trip together to Topsail Island, NC for 1 week. We left on September 1, 2006. That was the day, he decided, would be the start of him quitting. By being with me for an entire week (which meant no smoking), and getting away from his daily routine and the people he was used to smoking with, he thought the trip would be the perfect time.
He came to pick me up to leave for NC, and had his last cigarette that morning. He did absolutely beautifully with quitting. He said it was not that difficult because of the way he had done it: talking it over for a few months to mentally get a grasp of it, then planning a way to help him quit in the best way possible. Occasionally he will say he craves a cigarette but never succumbs to that desire. Since that day, he has not had one drag of a cigarette.
I am incredibly proud of him for overcoming an addiction which some people struggle with their entire lives. And as he prepares for his first marathon, I have to think that he wouldn't be able to come as far along in his training if he were still smoking. When he crosses the finish line in a couple months, I'll be cheering him on - not only for the amazing victory of running his first marathon, but also because I couldn't feel more proud of him for making a change in his life, and ours. It's amazing the things we'll do to make things right with the person we love - and I am incredibly fortunate for that.