Sacrifices plentiful in long-distance relationships

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 11:07 AM ET

Professional athletes who come to Winnipeg to ply their trade miss the loved ones they leave behind.

But what about those people they leave behind?

Amy Goodspeed is in that group. Her husband of two years, Dan, is in Winnipeg playing left tackle for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

While he's up here in Manitoba blocking for Charles Roberts, she's at home making sure hurricanes don't blow their house off its foundation in suburban Tampa.

"Unfortunately, we're kind of good at this," Amy said recently from the Goodspeed home in Florida. "So I knew we would be all right even if he was up there for awhile."

Dan spent the past few seasons bouncing around the NFL, so she's used to him travelling for work. It was the same way during their courtship.

"When we were dating and when we were engaged, we were pretty much a long-distance couple the whole time," she said.

When she quickly does the math in her head, she figures out that they lived in different states for all but nine months of the three years they dated.

It still doesn't make it any easier. Amy said she and Dan discussed his potential move to Winnipeg for a longer time than usual, even though the distance between them isn't as much as the New York-San Francisco divide that occurred when Dan was playing for the 49ers.

"This is Dan's dream, and I don't ever want him to sacrifice for me," she said. "And he would never ask me to do that.

"We definitely thought long and hard about it, because if our marriage wasn't going to be strong and as good as it still is and as it's always been, then we weren't willing to sacrifice that."

The secret to making their long-distance relationship work? Gigantic cellphone bills.

The newlyweds -- on average -- talk about eight times a day. Since the Bombers practise in the afternoon, they speak four times before Dan goes to work and four times after he gets home.

"We have some great cellphone bills," said Amy, who spent two weeks in Winnipeg last month. "He has to go to work just to pay for those."

Dan is also supposed to call her as soon as he can after each game to let her know he's OK. Amy listens to the games on the Internet and then counts down the minutes until the phone is supposed to ring.

"I know how long it takes for him to get showered up, so I expect a phone call not too long after that," she said.

The biggest adjustment Amy has had to make is doing everything around the house.

"Usually Dan is the guy who pays all the bills and takes care of the ... I had to hire someone to mow the yard," she said. "That's usually his job. It's a lot different.

"I used to do all this myself, but when I got married, I had my duties and he had his."


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