On March 25th, 2001 at this time, I was cooling down after the Land of Enchantment 15K with a woman who was on the same racing team as I was here in Albuquerque. Yes, she did beat me (she was 30 and I was 50) and no, I was not trying to pry training secrets out of her. Although we had never spoken before, she just seemed sweet and nice.
That morning began a whirlwind romance between two dedicated and competitive runners that ended in us getting married just a month later. The morning after we got married, we did a track workout at a local high school. We went to Taos, NM and ran. One of our running friends, as a wedding present, took us to a trail in Pojoaque, NM for a run and it was the ultimate gift. The trail begins at 7,000 feet and crosses a stream, if I remember correctly, 10 times on little wooden bridges or logs as it ascends to 12,000 feet and ends in the Santa Fe ski area. It is as magnificent a trail as you would ever want to behold.
There was no trail or distance or race that was too challenging for us and we raced many weekends and trained together virtually every day. To supplement our love of running, we also started a youth running club and immersed ourselves even more in running by having afternoon practices in addition to our morning runs and taking the team to cross country meets and track meets. It was runner’s heaven and life was very, very good.
Then my wife’s maternal urges kicked in and she wanted to have the baby girl named Grace that she had been praying for. As that was coming to be, Christy trained as much as she could and on the morning that Grace was born, she even did her walk. That afternoon, after staying at the hospital after Grace was born at 11:57 am, I returned home and held practice with the kids as usual, then returned to the hospital with Japanese takeout.
Life was even better with Grace and she did her first race in the jog stroller when she was just 6 weeks old. She went to practices and meets and the kids loved her and watched her grow up. But as fate would have it, our idyllic lives changed when we found out that Grace would have a sister. Carly was born 2 years and 5 days after Grace. Although loved beyond words as the gift that she was, Carly impacted our ability to train and race and ominous cracks started to appear in the glue that held our lives together.
In January 2007, I began a new endeavor as a Team Beachbody Coach and although I knew the value of their workout DVD’s, I also knew that they would be something that I would promote, but not use. Let’s face it, after 40 years as a runner, running was in my genetic code and nothing could change that. Although Christy became a coach, too, it was running that nourished her being, like mine, and nothing could replace it.
Two running parents with two kids who were tired, stressed and couldn’t run was a recipe for disaster and problems that would have been resolved on a run or with the endorphins afterwards, began to mount and grow out of proportion. Although we both started doing P90X and became immersed in coaching and helping our members, we both held onto the past and yearned for what had been. Neither of us realized the opportunity we had for a new life that would allow us to train as hard as we had with Beachbody workout DVD’s, get the same feeling, the same look and keep our bodies in even better shape than with just running.
Focusing on the negative and oblivious to what we could have, we separated in July of last year and began the dreadful process of disconnecting our lives while at the same time trying to protect the girls as much as possible. Although we tried as hard as we could, there was still one connection that could not be broken. As Team Beachbody Coaches, we were both making good incomes and we always had to share information because we coached together. We also realized that as single parents with two young children, it became almost impossible to run, so in that respect, although it didn’t seem possible, things became much worse.
With time came realization and healing and a new and more substantial and sustainable foundation for our marriage. In early January of this year our life paths came together again. By appreciating what we had – at home workouts that even the girls could do with us and home based businesses as Team Beachbody coaches – and giving running its proper place in our priorities, we knew that we had been led to something years before that actually saved our marriage. It is hard now to think about how bad it was during our separation and how inconceivably difficult it would have been had we gotten divorced. The fact is, that we are so happy now and so appreciative of what we are doing as coaches, that there simply isn’t time to dwell on the past and what could have been. Our future is with Team Beachbody and we will be forever grateful for this opportunity and for this chapter in our love story.