I can count the number of running partners I’ve had over the years on one hand.
When I had to run in the dark before work, I decided it would be a good idea to take our Black Lab with me for safety. He thought we were there to check every tree and who had been out the night before so, after a few days I ran and he stayed home.
A few years later I ran with Dudley, our standard poodle. He was a great running partner and we ran and ran and ran….until one day we ran the skin right off his feet. The next time I went for a run, he ran under the bed.
There are lots of good reasons to have a running partner: accountability, motivation, improve or slow down your pace, entertainment, safety….and you can find new routes together.
Even though I am now a lone runner, I have indeed found a good, long-running partner – although it took me a good, long while to get it right.
The first time I met my husband, lightning flashed around the room. For the briefest of moments, I saw that this man was going to be my husband. Then we went our separate ways – life went on.
Many years later (and several husbands later), our paths crossed again and we have been on the same path ever since.
We got married August 4th, 1999. There was no particular importance to the date. Some years we have forgotten the correct date altogether until finally I came across our marriage license and corrected our calendars.
There have been a few fights – most of them early on when we were adjusting to life together.
We had just moved into our first home when one of these fights came about. He marched up the stairs and came back down with an armful of his clothes, threw them into the trunk of his car and went back up for more.
On the second or third trip to the trunk, I thought to myself, “This isn’t what I expected to happen.” I was standing my ground over something….as was he, no doubt.
Unsure how many more armfuls of clothes there might be, the next time he went up the stairs I jumped in his car and drove it away.
It was his idea to go to Africa when we sold our first company and volunteer at an orphanage for HIV children. It was a life changing experience.
He has also taken me to India, France, Spain, Italy, England… and, then Ecuador. And, he brought me back home when I didn’t like it there – even though he didn’t want to leave. It was humbling. I cried over the sacrifice he had made for me and I loved him more than ever.
He encouraged me to start running and signed me up for my first race. He bought me a piano and sits with his eyes closed and listens to me play. He encouraged me to start Kung Fu and to begin writing this blog. I send a draft of every post to him and wait anxiously for his reply, “That’s great!” or “Very good.” before I will hit Publish.
There have been years we were together 24/7 and years we only see each other for hours every week.
It doesn’t matter – I love him and I know he loves me. Through all of life’s ups and downs, we know eventually it always comes back to just us and that’s what we prefer anyway.
He helped me open my first store and shortly afterwards the newspaper called for an interview. They commented on how well we seemed to know naturally who was best suited to certain tasks. I told them, “We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses better than we know our own, and we respect each other.”
They wrote, “In business as in life, it doesn’t get much better than that.”
So, there are several good reasons to find a long-running partner: accountability, motivation, improve or slow down your pace, entertainment, safety, and they can help you find new routes.
All the things that make me a better me, and us the perfect us.