Sharing Fitness with the Love of Your Life

One of the things missing from Hood to Coast (for me) was Michael.

After my second leg I had a lot of downtime. I was an emotional wreck. I’d been up for 26 hours and I’d run almost 12 miles (the most in one day I’ve ever done) and I felt so utterly alone. I didn’t know any of the people in my van. I was not friends with them, they all knew each other. I felt very sad. I called Michael to hear his voice and he talked to me and tried to cheer me up. It was a really hard experience.

Hood to Coast was MY challenge. It was MY experience. And despite it being a team activity, I was alone. That really opened my eyes to what I want out of these endurance challenges. I want someone by my side to support me and experience those things with me.

I read a great article from called “Keys to Running With (and Not Away from) Your Spouse”. I wish that Michael was a runner but he’s not and he has no desire to try. I’ve made peace with that. Running is mine. It’s my challenge and I’m okay with doing it by myself.

So what if you want to share your fitness with your partner? My advice: pick something both of you enjoy.

When I first met Michael he said he hated hiking. I thought, “Hm. Who hates hiking? And do I want to be with someone that hates it?!” I’m glad I decided “yes” because guess what? I managed to convert him to loving hiking.

Our First Hike

That picture was taken on our very first hike together. He complained the whole time, saying “Hiking is hard” and “My feet hurt.” But it only took that one hike to convince him that hiking was something fun that we could do together. Not only that, hiking is GOOD EXERCISE!

Rattlesnake Ridge

Since that first hike together we’ve been hiking ever since. Converted. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hiking is something fun that we can do together. See new sights, exercise, and explore places we’ve never been. The best news: there’s always hiking nearby.

Michael loves riding his bike. When we first started dating he was building up his endurance on the bike so he could bike commute to work. It had been probably 5 years since I’d been on my bike. In the spirit of learning something he loved, I started bike riding.

Biking in Hood River

Guess what happened? I loved it too! We started taking our bikes on vacations with us, seeing the sights on two wheels.

Then we got a hair-brained idea to participate in a group biking adventure.

Reach the Beach 2010

Training with someone for an event is pretty awesome. It’s nice being able to spend the time together and work towards a mutual goal. It was definitely a relationship booster.

We went for all day training rides every weekend in preparation for Reach the Beach. It was grueling. I hadn’t really experienced intense training before. I had my struggles: my entire body being sore, crashing my bike, getting a flat tire, totally “bonking” during a bike ride and wanting to quit. Michael was my cheerleader and I was his. He kept me going, he told me to not be a baby because I CAN do this.

Crossing the finish line with the love of my life was such an amazing feeling!

Working towards a common goal like Reach the Beach together created a deeper bond in our relationship, I think. And it also gave us stories to share!

Couple’s fitness doesn’t have to always be “Epic” either. Simply going for a walk every night after dinner together, or taking up something like tennis on the weekends is an excellent way to share the experiences.

Doing an activity like hiking or walking together also creates time to talk. It doesn’t have to be about intense topics or heavy “relationship” stuff. When Michael and I hike, he’d tell me stories about Mixed Martial Arts and sports, childhood memories…I’d tell him some of my memories, discuss vacation ideas, plan our next adventure.

Last winter I was happy to share my love of snowshoeing with Michael!

Bend 2010

It’s such a fun experience AND a freakin’ hard workout! He had a great time and now we’re looking forward to snowshoeing again this winter.

Sharing a healthy lifestyle has so many benefits. Besides the above mentioned benefits, it also creates a support system. If one partner isn’t feeling motivated, the other partner can give them that push. Often times the only push someone needs is for someone to say “Put your shoes on, we’re going for a walk.”

QUESTION: Do you share any form of fitness with your significant other? What benefits have you experienced?

Author: Lisa Eirene

About Lisa Eirene Lisa lost 110 pounds through calorie counting and exercise. She swims, bikes, runs, hikes and is enjoying life in Portland, Oregon. Her weight loss story has been featured in First Magazine, Yahoo Health, Woman's Day and

17 thoughts on “Sharing Fitness with the Love of Your Life”

  1. Unfortunately, Steve and I have become complacent and sedintary. We talk about riding our bikes (sadly, I think mine may be too big for me) but the only exercise we get together is walking or occasional tennis. He used to be a big tennis player when we were in high school, but I think he’s lost interest. We get our own exercise separately and when I mention that we should swim together or whatever, we are gung-ho about it and then quickly lose momentum.
    I’ve always been interested in snowshoeing, especially when I worked at an outdoor recreation center at an Air Force base. But I was afraid my lack of stamina (and how slow I walk) would hold people back. But I think it would be fun!
    So things we would love to work on: Exercising together AND motivation. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. If you and Steve are up for it, you should go snowshoeing with us this winter. Renting them is super cheap ($12?) and Michael’s SVU can get us up to Mt. Hood. There are places to do it that aren’t too steep.

      1. That would be so much fun! I think Steve would totally be down for that. I’m hoping that our slow fitness routine picks up and I build up my wimpy stamina. (I also got a lecture from my PT that I need to increase my upper body strength!)

        But yes! I think we’d enjoy that, thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I really like this post! My boyfriend and I also have differences with exercise. Nick doesn’t like to run even though he’s built like a gazelle so sometimes I get sad he won’t practice for runs or do races with me but like you said, you find something you both like. For me and Nick it’s rock climbing and sometimes a little bit of skiing (we both kind of suck *lol*). Climbing is great because you build trust, you get to do some strength training, and when you climb outdoors there is generally at least a small hike to the site which is even more exercise. Oh and not to mention it’s fun ๐Ÿ˜›

    Maybe one day he’ll run another race with me or something but like you mentioned in your post, it’s about what you both like and maybe trying new things together.

    ๐Ÿ™‚ If there was a LIKE button on this I’d press it!


  3. My husband will go on evening walks with me, but he is on such an advanced level of fitness that he gets bored training with me. I’m too slow for him! We do enjoy hiking together, however. It is something we can do at the same pace and is always rewarding.

  4. Thank you for sharing such an inspiring story! There is absolutely something extra special about completing a physical triumph alongside the one you love most in the world.

    That’s a central theme that we’re trying to spread through Fit Marriage. Thanks for the link!

  5. This is such a great post and excellent timing because I was going to ask you if Michael every got jealous of your gym time (but then that seemed kinda personal).

    Now that I’m not working I try to get my workouts in during the day so we have together time at night, but it doesn’t always work that way. We do walk the dog together, and we get out on the weekends but not as much as we’d like to or should.

    Like any part of a relationship, it’s work. It sounds like you guys have figured out a good balance.

    Hooray for snowshoes! We love ours!

  6. I love to bike with my husband! He actually got started running because of me, but he is much faster than me now, so we really can’t run together.

    I love the long rides we take, though, and getting to spend the day together is wonderful!

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