First came marriage …

Posted on July 9, 2012

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This time last year, my dear friend Emily got married.  I remember distinctly being so happy for her in the run up to her special day and had thought long and hard what advice to share with her.

The result was the post below.  I have seen her and Simon grow from strength to strength in only a year and in a few months, baby Osborne will be welcomed into the world.  I have no doubt that they will embrace their roles as parents with the same passion and enthusiasm as they have their marriage.

Happy anniversary you lovely two …

Tomorrow, the 9th July 2011, my DXB partner in crime and a truly great girlfriend will walk up the aisle and marry the lovely Simon Osborne. I’ve spent the last few days thinking about Emily a lot, missing our five-times daily chats as she embraces wedding fever back in England.

And I’ve been thinking about what advice I should give her …

… not, you may be thinking, that I’m uber qualified to give advice about marriage (although I do feel quite qualified to get it right second time round!!). I do however know plenty about running and when you think about it, marriage and running have plenty of similarities.

So this post Emily, is for you …

Relationships and running both start the same way, with that magic potion called passion. They spark a thrill that at times will wane and take ongoing effort to rekindle. The rekindling happens by deliberately trying new things; new routes and new challenges.

Likewise with injuries, sometimes you can’t just cover over the problem with a little physio, rather you need to work with an expert to fix your flawed biomechanics. In the long-term, you then prevent further flare-ups. Same with marriage … when the chips are down, don’t avoid dealing with your differences … embrace and work with them.

As is the case with running buddies, in a marriage you share all your thoughts, ideas and concerns; the good and the bad, the happy and the unhappy, the stresses and the strains. But I’ve realised with my own running (and marriage) over the years that the best buddy does not judge or counsel, they just listen because you need to work out your own answers.  So never try to coach your husband, you are not their counsellor nor their mother. Instead, listen with empathy then step back.

Friends often wonder how or why I don’t get bored running. I tell them it doesn’t have to be boring … I keep it fresh with great music, my top radio shows, mind games, audio books and banter with girlfriends. Same with a marriage, year after year, you just have to keep it fresh; keep growing and improving and always be on the lookout for signs of burnout and injury.

What else ….

If you let your eyes wander, you may end up falling face first on the ground.

Sometimes, you have to hit the pause button to catch your breath.

There are days when it is nothing more than grinding it out but then there are other days when the ride is magical.

A little encouragement goes a long, long, way.

Every now and then you need some time out … and that’s ok … take all the time you need and you will come back stronger.

When you stumble, and you will, just get back on track and keep moving.

Ultimately, I think marriage mirrors a long trail run with exhilarating peaks and the occasional tough valley. It is an adventure full of risks and rewards … and you get out exactly what you put into it.

There will be days when you feel you are winning and others when you feel you are losing but never ever lose sight of why you signed up for your marriage … because you love each other and because the rewards make every bit of effort worthwhile.

Enjoy your day …. I can safely say you will look amazing …. and relish every moment of your lives together.

Finally, never ever let your lowest day be an excuse to quit and never let your highest day be the only bar you set. Remember that those who finish strong don’t sprint at the start …. beyond your happy day, you have a lifetime ahead of love, laughter and happiness.

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