With the New Year in full swing, you might still be thinking about what you want to accomplish.
Have you considered setting a goal for yourself and your loved one?
Setting goals as a couple can be incredibly fun and rewarding. There is a sure-fire reason why they say, “teamwork makes the dream work.”
My husband, Josh, and I are avid runners and decided to get active by setting a goal to run our first half marathon at the start of 2018. I distinctively remember heading to the local sporting goods store together and buying our first pair of training shoes and running clothing.
I exclaimed to him, “Are we really doing a crazy thing like this?” It was thrilling to know we were on this journey together to get fit, but most importantly, to accomplish a huge goal together — a goal that eventually would transform our lives for the better.
Our first training runs together were a huge bonding experience. Josh was more athletically inclined than me at the time, and I remember him lapping me like he was driving a race car. However, he pushed me out of my comfort zone, and as time went on, my running improved immensely.
We crushed our goal race time for our first half marathon. We were addicted to running at that point, and it became a part of our lifestyle.
When we took the plunge to do our first half marathon together in 2018, we lost a combined weight of 100 lbs.
This original goal also led us to becoming competitive in our running, and we both have won various half marathons, marathons, 5ks and 10ks. Last year, I qualified four times for the Boston Marathon, and we both ran the New York City Marathon.
As a result of running together, I became an elite athlete last year, and my next goal in 2023 is to qualify for the Olympics in the marathon.
If you set a goal with your loved one, you will be surprised where it will take you.
Another positive aspect of setting a goal together with your significant other is that you can build some fantastic memories. When my husband and I go on vacations, I will sneak in running races or plan a running route that takes us to famous landmarks. In 2019, while on vacation in Honolulu, Hawaii, we ran up the massive volcano, Diamond Head. I remember when we made it to the top of the volcano and gazed out at the Pacific Ocean together. It was such a peaceful moment.
Setting goals together also is a great bonding experience. I wake Josh up every morning to go running, and it’s great to chat together about what inspires us, or just engage in common, every day couple’s talk like, “what’s for dinner tonight?” That debate can go on for miles.
The positive emotions we get from being active together is so valuable. With your loved one, you can be stronger together and accomplish things beyond your wildest dreams.
As they say, “The couple that plays together stays together.”
Rachel Kennedy is a Dubuque native and elite runner.