Countless times, someone has asked us if we don’t drive each other crazy and if we don’t need a break from one another. I thought it could be fun to share some thoughts on the subject, as I LOVE talking about relationships (and the one I’m part of myself the most 🤣) and diving into the inns and outs of them.
The short answer to those FAQs regarding our relationship (marriage) is no, we don’t drive each other crazy (only sometimes) and no, we don’t feel as though we need a break from each other (again, only sometimes).
But the long answer would of course provide some more nuance – the first and most important thing that we’ve mentioned many times before and that plays a huge part in our choice of this very intertwined life and lifestyle is this: we get mental recovery and the feeling of emotional reset in each other’s company. We’re both introverts and thought – up until we met – that we needed actual alone time to achieve that sense of “aaaaahhhh now I can breathe” but found we do when in the same house and room as well. That was huge!
Another rather huge thing – but a change rather than a realization – is the fact that we went from barely seeing each other at all back in New York (due to hectic life schedules) to living and breathing alongside of each other 24/7. The best part of that is… that the best part was exactly that! That we found we loved being together so much and that we quickly grew so accustomed to always having the other one within conversation distance that we proclaimed we’ll never be able to not live like this ever again only a few months after moving to Sweden (and that, friends, was even during the otherwise rather marriage taxing task of renovating our house).
So that’s the living-this-rather-home-centric-downshifted-intentional-life-free-of-full-time-work-schedules alongside each other. But what about the running? Yes, because of course we had to go become devoted ultra runners too, equally eager to rack up the training hours and work towards similar goals. Lord – I wouldn’t hold it one bit against anyone finding us annoying!
“Our daily run basically doubles as a therapy session.”
Training with your partner is something we find incredible valuable for SO many reasons. Our daily run basically doubles as a therapy session and even though that doesn’t always mean we have a relationship issue that needs solving (just as often, it’s one of us venting about something personal or us talking about life or T or something else that needs attention), we feel as though we return home better versions of ourselves every single day. It’s true! Not once have we come back in a bad mood or without a positive vibe going into the rest of the day – but we have for sure left feeling that way, or experienced a dip during our time out there.
We’re lucky enough to share very similar preferences and dreams in our respective athletic pursuits – trail and ultra running being our joint forte – and have typically trained towards the very same goals in the past. That may change as we approach racing as parents and a family and will face situations where we can’t race together the way we used to, but it has worked very well for us to plan and execute our training alongside each other up until this point.
For many male-female couples, it’s hard to train together due to different pace preferences, levels of abilities and ambitions (which makes total sense), but for us, that’s thankfully never been a problem as we’re very equal runners. If we both give a distance, session or race our best, we will score almost the exact same time without trying. Here’s an example: once a week, we do a threshold run over about 12k, and we decide the loop beforehand. We then take turns running it and essentially try to beat each other (a great tip for anyone looking to spice up their workout runs!), and I’m not lying when I say that we ALWAYS end up within 15 to 90 seconds of each other (seen to the overall time, that is).
If we were to take an extra close look at our abilities out there, Mike is definitely a better sprinter than I am and can level things up in a way I can’t over 100-400 meters – but I, on the other hand, have a little more to give when we talk races of 50 km and up. This isn’t too uncommon, seen to gender differences, as the gap in performance between men and women shrinks as the distance grows longer.
“If running is a place where we’re in total sync though, our work life is…”
That’s running. And then we work together too?! Jesus. If running is a place where we’re in total sync though, our work life is more an example of two people complementing each other very well and bringing very different sets of qualities to the table. Naturally, our joint interests and fundamental values and personality types make us want to pursue the same things – but when you look at the tasks performed, there’s absolutely NO overlap. I write, proofread and communicate with the outside world. Mike is – in my eyes – a total computer genius sorting out everything no one ever sees but is completely essential to anything working at all. He does all the photography, too, and the billing. Basically, I spit out a ridiculous amount of words and sentences and hand them to Mike. And then the rest just happens. (While I primary parent.)
That’s right, there’s a kiddo involved! And the very best one at that, of course ❤️ I’m definitely being primary parent most of the time, but Mike is by no means hiding in the office all day and we take turns getting work done whenever and however it makes sense. Right now, about to complete a massive new, exciting project of ours (a digital running course), we end up doing a joint shift in the evenings together, as that allows for actually talking to each other and chiseling out the very last bits as a team.
A team. That’s what we are and that’s what I’m mostly proud of us for – taking on life with each other’s and our family’s wellbeing as our first and foremost focus, and approaching every new day with the same priority in mind: time together. Time together is what ranks the highest in both of our books, and I couldn’t be happier than to have met someone whose values have developed in the same direction as my own over the past few years. Someone that I can say “hey wanna go run 90k through the woods?” to and get a crazy look followed by a smile and a “heck yeah”. Someone that I can say “hey let’s grow all the vegetables we can eat” to and see him hop into his work pants and roll up his sleeves. Someone I can say “hey I believe in keeping our baby close to us” and see him read up on attachment parenting the next night, wear T in a sling from day one and be totally on board holding off on pre-school. Born in two different counties to two very different sets of parents, yet united in every single aspect of life, it seems. Well, except that Mike is weak for Star Trek and I can’t for the life of me see the appeal. Sacrifices, I guess 🤷🏼♀️
I think in short, one could say we’re vibin’, Mike and I. Vibin’ in a way I never in a million years could have imagined vibin’ with someone, and for that and many, many other things, I’ll be forever grateful.
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– Sophia & Michael