It has been raining torrentially in Southern California so sunny days have been hard to come by lately. Today was different. It poured and flooded yesterday, but this morning the sun peaked out and we had our chance before the next storm was due to roll in! So, I woke up my wife Libby of 32 years, gave her a coffee IV, she put on her running clothes and off we went. 4-minute run, 1-minute walk, 4-minute run, 1-minute walk out of our apartment, down towards the school, around the lake, into the neighborhoods, back to the lake and then back to our apartment – a perfect 2.5 miles that we were to do twice to get to Libby’s magic 5-mile goal. It was hard, but with the walk breaks totally doable even for our 50 + year old bodies that are a little bigger than they should be.
It was not always this way. When Libby and I got the urge to run over 10 years ago encouraged by our runner children, we aimed high – the LA marathon – that will motivate us! Well, it did, and we followed the training schedule religiously and ultimately ran the marathon, but we learned something those months. It was REALLY hard to run together. I was a morning person, she wasn’t. I like walk breaks, she wants to grunt it out slowly. She hates running behind me but it’s hard for me to run so slow. We accomplished our goal, but missed each other a lot during the training.
That experience led to years of “trying” to run that it generally led to arguing. She so wanted to do it together, but we went at a different pace and strategy, liked different routes around our old neighborhood and our ‘together time’ on the track quickly turned into a time that was negative.
Otherwise, we had a beautiful romantic and fun marriage. But running together just didn’t work… so we gave it up. I would run by myself or with my daughters, and if we were doing a half marathon “together,” it was in reality, separate because I would run ahead on my own.
We moved into an apartment in a beautiful area in the wine country of Temecula exactly a year ago after becoming empty nesters, downsizing, and moving out of the corporate world. In this new place in our lives in transition, waiting on God, we are together A LOT and we love it. However, with a nice gym at the apartment and a trail around the lake to run around for my walk-run 2-mile jaunt, I was off on my own every morning super early listening to podcasts and doing my own thing. I would then wake up Libby and she would do her 5 mile circuitous route through the neighborhood.
When she begged me to run with her, I just blew her off. I needed to go early, it was impossible to wake her up, I wanted to always run around the lake (why would you run in the neighborhoods?), I needed to take walk breaks and there was no way I was running 5 miles…
Then one morning I had a revelation. God revealed to me how stubborn I had been as to my own routine, when it was so important for Libby for me to do this with her. This woman was not only the love of my life, but had endured, supported and loved me through some really tough times. Could I not give her this one gift she so wanted?
So, to her shock, I delayed my workout, told her I wanted to try her 5-mile route, and if she would agree to take walk breaks, I was excited for us to run together. Her response was amazing! She was so grateful to have me as a running buddy in our effort to jointly get in shape and lose some weight. It made her workout time not only easier as we could push each other, but way more fun as we started each run with telling each other back and forth what we were thankful for. Our bodies, our spirits, and our marriage were all strengthened.
As for me, backing off my stubborn routine and trying out something new was not only good for me, but it turns out that her plan was way better. When I ran around the lake, although beautiful, after 2 or 3 times around it got repetitive and without someone to urge me on, I would only last 2 miles. With Libby’s perfect 2.5-mile double loop there were markers for each leg of the journey, still plenty of beautiful lake time to look forward to, and with a partner, 5 miles was way easier.
We now run together every day we can. Wherever we are, we are totally on the same page, and it has made our marriage better than it was before. We learned a wonderful lesson giving up your individual rights and acting for the benefit of togetherness is the secret to making marriage what it should be – an abundant life partnership!
Alan received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Government from Abilene Christian University, summa cum laude in 1987, where he was a University Scholar. He continued his education at Pepperdine University School of Law on a full Dean’s scholarship graduating with a Juris Doctor, cum laude in 1990 and was a member of the Dean’s Honor List for all 3 years. Alan is AV rated Preeminent by Martindale Hubbell and admitted in all state and federal district courts in California, the U.S. Court of Appeal for the 9th Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court.
He is honored to be designated as an Aviation Law Expert in Who’s Who Legal for 2018. He is a Panel Attorney for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and an Adjunct Professor of Law in Aviation at Pepperdine University School of Law. He is a speaker and writer in the areas of aviation law and risk mitigation.
Alan is the Founder of the Aviation Risk Prevention Institute which helps aviation companies manage risk creatively and effectively. See www.aviationriskpreventioninstitute.com. Alan has been married to his beautiful wife Libby for over 30 years and has four adult children and one grandson. He loves to cook, read, travel and play beach volleyball.