You know by now that I’m passionate about serving women through nutrition, fitness, weight loss, and wellness education. You know what else I’m passionate about? Building a BIG life. A life worth living on your terms.
I’m not someone to go small on things, and marriage is no different.
Marriage may seem like an unlikely topic here, but happy relationships are critical to your success. If you’re going to build a big life and reach your dreams - regardless of what area they’re in - then this is absolutely worth a chat.
My husband Hans is also an Olympic rower. Yup, #OlympianCouple over here. We met in 2012, started dating in 2013, and have been inseparable ever since...except for when we spent a year on opposite coasts when Hans was training for the 2016 Olympics. We got engaged in 2018 and got married in 2019.
Honestly? For a long time, I wasn’t even into the idea of marriage. I didn't think I was cut out for it. I was hyper focused on the pursuit of making the National Team while I was training and competing in my 20s and wasn't going to let anyone distract me from my dream.
Hans and I met while training on the same small rowing team in Oakland. Suffice it to say that Hans softened me up enough to show me that we can accomplish bigger dreams together and the most important team I’ll ever be on is the one I’m on with him. I know, getting mushy already!
As we approach our first wedding anniversary, I’m filled with absolute gratitude for everything he brings to my life. He's the best part of my day, every day.
Here are five things you might not know about our marriage.
No. 1: We dream. A LOT.
Dreaming of the kind of life we want in the future is always fun, and we do it constantly. Ever since we started dating in 2013, we’ve talked through what we want our lives to look like, from travel, to careers, to our marriage and lifestyle.
The result? We have a clear vision of what we want our lives to look like in the future, and that drives us to achieve it.
This is actually the same exercise I have my weight loss clients do first, too: cast a vision of what they want their wellness to look like in the future. It’s powerful, no doubt.
Hans and I are still early in our years, so it’s constantly evolving, bit by bit. We have frequent “check ins” to see if the vision has changed for either of us. Usually it’s a little tweak or a “hey, I had this crazy idea - how cool would THIS be?”
We’re fiercely passionate about creating a life worth living, businesses worth building, and a marriage worth having.
No. 2: We’re entrepreneurs.
Speaking of businesses, Hans and I are both entrepreneurs. I’m a trainer and weight loss coach who helps women nationwide get fit, lose weight, and discover their greatness (if you’re new here, welcome!). Hans is a luxury real estate agent in the Bay Area who also runs a podcast production company.
When we’re not hustling in these businesses, we also own one together for our real estate investing.
Instead of following the traditional “get married, buy a house, and have kids” route, we set a goal of buying at least one rental property a year. We’re on track so far, having bought our first property before we got married and our second one just a couple months after our wedding. They’re all out of state, so there’s a decent amount of time and creativity that goes into this project.
It’s safe to say we rarely take weekends off. Sundays are work days; I’ve got a consistently full day of clients and prep for the week and Hans is usually out showing houses to his clients, negotiating contracts, or getting homes ready to go on the market.
We honestly don’t feel like all this is “work.” We’re passionate about our clients, love working hard, and feel lucky that we chose this life.
No. 3: We work out together.
Most women I know are either terrified to work out with their spouse or totally turned off by the idea. Since Hans and I met as part of the same small, elite rowing team, working out together was basically our version of dating.
We’ve carried that beyond our rowing years and still work out together every morning. We go running, do interval circuits, lift weights, and do workouts on the rowing machine. It’s the best way to start the day. We push ourselves, challenge each other, and connect without distractions.
One of the best adventures we trained together for was hiking the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim in a day last September. It’s a 24+ mile hike with over 10,000 feet of elevation change. It’d been on my bucket list for years and we did it just months after getting married.
No. 4: Neither of us is from the Bay Area.
Yup, we’re both transplants. I’m an east coaster, having grown up in the Boston area and gone to school in the midwest. Until I moved to the Bay Area a decade ago, I was used to snow, freezing rain, and humid summers.
Hans is a 5th generation Seattle-ite who went to the University of Washington. The first time he moved away from home was to come to California at age 24.
Our families still live on opposite coasts but we never want to feel like we’re too far away, so we rack up quite a few frequent flyer miles visiting them every year. Last year, we got married near my parents’ house in Rhode Island and spent Christmas with some of Hans’s family in Seattle before COVID hit.
No. 5: We actually do a weekly date night.
You might’ve gathered by now that Hans and I are busy. (Who isn’t?)
The one thing we’ve never let go of is our weekly date night. We started it in 2016 when we both retired from rowing and started our “real” life. No matter how busy the week is, Wednesday nights are sacred.
Before you imagine some romantic dinner out every week, it’s not always that glamorous. Let’s be honest, it’s rarely that glamorous. Most of the time, we sit out with a bottle of wine and then cook dinner at home. Both our love languages are quality time, so it’s a perfect opportunity to put our phones away and connect mid-week.
In a word...
If I were to sum this year of marriage up in one word, it would be BUILDING. We’re building our marriage, our businesses, and our future together, and it’s the most fun thing ever.
Now I want to hear from you: what are your rituals with your spouse? How do you connect despite living busy lives? Leave me a comment on Instagram or send me a message on Facebook to let me know.