Having your husband as your workout partner can add a new layer of commitment and closeness to your relationship.
I gasp for air as sweat rolls down my nose, pooling onto our living room floor under my chin. My entire body begins to shake and I want to drop from this wretched plank position with every ounce of my being. Then I look over to my right. His red, sweaty face flashes me a helpless smile as his body also trembles furiously, threatening to collapse. But he’s not giving up. So I won’t either.
This sweaty, torturous scene is just a regular Wednesday night in the Hernandez household. My husband and I try to work out together three to five times a week, including personal training sessions, home fitness videos, neighborhood runs, and the occasional yoga class.
While we may have started this routine with the ordinary goals of six-pack abs and greasy cheat meals without the guilt, we’ve ended up getting more valuable results than those. Working out together has done more than make us comfortable giving each other sweaty hugs. It’s allowed me to see my husband in a new and deeper way.
I’ve learned even more about how he ticks, how reliable and strong he is, and how a little encouragement from me can go a long way. The view I have of my husband — and hopefully the view he has of me too — has become more clear and balanced since we’ve added this sweaty routine to our relationship.
I trust in his strength –
I’ve come to know my husband’s strength through watching him deal with the heartbreak of losing close friends and family members. He handles financial and business adversities without a flinch, even when I feel they should be devastating and paralyzing. My husband just keeps on grinding, without caution or hesitation.
Watching my husband power through a set of 20 squats and burpees is almost like witnessing his inner strength personified. His solid decision-making skills, his steady handling of overwhelming emotions, and his rational thinking through chaos — there it all is, right in front of me.
I can see it in his biceps and quads, challenged yet unwavering. I can see it in the determination on his face, blocking out the negative and focusing on completion. His strength is reliable and I can see it clearly, which allows me to trust in it without a doubt.
Observing his strength pushes me to be stronger. Although he stands easily on his own two feet most of the time, I strive to be his fearless counterpart, ready to step in when he needs me.
I honor his work ethic –
Vowing to spend the rest of your life with another human being is a beautiful, exhausting, infuriating, and amazing thing. I’ll admit, when the going gets tough, I’m usually the first one to shut down and start daydreaming about packed bags and exit strategies. My husband has always been more patient and dedicated to this whole marriage thing than I am.
Working out with him has shown me how deep he holds his devotion and commitment to all things in his life. My husband’s work ethic is something I honor and his dedication to popping in a 30-minute fitness video even after a long, tough 12-hour day at work just makes me admire him more.
His ability to ‘show up’ no matter how he feels or what circumstances we’re under is a pronounced influence on me. Since we started our joint workout sessions, I’ve tried to focus more on increasing my own dedication and re-shaping my work ethic in our marriage and in every aspect of my life.
I rely on his confidence –
I’ve learned in a marriage, you can never throw out too many compliments or encouraging words to your partner. Even the smallest little exchange of a ‘Good job, Babe’ during a sweat session can motivate us to jump higher, lift heavier, or hold that squat position for six extra seconds.
My husband’s confidence in his workouts and in life are a constant shining influence on me and how hard I push myself. Jogging next to my confident teammate on a three miler makes me take on that confidence as my own. He knows he can finish this run, and finish it fast — so I know I can too.
I’ve come to rely on the confidence he exudes during these workouts. I suck some of it up for myself and before we know it, we’re getting stronger, faster, and better together. Encouraging and pushing each other through the tough parts builds our confidence in our relationship, in our own lives, and in each other.
We depend on each other –
The benefits of working out together go way beyond our clothes fitting better, or getting to post sweaty selfies on Instagram. We’ve bonded over our nightly perspiration time and learned so much about each other and how to keep our marriage strong.
I’ve realized how much my husband’s strength, work ethic, and confidence helps me to be a better person. We motivate, inspire, and encourage each other every day. While it may just be to do an extra three pushups or to jog an extra quarter mile, it still builds a fierce foundation for our relationship to tackle even bigger adversities when needed.
Who thought dumbbells, exercise mats, and running shoes could be the new tools for a successful marriage? Marriage itself is hard work, but when the hard work of a regular exercise routine is added to the mix, believe it or not — it actually becomes easier. My favorite workout partner just happens to also be my life partner. It doesn’t get better than that.