MarriageI’ve loved sharing our Milford Sound training with you and thank you to all of you who have emailed, texted or shared with me how all of this sweat and endurance building has encouraged you. With that in mind, I’d like to share another little thing I have observed through our training.
Rob is becoming a master of our training track, and his fitness levels have risen dramatically. He is now a very fit machine of a man. We have come to a point where we both realise that Rob is the master of the hills and stairs and I am the master of the flats, downhill slopes and stairs. As I’ve mentioned before, I think it’s because Rob is a well built solid man with strength in his thick leg muscles. This gives him the advantage needed when on a climb. We have realised that in some cases (on our trail) we encounter stairs with well over 200 stairs, Rob takes these two steps at a time, and I chase up behind. Needless to say, his ability to tackle these stairs is extremely impressive. On the flip side of his muscle strength, we have discovered that my tiny, little skinny legs were (indeed) built for speed and agility rather than strength. As he powers through two stairs at a time, I swiftly make my way hardly leaving an imprint in the dust. My father was a very successful long distance runner, and it would seem that I carry his DNA when it comes to training.
Understanding this has allowed us to use each other’s strengths to pull our time up. We are aware of where we can push and pull one another along offering us the opportunity to cut minutes off of our time each training session. It’s almost as if we have created a training dance. Rob goes ahead, by a safe distance on the climbs, and then I catch him quickly on the flats. Then, side-by-side we descend slopes and stairs with me sneaking away and putting distance between us once again. We have come to this very naturally, and it works perfectly. There are ebb and flow, yin and yang, flow between us.
When I began observing this and how we had deliberately let the stronger one lead I, was encouraged at how we have learnt to complement each other on this journey of preparation and training. Strangely, I find that our training seems to be a reflection of the years we’ve spent together, understanding, learning about each other and humbly realising that at times one will lead and one will support. And, in time, the balance will change depending on the situation or circumstance. When we allow ourselves to live in this space, I have recognised that we are both stronger and we are can achieve more. He spurs me on and I him.
I wish I could say we do this all the time and that we have done so throughout our lifetime but alas, we are humans with our internal challenges and struggles and we certainly haven’t always worked this way. In fact, it has taken years to find our rhythm.
Our training has definitely been beneficial to our physical health but even greater I’ve realised the benefits to our emotional and relational health. Like most couples who have been together for as many years as Rob and I, our lives are intertwined on so many levels. For Rob and I, we are possibly intertwined more than others because we work together. It has been said, and I know it to be true that Rob and I work together well. We are very aware of each other’s strengths in the work environment and whilst we will discuss things we generally stay out of each other’s lane and let each other get the job done. For example, I’m not much into the detail of the business, and truthfully  I’m not very interested in that side of things, and Rob loves this side, and he’s great at it. I, on the other hand, am very interested in people, and so that’s where my gifts sit, so I develop our staff and connect with the parents, and Rob lets me fly in this mostly uninterrupted.
Rob and I are acutely aware of each other’s gifting and strengths. We have intentionally done a lot of development in this area over the years to understand one another. This investment has helped a lot. Something I encourage within a marriage/partnership. Of course, there is a lot of room for growth and sometimes growth areas aren’t obvious to us. Through training, I have come to know that it is important to work this out in the little things as well as the bigger obvious things because often it’s the little things that can trap us more because they don’t seem as important and yet they are. The little things that build up soon become very big obstacles to overcome.
This is something we did whilst raising our children, when one was not as strong the other stepped in and it worked – well, most of the time. Again, no one will ever get it just right and we didn’t always nail it but we did our best and made every effort to find our rhythm early on in life. One area we have identified that still needs work is in letting each other have their say on matters without turning off or without interrupting. I’ve learned this through our training and I can see that if we allow each other space to pass by (in conversation), give lead time and not step into the others lane we will achieve better results.  This will require some much-needed training on both sides :)!
Like training, relationships are a life long commitment to learning, growing, stretching and adapting. We will never get either perfect, and there is always room for change and growth. However, we can get stronger, and the experience can become much more enjoyable allowing us the opportunity to observe and engage in life around us. The sights and sounds of life that can pass us by if we aren’t engaged body, soul and spirit.
January marked 44 years of marriage for us, and we are still learning and going great guns. We are committed to one another. Committed to love, to learn, to grow, to challenge and to encourage. My hope is that as I share our experience here through vulnerability and honesty you are encouraged to look for the strengths in your partner and see them in yourself. That you too will be aware of them and find your rhythm so you can let one lead and one follow and visa verse when it benefits you as a team.
And, lastly as you do this I promise, you will enjoy the ride more and accomplish much more in your relationship, family and life as you help each other shine. Through this example, we also teach our grandchildren and children how to do this well with each other. Allowing them to see this, opens their world up to all sorts of possibilities. At Little Miracles, we have been doing a course with some of our staff in an effort to help them know their strengths and that of their colleagues so that each individual is able to reach their full potential. We are excited about this because it has been extremely valuable and fruitful. Our staff, as individuals, are stronger which means our teams are stronger which means our children will reap the benefits.
Stay tuned because this program is something we hope to develop in all of our Centres next year and we may be offering it to parents as well. Keep watching the Little Miracles posts and we will let you know when and where through the year.
Enjoy each other and keep drawing the gold out in each other #littlemiraclescommunity
Much love and respect,
Susanna