A Better Marriage: An Important Non-Physical Benefit to Running

Like thousands of others, I’m a committed reader of Michael Hyatt’s blog, Intentional Leadership. His thinking and advice have influenced me in a variety of positive ways since I began following him over four years ago.

To date, I would say the biggest impact his writing has had on me is the commitment I made last year to run a half marathon here in Kansas City. Reading his posts about running were an important part of my motivation and preparation for the big day on October 15th.

One of Michael’s many posts on running was titled, 3 Non-Physical Benefits to Running. It reminded me of our common appreciation for the sport, but it also prompted me to realize that there is a fourth, very important non-physical benefit from running (and walking); an enhanced relationship with my wife.

You see, I was fortunate to have Linda as my training partner. Together, we used a combination of short runs during the weekdays, a long run on the weekends and intermittent walks with our dog, Merlin, as our workout regimen.

I found our conversations while training to be the most important benefit we enjoyed. Why? Because conversations are at the core of building strong relationships.

Here are a few things I noticed about this fourth important benefit of running and walking together:

  • A commitment to scheduled training allowed for anticipation of our time together. I found this motivating.
  • Weekday training time gave us a chance to unwind and share things we experienced during the workday.
  • Our conversations let us dream together about the future. This was especially timely since we had recently become empty-nesters.

Running and walking happen to be two catalysts for conversation that work well for Linda and me, but I realize they may not be for everyone.

I believe the most important thing is to find a common interest which will help spark and support some good conversation within any of your relationships, either at home or in the workplace.

 “Jogging is very beneficial. It’s good for your legs and your feet. It’s also very good for the ground. It makes it feel needed.” Charles Schulz (Peanuts cartoonist)

Question: What do you use as a catalyst for having regular conversations with the people that matter most to you?