Love and Fitness: Girl You Know It’s True

The viking rocking a mullet and me, a pair of stirrup pants. Awww  yeah.

The Viking rocking a mullet, and me, a pair of stirrup pants. Awww yeah.

The 28th of February will mark 21 years (updated for 2015) of marriage for Viking and me, as he’s become affectionately known by a few of my online friends.

During the last 20 years we’ve spawned two daughters and have encountered, like most couples, a gazillion obstacles along the way.

Recently someone asked me how we’ve stayed together so long, and although the Viking might chime in with “it’s cheaper to keep  ‘er,”  I really think there’s a certain factor that’s gotten us this far.


What’s Fitness Got to Do with It?

There’s always that initial attraction in the beginning, right?

Twenty years ago we met in the health food store I co-owned on Maui at the time and I asked if I could help him find anything.

He said yes.

It was windsurfer/surfer girl meets hockey player doing security for one-half of the infamous duo Milli Vanilli.

Yes, I said Milli Vanilli.

He loved to watch me windsurf and I loved to watch him skate. Although we were from two different worlds, it was a common thread.

Sharing the Ups and Downs

Relationships seem to ebb and flow. Sometimes you can feel so connected with a person that you seem to share the same thoughts. When they hurt, you hurt; when they’re happy, you’re happy. Other times, you feel like you come from two different solar systems.

But for whatever reason, through all of it, we’ve become each other’s support system and biggest fan. We share health and fitness info, check to see if the other got in their workout, and make fun of each other when we eat crappy food.

We try to motivate each other to be as healthy as possible. Not perfect, but healthy. We realize that one day, one is going to hold the other’s hand while they leave this life. We want as much time here together as possible. Somewhere along the line the commitment to healthy living became much more than just how we look. It became who we are and what has weaved us together.

Taking Fitness Beyond the Mirror

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in ourselves that we don’t realize how much being there for someone else can be the catalyst for a lifestyle change. We can read all the articles and links on Twitter and watch vlogs everyday, but until we tap into something deeper, something that becomes intrinsic, every feeling and life obstacle will threaten to push us away from what is truly good for us to be whole and healthy.

So if you’re here reading this post it’s likely you are interested in your health or someone else’s health that’s in your life – your child, your friend, your parent, the love of your life.

If you haven’t really committed to a healthy lifestyle, what do think might be stopping you beyond time and money? Is it undervaluing your worth as a person, or maybe allowing someone else to undervalue you? If you have made a lifestyle change, what do you think caused the change of heart?


You might also find mildly entertaining : How Getting Fit is Like Getting Married




  1. You are amazing Joyce and it’s like you’re forcing me to read this just mentioning Milli Vanilli. I’m going to go put on my 3/4 stretch pants and start working out today. 😉 Love you bunches and bunches.

    • Joyce Cherrier says:

      Heather, I thought of you the minute I typed Milli Vanilli lol! Love you bunches and bunches times 10 😉 

      • Heather O says:

        Happy anniversary too beautiful. How rude of me not to mention that … I was giggling so hard over the M.V. business that I was forgot to write that … thanks for always being my sunshine and inspiration. <3

  2. I love the article Joyce.. yes i remember my first encounter with Marty was about fitness, and healthy eating, he is very particular with what he eats, and he showed me apps he uses to track his walking.  Using it now.  It’s great when our partners are always supportive of us, not just health wise but in every aspect of our life.. Happy anniversary to you and the Viking!! I am really blessed to have met you both when i was in New Orleans.  Hope to see you guys again in the near future!! You guys look awesome together!! =)

  3. and sometimes we just get wrapped up in ourselves huh? Im a woman who rocks the selfcare (Im definitely not the “I put everyone else first” :)) and I frequently need to remind myself to step back and let those who are priorities KNOW THEY ARE STILL PRIORITIES.  love this.

    • I think you’re a great example of letting those who are a priority know. Loved your post today on that very fact. I feel like 2012 is the year of the family. I know that should be every year but it just seems to be more clear now. 

  4. Joyce, this is beautiful! It is so wonderful to learn how people met and how that relates to the longevity of the relationship. I think when people meet on a common ground with a basis for a common interest the roots are more likely to run deep and keep the relationship steady over time. Sure, strong winds will blow the leaves off and make the tree bend and sway. It may even snap a few branches. But strong trees endure. And like those strong trees, relationships with a strong base will endure as well.

    My heartfelt congratulations to you and the Viking – may you both be keepin’ it fit for many more years!

    • Love how you said that Sara — relating a tree to a relationship. They are so similar really. Thanks so much for sharing those words and thank you for the congrats. The Viking says thanks too! 🙂 

  5. First, an early “Congrats” on your 19 years Joyce! Marriage is certainly a journey with ebbs and flows ha ha! And fitness, like marriage, takes commitment and perseverance. I just started a regular workout regimen and I’m still at that stage where I’m trying to make it an intrinsic part of my life. It can be quite challenging when everyday “life” seems to fight for time. I hope to continue and eventually have it develop into a lifestyle change rather than “it’s a chore” mindset. Thanks for the inspiration Joyce!

    little grasshopper

    • Thanks for the congrats Kathy! You like that ebb & flow thing? I choose my words carefully 😉 Congrats to you on your workouts! The more you commit to doing them, the more they will become part of who you are. It really is like a relationship commitment. Thanks so much for stopping by 🙂 

  6. Jack Sh*t says:

    What a coincidence: your husband worked with Milli Vanilli and I’m absolutely awesome at lip syncing.

    Excellent point, which I finally got to after hoping over and watching some Milli Vanilli music videos for a half hour or so.

    • I’m convinced Jack there’s people secretly listening to Milli Vanilli – too embarrassed to admit it. It’s all kinda stuck in your head now right? We’ll all be humming it all day – happily. 

  7. Joyce ~ happy early anniversary to you and “The Viking”. 

    I’ll admit I’m totally thinking of heading to YouTube after commenting here to find some Milli Vanilli videos. 🙂

    Thank you for being a part of my lifestyle change. I didn’t make as many changes as I should have back when we chatted in late 2010. After throwing out my back this past Oct. I took it a lot more seriously and I’m now working with a personal trainer 3x a week. While getting more tone and possibly losing weight is a nice “side” benefit of my sessions with her I chose to start working with her so I could strengthen muscles and never experience something more serious than I did in Oct.

    Thank you for being who you are!

    • Thanks Michelle and the Viking thanks you too! Love that you’re working with a personal trainer! A good trainer is priceless and so wonderful for accountability and safety especially when dealing with issues like your back. They show what you can do and still progress. Keep going strong and always here for ya! 🙂 

      • I joke with her that she’s worth her weight in gold (and she’s really small). I’m very pleased with the progress I’ve made so far and the accountability alone makes the fee well worth it.

        • She sounds wonderful! You can have a trainer with all the expertise in the world but if you don’t have that connection it can affect your progress. It’s awesome you found each other! 

  8. Girl, you know it’s true…that was my JAM!  Beautiful post.  Love how you encourage each other and laugh about the junk food too.  Sounds like a great marriage. 

    • Is it stuck in your head now? lol … it has been in mine the whole day! Thanks Barbara, we’re far from perfect but he still puts up with me. That makes him amazing! 😉 

  9. This was a great post! I don’t want to date myself, but I remember Milli Vanilli! LOL! This year one of my goals is to not only eat healthy foods, but to exercise more!! Following you on Twitter so looking forward to your tweets (and posts). Thank you! x 

  10. blogomomma says:

    In my mind your vows would have been something like …to have and to hold in fitness and in health….

    You had me at  “when they hurt, you hurt”  – my mind wandered thinking….and sometimes you want to hurt them – but that’s just mostly when they interrupt our phone summits.  Truly you had me teary at “holding hands” ….beautifully written.

    There is nothing like looking back in time and seeing how quickly it passes and realizing whoever said you have all the time in the world was a complete and total moron.  You inspire us with your knowledge, caring and guidance as a couple to be better to ourselves.

     Happy Anniversary and many many more….. love you guys!

    Now, if you’ll excuse me – I have to get my spandex and doc martins on and  follow
    @fabmorvan  on Twitter.  I would pay big $ to see the viking do the swing dance… just sayin’

    Girl, you know it’s true!


  11. SOOOOOO beautiful! It’s funny… “He” is the healthy one… I’m the wannabe healthy one. But he is always encouraging and supporting my efforts. Not so I have a tighter arse, but he wants me to be healthy, happy, and around… for a long time… One of the topics that came up as we contemplated this house-buying-shacking-up thing was health. We agreed that we’re healthier together – we eat more veggies, we ride our bikes, we go for walks – and those are all parts of sharing and living a lovely life together. Isn’t it grand? Congratulations Joyce – and yes – LOVELY post!

    • I just had a visual of you two chopping veggies, making a salad, and enjoying your new digs. Awesome. So great to share life with someone that brings out the best in us. Love ya and Thanks! 

  12. Happy Anniversary!

    What a lovely post.  I am also really fortunate in having a 20+ year happy marriage, and yet in never occurred to me how much it’s contributed to our lives to both be committed to making (mostly) healthy choices.

    I’d  love my gal even if she ate cheetos and diet coke for breakfast and played video games all day, but wow, it sure is easier when you’ve got a partner who’s active and energetic and who is committed to making the most out of life.

    Congrats to you both and hope you’re having a wonderful anniversary!

    • Thanks Crabby 🙂 We want them around for a long time right?! Having something in common that’s positive helps so much, you’re so right. Happy twenty to you guys! Cheers to 50 more! 

  13. Hi Joyce and Happy Anniversary to you and the Viking. It’s a beautiful article, thank you for sharing!

  14. So. Awesome. I’ve been working hard at this fitness/healthy living for a while and honestly it’s because most of my family is 300ish pounds, if I don’t work hard at it, that’s where my body goes. Hubby doesn’t have this issue, but the last few years he’s been inspired by me to start making changes. Love it.

    • You’re an inspiration Kerri! I see you day in, day out working at it. Love that you’ve inspired your hubby. Health is so much more than just weight right? It’s everything from a healthy heart to a healthy spirit. You’re awesome. 

  15. Jody - Fit at 54 says:

    Love! being married 28 years, I get it! I think people are too willing to give up these days instead of working on it. It takes work just like losing weight  & getting healthy & fit takes work. I could have given up many times but we kept at it & it has never been better!

    I think it is not only the possible lack of worth a person has BUT many just find it too hard but isn’t your health & long term health important enough to put in the hard work. We are all worth that! :-)Happy early anniversary to you!!! 

    • Thanks Jody and wow! 28! I guess really the take away is — marriage. health, kids – all the important stuff — all takes work. It’s daunting when you focus on just the work but a much more positive journey when we focus on the prize 🙂 

  16. Suzanne @WorkoutNirvana says:

    Such a lovely post. So inspiring to hear about a long-lasting, successful marriage. If you can find someone who enjoys the same passions as you, that’s fortunate. But if you find someone who values your passion and supports you, it’s a blessing. Congratulations 🙂

    • Thanks Suzanne! Love what you said: “But if you find someone who values your passion and supports you, it’s a blessing” .. I think that matters even more than sharing a passion. 🙂 

  17. …and just when I was thinking about love and marriage and all that other stuff today (after an awesome lunch date with my hubby). It was nice to read this. Despite what people might believe, marriage is beautiful and it CAN work long-term.   

  18. Joyce, you are so clever with your posts! Congrats on your anniversary and here’s to many more years! Those ups and downs keep us in shape, don’t they? 

    Sending a hug! 

  19. Cheaper to keep er?!?!  Has The Viking been talking with my hubby??  Lol!  Love the article Joyce! And it is true you can be the catalyst for someone else to make healthy changes. When Tom saw how much happier I was by changing my wicked food ways, and gym ratting he decided to join me.  Makes my work outs so much more fun when he joins me 🙂

    Wishing you and your husband many more happy years together! Happy Anniversary!

  20. Excellent article and points.Happy Anniversary!! I met my fiancee in the gym and it has actually been a large part of our growth together as a couple. We too come from two different backgrounds but we share a common ground of health and accountability with each other, not to mention Christ. It feels good to have a life partner that cares about your health and is not always about what is on the surface. I thank God for her each day and not only the lifestyle change but the change of heart to that made what was seperated now whole. Fitness and your relationship should be a lifestyle beyond what is outside(obstacles).

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