February 2011 February 2011 |
At Caulfeld Grammar School in Melbourne, Australia,
parent-teacher conerences ocused on howto handle the two high schoolers’ obviousattraction. But Sarah was dating a collegeguy, and it took Chris three years to winher away. When they fnally got together,it was almost a oregone conclusion theconnection would last a lietime. Nineteenyears later, they share a marriage, business,homes on two continents and a pair o gor-geous daughters.
Even though I’m the proessional ath-lete, Sarah was a competitive swimmer inschool, so she understands what it takes tosucceed. We’ve been in this together sinceday one.
We’ve always shared thesame goals. And not just in triathlon—wehave similar amilies, similar backgrounds,we know everything imaginable abouteach other.
Our involvement in thesport is pretty broad. I race, but we bothwork with our sponsors; we run a triathlondistribution business in Australia. We’vebuilt a lie around the sport.
Earlyon, we chose to travel together. The longestwe’ve ever been apart is three and a hal weeks. Yet we never begrudge each otherour independence. Chris goes o with theguys and I take time with my girlriends.He’s also amazing with our daughters—heloves hanging out with them, no matterhow hard a day he’s had.
In April,Sarah’s running the Paris Marathon withher girlriends. She just started running andcycling in the past year—I think her race ca-reer may take o while mine nears its end!
It’s really cool, actually. For the frsttime in our relationship, we’re running andriding together. Those are some o our bestdates!
In terms o intimacy, I can seehow you might be in trouble balancing aregular ull-time job, amily and training.But or us? Not at all. I mean, what else isthere to do in the aternoon?
It’strue! We’re always super busy, but we alsohave an amazing amount o exibility, soit’s easy to make each other a priority.
frst caught each other’s eye at a triathlon in Portugal. Inspired by a note Leanda let with thehotel concierge, Torsten ollowed her, frst back to training camp in Munich and, later, overseas to Australia. That was 1999; the couplemarried in the summer o 2010 and recently settled into a new home in Tucson, Ariz.
I grew up in the Bavarian Alps. It was idyllic, sheltered. I never intended to leave. But now I’m a world traveler.
In thebeginning, Torsten talked with his eyes and hands, his engaging smile. Outside o Germany he struggled. He was very dependent on me.
I’ve tried to repay her over the years as a coach and training partner—it was something I could give back to her. Back then I wasdependent on her fnancially, also. But we wanted to be together. I I stayed home, where I could work, we would be separated or toolong.
I disagree with people who say, “Love is all you need.” It’s not always enough—not i the stress overwhelms the relationship.There was a time we had only my income and a mortgage and a ton o fnancial pressure. I fnally cracked and walked away or a time.Then Torsten was invited to the States to become a coach. I saw him take a big risk, going outside his comort zone and putting his ownsporting career on hold, to build toward our uture.
I ought or us! Things are easier now—we’ve learned money managementskills, we’ve built a oundation. We’ve learned to communicate and become best riends. But we also have intense passion and attractionor each other.
Granted, during heavy training blocks we’re rarely intimate, but during our easier weeks and o-season, it’s on.The o-season or training is defnitely the on-season or romance.
We’re both very romantic. We’d rather savor it when we canully connect. I you love chocolate and eat it every day, at some point you reach saturation. But i you push it away, wait just a bit longer,then when you indulge you think, “Wow, I’ve never tasted chocolate like that beore!”
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