I met Ryan shortly after my second (ugh!) divorce. Lucky for me, Ryan had also experienced his second divorce. (Use your imagination to work through what two divorces can do to a person). We met, he fell in love with me immediately (naturally ☺), and we were off to The Netherlands to get married 9 months later. (Fun Fact: Ryan’s Dutch and can work anywhere in the European Economic Area). That is all just the beginning…
Ryan and I met at a Halloween party. He was dressed as Goose, only because his Maverick was too short to be Goose. If you get to know Ryan, he’s much more of a Maverick–good luck getting him to do anything conventional, but I guarantee, whatever he does works and he somehow always comes out where he intended. Ryan’s pick-up line was asking me to share a heater, he’s always cold, and it worked.
We had our first two dates, the very next day. Our first date was scheduled for 12:00p.m. I was late and found him at a used book sale at the library where he chose to wait. When I got there, he asked me for money! You would think this was a rough start: I’m late, he’s asking for money. As it turned out, it was the best start ever.
Our second date was a few hours later, neither of us were late and he didn’t ask me for money. By the end of the second date, it was clear I had met my soulmate.
I can’t remember our third, fourth, fifth, etc. dates. What I do remember is that we go on a date every week and have since we met. We have visited four continents, 14 countries, and ran over 6,000 miles together. We own two companies, one brand, and are responsible for one very happy marriage.
When I met Ryan, I was working for a Venture Capital group out of Australia and we (the group and me) had just brought EnVie Fitness to North America as a franchise. I was both Chief Operating Officer, solo North American employee, and franchisee (flagship location). Overwhelmed? Maybe.
Gracie was three years old, and though she didn’t have the routine “terrible two’s”, she was on a mission to coin the term “test mom until she is beyond exhausted three’s”.
Question: What do you do when you are teaching 12 hours of fitness classes per week, starting a franchise in North America, being a franchisee, opening a flagship location, being a mom, friend, volunteer back-up dancer in a local band, running one half-marathon per month, and traveling site-to-site to train new franchisees, and then you meet your soulmate?
Answer: You ask him join you.
Ryan’s background entails doing everything and anything, which he attributes to his well-roundedness. I questioned that philosophy at first, but it is actually true. By the time we met, Ryan had been a bar owner, municipal contractor, educator, and an EMT (random, I know!). He also renovated homes for resale, did his own form of specialized lobbying/PR for a private equity group, and he took some time to live in Mexico. He explained to me how right out of college, he tried Corporate America, and instead of learning about business or life, he became an amazing ping-pong player. (You can ask him to share that story–be forewarned...Ryan has no short version of a story).
Once Ryan and I joined forces, every stressful thing in my life dissipated. Gracie transitioned into having an additional male figure in her life with ease, EnVie Fitness became manageable, my professional health excelled, my personal health improved, and my life became...mine.
Since that Halloween, life has been grand. We continue to travel, work together, parent together, and strive to inspire others to live a life well-deserved.