chilling feet

chilling feet

Thursday, June 1, 2017

10 Year Anniversary at the South Pole

(A long way back. A day to remember. June 2, 2007)
Today Sarah and I celebrate ten years since that wonderful day back in 2007 when we married at Germantown Methodist Church. I am not sure either of us knew the adventures we would go on at the time - well maybe I had no idea. It is entirely possible Sarah has had all of this planned out ahead of time. She is crafty like that. Please apologize an entire post where I gush over my wonderful wife.

Sarah. She is indeed crafty.

She is also one of the most intelligent people I have ever met. It does get old when your best friend and constant companion is always more than a few steps ahead of you, but let's not get caught up on that little fact. She is our focus and she is impressive.

I knew she was special when I first saw her.

I was a freshman in college when I became aware of her as a person. My mother called me in my dorm room, remember those days when no one had cell phones really, and she said, "This girl just broke your girlfriend's school record." Mothers certainly have a way of getting a son's attention. After some meandering about how I dated the girl who previously held the school record but she was never officially a girlfriend, I said, "What's her name?"

Surely this is a strange way to hear about your future wife for the first time, but that was still years off.

I saw Sarah at the TSAA State cross-country meet. I had driven to the Nashville area to see my younger brother Bryan and my previous team run. Naturally I cheered on the girls Houston High School team while I was at the meet. Sarah went running by and I probably shouted some generic cheer like, "Go Houston! Ya!" And then I thought something along the lines of, "Wow, she can run. She's cute too."

Cute. Cute was the right word at the time. She was a freshman in high school and I was in college.

The next time I remember seeing Sarah was at a running camp we put on for a while. It was a fun way to use the gifts of running to give back to others. We did our best to provide an atmosphere where local runners could come and learn how to become better runners, with the ultimate goal of giving some tips on how to get a collegiate scholarship from running. Sarah did not attend the camp as a regular but would show up randomly for certain days. During one of our sessions where we asked the runners a bunch of questions about running and other such related topics. Sarah was present and left an indelible mark on me.

(One from the honeymoon in St. Lucia)
She runs fast, she's cute, and she's obviously smart. What would you do?

I told my younger brother he should ask her out. Seriously. He did not ask her out. 

After another year or so I saw Sarah again, most likely in similar circumstances as before. Since Bryan had ignored my earlier brotherly advice I told him he should really ask her out this time. Thank goodness he never did! That would just be weird.

Both of us continued our separate lives for a few more years. Running stayed a major part of each of our separate lives and it was again the common factor that drew us together again. This time I was in seminary and she was preparing to enter her junior year of college.  As runners sometimes do, we both signed up to run the Firecracker 5k for St. Jude. When the race was over I was walking around with my younger brother and his friend Ricky. Sarah was walking in the opposite direction and everyone started talking. I still did not really know her too well but came away thinking similar thoughts to every other time I had seen her. There is something special about this girl.

Not long after, thanks to the continuation of our running camp and a collegiate Bible study I was helping lead through Hope Church (long story but both factors I used to ask her out), Sarah and I went on our first official date. Our story as a couple was beginning and the girl who had always impressed me became more and more amazing as I learned more about her.

There were trips to go visit her in Lexington, VA where she attended Washington and Lee University.  There were trips where she would come down to visit me in Atlanta, GA where I was attending seminary at Mercer University. We were busy falling in love with one another.  Those were some good days. I am still convinced these must have been among my most impressive moments to have caught and held the attention of Sarah.

And then at Jordan's Point park, on November 7th 2005, she agreed to marry me.

(Now look at our silly selves. We were made for each other)
The rest has been the greatest adventure of my life. My love and admiration of her as a person has only grown exponentially as I watched her work her way through medical school and an emergency medicine residency program. We have both worked hard to stay in love through such a trying process. Sarah has had to delve deeper than me, reaching into inner reserves of strength, kindness, and love that most of us just don't ever need to tap.

She is still impressing me. When we talk about our dreams hers include the South Pole, getting back into Nepal to volunteer at camps for climbers, pushing her talents to take her wherever we might want to go, visiting more of the Arctic, and seeing as much of this world as we can together.

I could go on and on. Suffice it to say, Sarah is the woman of my dreams and I am blessed to live my life with her. She challenges me, keeps me honest, and takes me places I never imagined were possible to go. I am in love with her and am looking forward to the next ten years.

Running introduced us and I've been running after her ever since.

PS - We just finished an anniversary scavenger hunt Catherine, Josh, and the Materials department put together for us. Fun clues, prizes, and such a fun time scurrying around the entire station to find prizes! What a fun lunch time adventure! Thanks!!

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