Here at The Drive, we write a lot about how sports inspire our lives. There are the athletes that serve as our role models, tangible examples of what we hope to become. There are the magical moments that only sports can create and that live forever in our memories as snapshot of the success we aim for. There are even the quotes and words that become the anthem of our motivation. But nothing quite compares to having people in your life that truly love you, push you, challenge you, believe in you and would absolutely do anything to guide and support you. People like my wife Alyson. And, let me tell you, nothing compares to her.
To begin with, Alyson (or Aly as I call her) is the most impressive person I have ever met, inside and out, plain and simple. She’s an unbelievable runner when she doesn’t have time to train and an elite one when she does. You try running a 10-miler in 70 minutes (7 minute/mile pace if you’re counting at home) only three months removed from a torn MCL. Or a marathon in under 3 hours and 30 minutes, a time that was fast enough to qualify her for entry into the Boston Marathon. She has a degree in Civil Engineering from UVa, an E.I.T (engineer-in-training) certification, a vocabulary so expansive that I often feel like she’s speaking another language and the uncanny ability to remember and correctly use/apply complex mathematical models (Markov chains anyone?) in everyday life. She’s more committed and more dedicated (often at the expense of herself) to genuinely helping the underprivileged than anyone else I know. She’s been on 10+ Habit for Humanity trips (several that she led), traveled to Sierra Leone to help teach and mentor young kids and even sponsored a young girl through the “Girls on the Run” program. Even the way she takes care of herself (and me thankfully) is excellent. She chooses to eat the foods that your doctor tells you to eat more of, but you swear that “nobody likes them.” She’s also incredibly well-read in all things related to health, wellness, sustainable living, food sourcing, etc and probably knows more than most registered dieticians.
But, for me, it’s even more than that. More than just the “stats,” resume bullets or any other quantifiable categories that make her incredible on paper. It’s the way she looks at me every morning. It’s her radiant smile, shining blue eyes and slightly wrinkled nose that all light up when she laughs. It’s how she so humbly talks about her accomplishments and plays down her immense talents. It’s the way she effortlessly runs with this quiet confidence that nothing and no one will catch her. It’s how she keeps our house and my life in working order without ever asking for anything in return. It’s the care that she puts into every meal she makes. It’s how she promises to follow me anywhere I want to go to grad school just because she wants the best for me. It’s the way she pushes me in the gym, challenges me on runs and is always the first person to greet me at the finish. It’s the inner fire that drives her to accept nothing less than her best effort on anything and everything from a technical report at work to a play in flag football. It’s the subtle intensity she brings to every competition.
All of it. It all motivates and inspires me to be a better athlete, a better student, a better consultant, a better man and a better husband. It creates this immeasurable, intangible and never-ending source of energy that fuels me in trying to always make myself a better person every day. And I would never, could never achieve anything close to what I’ve already experience and will experience without it. Without her. She is my rock, my heart and soul, my inspiration, my true sports hero and (luckily) my wife. She might only appear on The Drive for Valentine’s Day, but she is my personal Daily Driver every day of my life.
Love you so much Aly! Happy Valentine’s Day!
Thanks for checking out the Daily Driver post on “The Drive.” Come back every day for daily quotes, pictures, people or moments that we hope can provide inspiration or motivation in your life. Or follow us on Twitter @TheDriveSports and look for #DailyDriver to get your daily dose of inner fire!