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By Miriam Landru

We all know that exercise releases endorphins. You know those hormones that just make you feel good. So, it would only make sense that in a marriage or relationship, exercising regularly together promotes positive emotions…and maybe in some cases a competitive edge. I interviewed these swolemates (the fit world’s take on soulmates), to learn more about what makes them seek that fit life!

Trevor & Theresa Smith

Trevor is a Fort Bragg soldier and Theresa is a race director at our army post neighbor. They enjoy running, lifting together and competing in endurance races. They are both from Illinois and have been married two and a half years.

How did you meet?

Theresa: We met at a gym called Cardinal Fitness, where we both worked. It was not too far from Illinois State’s Campus (where we both attended college). I was in my last semester when Trevor started working there.

Trevor: I was hired there as a trainer during Theresa’s last semester. I was finishing up my masters.

What fitness goals have you met together?

Theresa: In 2013, I decided I wanted to run my first half marathon, so I decided on the Rock n Roll in Raleigh last April. Well of course, Trevor got slotted for his second deployment so he wasn’t there to help me train or run with me.

Trevor: I still encouraged her to sign up, because it ended up being a good distraction. To support my wife, I ran a half marathon in Afghanistan on the same day.

What is your favorite way to work out?

Theresa: I enjoy working out outside at home, like doing a few circuits with some kettle bells, maybe a sandbag… and as little cardio as Trevor will let me get away with.

Trevor: I also like working out at home, but I do the responsible thing and add cardio in there. We also just bought a Rogue squat rack. It’s the best decision we have made in awhile.

What challenges you both?

Theresa: My biggest challenge is staying motivated to run. I tend to give up on things I am not good at, so I find running really difficult to stick with once I hit a mental or physical block.

Trevor: I would have to say its balancing work and personal fitness goals. Work tends to beat me up and hinders progress at home. However, I continue to stay motivated.

What are the hobbies you share outside of fitness?

Theresa: We love doing anything outdoors with our puppies (who we often refer to as our kids), whether it’s hiking, camping, taking them to the dog park or finding a lake for them to swim. 

Trevor: If we aren’t spending time outside with the kids, we can typically be found hanging with a few close friends at home, at the shooting range or catching up on some Sons of Anarchy or Game of Thrones. We tend to be homebodies, but every now and again we make it out for a drink or two.

What is your favorite fitness activity to do together?

Theresa: I would say a good long, difficult hike in the mountains is our favorite fitness activity. You just can’t beat good old Mother Nature. Nothing gets your blood pumping quite like the great outdoors!

How do you motivate each other?

Theresa: To be honest, motivation is mostly a one-way street in our household. Trevor is so good about staying on track, he rarely needs me to remind him to go out and do something. I, on the other hand, need lots of motivation. He usually just tells me to suck it up and do it even though I don’t want to. He doesn’t baby me, and I prefer it that way. He also, helps me research races and recently got me into trail running, which has helped me enjoy running a tad bit more. 

D’allen & Ryan Pretlow

D'allen is the owner of DSDQ Fitness and Ryan is employed by Methodist University as a Systems Programmer and JICS Administrator. Ryan also competes in NPC Figure competitions. Both enjoy competing in Spartan Races, so much that NBC just used them in the ad campaign for the televised Spartan Races coming next year. They have been married eight years and have five children.

How did you meet?

Ryan: We met in 2003 at Gold’s Gym in Hope Mills where we are still members. I was taking classes. He came into a spin class I was attending and I was wearing this ring… that I eventually lost at a Spartan Race. He told me he liked my ring and asked me out, and I said no because I was seeing someone. 

D’allen: This went on for about a month before she finally decided to give me a chance.

Ryan: No, this went on for a couple of months! And that’s what happened…and we’ve been inseparable ever since.

What interests do you both have outside of fitness?

D’allen: I like computers and gadgets…and Ryan is a programmer behind all that stuff. But our biggest connection is really fitness…

Ryan: And family.

What is your favorite work out to do together?

Ryan: Well, some days we don’t want to work out together… and some days we do.

D’allen: Both of us are so competitive, we find ourselves competing against each other…it just works out that way. But right now, we just lift. 

Ryan: We lift heavy and just keep going. But there are minutes where I have to keep him focused so I will get onto him and he’ll say, “Well I train harder than you!” Then it’s ON.

How do you support each other?

D’Allen: Ryan is where I want to be competing wise. So where I am lacking, she picks up the pieces. Ryan is so type A, she just is “go go go” all the time. So I remind her to rest.

Ryan: We cook together as much as we can. Do our meal preps. 

D’Allen: I wanted to support her as much as I could so when she was training for the competition I would eat her diet.

Do y’all feel like Fayetteville is becoming a “fitness city?”

D’Allen: Oh yeah, all these competitions people are doing. The CrossFit gyms, the functional fitness gyms (like mine) are really making a difference. There’s so much variety now and that’s what makes fitness fun!

How is fitness becoming a part of your children’s lives?

Ryan: They come to the DSDQ gym with us. They have fun! We teach them proper techniques and methods so they can continue to make fitness a part of their lives as we have ours.

Phillip & Robin Torres

Phillip is a long-time employee of Goodyear and Robin works in deeds at the Cumberland County Courthouse. Starting their commitment to fitness in the last few years, both stopped smoking! Now, Phillip, who is also an NPC Physique Competitor. trains Robin regularly. They have been married over 26 years.

How did you meet?

Robin: He was running a department in Roseboro about 29 years ago. My friend worked there and I would go in and visit her, Phillip would ask, “Who’s that girl you’re talking to?” And then she introduced us. 

Phillip: Her friend called me one day when she came to visit and said, “She’s here!” and I came running down from the upstairs office. Well Robin heard me running… and I pretty much lost all my game. But… she still agreed to go out with me.

Robin: We’ve been together ever since. 

Why did you both become “gym rats?”

Robin: Well we both quit smoking about five years ago. We knew we had to do something to maintain, because smoking keeps your weight down. But, we wanted to be healthy. So, we joined Gold’s Gym and work out at the Bragg location.

Phillip: I got hooked automatically. JJ Henry was the manager at the time and he noticed all the weight I had lost and my commitment. He told me we should take it to the “next level.” So I asked, “What’s that?” And so, that’s how I started competing in NPC Competitions… at nearly 50 years old. I did my first bodybuilding show three years ago, but I didn’t enjoy it too much. So for me, physique is where it’s at.

What workouts do you two do together?

Robin: I get off work and everyday I meet him around 5:30 p.m. at the gym… because he’s already there. Yesterday we trained legs and whew! They are killing me. Then after that, I’ll do cardio on my own for about 30 minutes. I come home and Phillip always has a protein shake waiting for me. At first we could not train together at the gym, and I was like “I am not gonna listen to you…” But now, I’ll listen. I’ve trained with JJ Henry and Rickie Hodges, who Phillip trains with now.

What’s your favorite thing to train?

Robin: Shoulders.

Phillip: Chest.

Robin: I hate training legs, but they look so pretty when they’re nice and toned. 

Phillip: Well, that’s because you’ve got a pretty set of legs!

What’s the biggest challenge with staying fit?

Robin: I would definitely say the eating. The meal prep. Six small meals a day. Low carbs. I could never eat like Phillip does. I’m all about Fried Turkey Shop, Mi Casitas and Taco Bell.

Phillip: We’re a very social couple. But we used to go out and eat a whole lot. Just can’t do that anymore.