I often take it for granted that most of the Finesse Movement members know that my business partner, Karen, and I are married! Sometimes I forget, I can see a slight look of confusion when I’m talking about Karen, and then I explain by saying ‘oh sorry, Karen and I are married!’
I must admit, calling her my wife or saying it aloud that we’re married can still sometimes feel weird and amazing all at the same time.
I’ve spent some time recently reflecting on the last 10 years of my life. So much has happened. 10 years ago, in Ireland same-sex marriage was illegal. I was thirty-three. I was in the early stages of a new business venture; I had decided to open a Physical Therapy Clinic and Fitness Studio. I was single at the time, and I threw myself into getting Finesse Fitness Studio, as it was called then, off the ground.
Karen came along around that time; She had a shoulder problem and so was a patient in my clinic when we first met! Soon however she told me that she was just finishing her Pilates teacher training, and would I like to meet for a coffee to discuss a possible “business venture.” Karen may dispute the order of this story, but this is how it happened, I swear. She asked me out for coffee first! So technically speaking, she asked me out! Right??
Karen started teaching in the studio and coffee dates became more frequent and business conversations turned to personal conversations until I was being invited over to her house for dinner. Karen was the brave little soldier making all the first moves! We officially started dating at the end of 2013 and moved in with each other shortly after.
In 2015 the studio had been up and running for 3 years. 2015 was a key turning point, not only in business but in our lives too. Karen suggested to me that we should introduce Reformer Pilates, so we worked towards getting some new kits in, taking the business in a different direction. I fell down the stairs and completely busted my shoulder in late 2015, taking me out of the action for nearly 9 months, leaving Karen doing a lot of the work! But it was the marriage equality referendum we’ll all remember in 2015. When the referendum was looming in May 2015, I had never felt so nervous or exposed in all my life. It truly was a nerve-racking experience. Imagine now at the age of 35/36 asking the nation’s permission to marry the person you love. We had all the debates, we listened to all the people who said yes and all the people who said no. We were all anxious that the vote would not go our way despite all the polls telling us differently. When we saw the results coming in, I cried for days! I still get emotional thinking about that day.
All the people who travelled home to vote, all the people who voted YES because they knew it was the right thing to do. I have never been so proud of Ireland in all my life, and I am old enough to remember Italia 90! This referendum result was stratospheric, a part of me couldn’t believe it, but most of me was beyond happy. So many of my friends could now marry! I could get married!
Karen again making all the first moves, asked me to marry her that November, another reason to remember 2015! I was on cloud la la land. It was all a dream. 18 months later we tied the knot, mixed the sand, stood up in front of our nearest and dearest, and promised to love each other until the end of our time. I know people say that their wedding day was the happiest day of their lives, and it’s true! Cliché or not! We had the best day ever! The love that we were surrounded by that day was incredible. I’d love to do it again! Maybe for our 10th anniversary, we’ll have a big party.
This summer sees our 5th Wedding anniversary and so much has happened in that time. Our little girl who sang at our wedding is now a ‘too cool for you’ teenager. Our business has changed in ways I could never have imagined when I opened it 10 years ago this September, we’ve survived falls down the stairs, broken collar bones, perimenopause, two crazy doggos and a pandemic and it’s all been one great big adventure.
I don’t think I could be happier being a part of this modern Irish family, I can’t wait to see what the universe has in store for us in the next 10 years. But for now, we can’t wait to head into Dublin this weekend to celebrate Pride at the parade! We’ll sing and dance on the streets of one amazing little country!
Myself, Karen, Georgie, Cindy & Seb would like to wish our Finesse Family and members a Fabulous Pride.