They run this town—literally. We asked three well-known athletic pairs what it takes to give your heart to fitness, and to each other. What did we learn? A couple that sweats together, stays together.
Philippe and Taylor Wells
46 and 49
In-shape stats: The couple own five Prana Power Yoga studios, located in Newton, Cambridge, Winchester, and New York City. Both have been certified to teach yoga for 20 years, and train around 150 students to become teachers each year.
Love story: Appropriately, the duo met 12 years ago on the set of a yoga video. For Taylor, it was love at first sight. For Philippe, the moment came three months later, after a drive home from a lecture they attended at the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center. “We sat in the car talking till the early hours of the morning,” he says. “Everything clicked.”
What’s fitness got to do with it?: “We both practice yoga every day,” Taylor says. “That’s just a given; it’s like brushing your teeth. It makes us the best people and the best parents.” The duo also play tennis with their five kids. “It’s adorable,” Taylor says. “We have our four-year-old twins out there just hitting the ball.”
Goldie and Brogan Graham
30 and 31
Residence: Beacon Hill
In-shape stats: Goldie teaches yoga at multiple Boston studios and to private clients; Brogan, a former college rower, is a cofounder of the widely popular November Project. Bonus: They’ve both appeared on the cover of Runner’s World.
Love story: Friends had tried to set up the now-newlyweds for years, to no avail. The two finally connected through Facebook in 2012, after Brogan saw Goldie in the news for leading hundreds of people in a hip-hop yoga class in Copley Square. “We fell hard,” Goldie says about their first date. “I would have married him that night.”
What’s fitness go to do with it?: “It’s the framework for every single one of our days,” Brogan says. “We’re constantly training. It connects us to our community and to our bodies.” He calls Goldie “the most badass babe at November Project,” while Goldie says, “I’m in awe of all Brogan does to inspire me, keep me going, and make me better.”
Yao and Dorri Li
57 and 58
Residence: West Roxbury
In-shape stats: Yao is the co-owner of Boston Kung Fu Tai Chi Institute, in the Back Bay; Dorri teaches private tai chi and kung fu classes and is helping researchers from Tufts, Harvard, and the VA hospital study the effects of tai chi on fibromyalgia and other chronic conditions.
Love story: The martial artists—who have been together for four decades and have two grown children—first met as teens in kung fu school. Initially, Dorri wasn’t impressed. “Yao was this young teenager running around with a lot of energy,” she remembers. It took a school trip to DC—where the pair hung out between martial arts performances—to win her over.
What’s fitness got to do with it?: “We share the same fitness roots,” Dorri says. For Yao, it was essential to find someone who understood the physical demands and time commitment of practicing kung fu. “We have a really special bond [through martial arts], and we blend,” he says.