Debra Schwanke joined the Minnesota Outdoors Rovers Club to get her hiking fix, not to meet a man. So she didn't even noticed on one backpacking trip when the same guy end up riding shotgun every time she drove the group van. Their paths crossed several times during the week-long trek, but it wasn't until the drive home that Lauren Gagner finally made a move and asked her to go canoeing.
Debra may not recall the first words Lauren spoke to her—she was just trying to drive, after all—but she remembers the first thing he said on their first date canoe ride: “Do you want to take the stern?” She was impressed because “most men don't want to give up the control of steering!” It was so memorable, in fact, they recreated the moment on their wedding day!
During their 18 years together, they’ve discovered that being active, doing everything from tandem biking to snowshoeing, not only keeps them healthy, but it connects them as a couple (as Debra discovered while preparing for a three-week horseback riding trip in Mongolia). “There is just something about sharing workouts, pushing ourselves, sharing the rewards, and then talking about it that is such a bonding experience for us! I can't tell you how proud I was of 'my man' when I saw him outlast everyone in boot camp in a plank, and he held it even longer with the trainer sitting on him!”