“The couple that lifts together stays together.”
Can you introduce me to yourselves?
Sean: My name is Sean, and this is my wife Morgan. I am a bodybuilder, and I have a passion for fitness. I am currently going to school for a degree in Exercise Science, and I am also thinking about getting a degree in Exercise Physiology.
Morgan: I’m Morgan, like Sean said, and I am a hair and makeup artist at Studio Enizio in Lehi, Utah. I have been there for five years. As long as I can remember, I have always had a love for doing hair and makeup, so I am very glad to be working where I do.
How did you two meet?
Morgan: It just so happens that we met at my work! He came in regularly for a couple of months, and I thought he was stuck-up because he was trying to impress me with his concert piano skills and how many places he traveled for his music, etc. Eventually I realized that he was just nervous and wanted me to like him, so we started dating and found out that we really liked each other. We dated for a year and a half and got married in 2012.
Sean: When she told me that she listened to Radiohead, that was all I needed to know (laughs).
How did both of you get into bodybuilding and fitness?
Morgan: When Sean and I were dating, he really got me interested in fitness. I was always active when I was growing up, but shortly after we were married I decided I wanted to take my fitness to the next level and do a fitness competition. I wanted to see how far I could push myself not only physically, but mentally as well… And also I just wanted to be ripped! (laughs). So that started my love for fitness, and through fitness I have learned so much about myself. I have learned how to have willpower and control over my body and mind, and that has been such an amazing boost to my confidence and sense of self-worth.
Sean: Growing up, I was very focused on music — I was classically trained and I was able to go perform in Europe and places around the United States. My youth was spent playing music, but once I got to high school, I became really prone to depression and anxiety. Eventually I discovered that my cure came through fitness and health. And I think that’s because fitness goes much deeper than what most people think. Bodybuilding is more than just looking good. I learned that there were a lot of mental blocks and weaknesses that I needed to push through in order to get to the level of bodybuilding I wanted to be at, and learning how to move past those mental blocks and weaknesses really spilled over into other aspects of my life.
“Bodybuilding is more than just looking good. I learned that there were a lot of mental blocks and weaknesses that I needed to push through in order to get to the level of bodybuilding I wanted to be at.”
What are your future goals with fitness?
Morgan: I feel like I have been helped so much physically and mentally through fitness and my job as a hair and makeup artist, so I want to share what I’ve learned with other women and help them feel beautiful inside and out.
Do you feel like the fact that you do bodybuilding together has strengthened your marriage?
Morgan: The couple that lifts together stays together (laughs). Actually that really has been the case. It is so great to have a common activity that we are both passionate about. I don’t have to text Sean everyday saying, “Where are you? Why are you at the gym all the time?” We can both do something we love, and we can do it together.
Sean: It has been helpful to know that we each have a similar goal and that we fully know how to help each other achieve that goal. Morgan supports me so much, and I trust and follow her advice and opinions. We can understand each other completely when we get stressed and overwhelmed, and we know how to help each other through those moments. The level of understanding we’ve gained through fitness has made our marriage stronger than if we both had individual pursuits.
From your two years of marriage, what advice would you give to a newly married couple?
Sean: I would definitely say that communication is the most important thing. It is so important to be able to clearly express feelings and emotions. If a spouse holds things in and is not able or not willing to talk and try to work things out, that marriage will fall apart. And communication is always a work in progress; it isn’t easy to share negative feelings with someone. But what we’ve come to realize is that because we truly do love each other, we know that being open will be the best thing for our relationship. For an example, I’m a perfectionist. I can be a little bit of a micromanager, and through our communication with each other, I learned how to change and know what really is important to speak up about and what really is not important. But it’s only because we were open with each other that I learned that part of me that needed to change.
Morgan: Just pick your battles (laughs). It isn’t good to fight every little thing that might be different than what was expected.
Did you have any family traditions that you remember from when you were kids?
Sean: We went to Oregon all the time to visit our grandparents. It was very rural, and because I was so young, I just thought it was a very boring place. We always went to my grandpa’s gold mines to pick huckleberries and make homemade huckleberry pie. Looking back, those trips were a lot more fun than I thought.
Morgan: I just remember a lot of camping, a lot of summer vacations, and a lot of Disneyland.
Why are traditions important for families to have?
Sean: Traditions are what defines a family. The activities that a family participates in on a frequent basis will give that family an identity and a sense of place and belonging.
Morgan: Sean got it right on!
What do you think is the biggest obstacle to having a happy family?
Sean: Just the amount of distractions that are now in the world. I could see very easily how fitness and bodybuilding could take over my life and take me away from Morgan. There are so many opportunities in the world, opportunities for money, success, recognition, or achievement, and because there are so many opportunities, there are also so many paths that can take a person away from what is really important.
Morgan: I think back to what made my childhood so comfortable and wonderful, and it was the understanding that my parents had of putting family before everything else. When I was younger, I just wanted to be with my friends all the time, but now I realize how important it is to be with family. Most friends will come and go, but family will always be around, and it is so beneficial to develop good relationships with family. So to answer your question, I think that priorities are getting completely switched around in today’s world, and families that could be happy are suffering because of that.
“The relationship between a husband and wife really can be the most amazing relationship ever.”
What has been the best thing about marriage?
Morgan: Being able to move through life with a partner is extraordinary. The relationship between children and parents is incredible, and the relationship between siblings is wonderful, but the relationship between a husband and wife really can be the most amazing relationship ever.
Sean: Being married has made me really focus on improving what is important. I want to be the best person possible because I want to provide everything I can for my wife. Before I was married, I just floated along with whatever my friends were doing, but now I feel like I have grown so much, and it is all because of my desire to give my very best self to my wife, because she deserves that.