est. 2008

the team

Mary Dougherty

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ABOUT mary

I'm a fine art film photographer living in the mountains and traveling to tell beautiful stories





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We drove home through the drizzling rain and talked about you. Matt caught me up on the conversations he had that I missed while taking pictures, the people that held our baby and those that marveled at the fact that we were now parents. We talked about those who totally changed from freshman year and turned things around, how our relationships were forced to changed once a DIII move was made, and the fact that Austin is a genius for masterminding a whole plan to not only spend time with Danielle (ie train for the marathon) but pursue her and bring us to this day.

The weekend was everything a wedding should be : the beginning of a marriage between two beautiful people, the joining of two families, and a celebration of love and the relationship our friends share. With that came a reunion as friends from far and wide who came to witness this event. Of course, you weren’t so quick to call us friends, since our relationship started as one between a coach and athlete, but that’s what we are now : friends.

You see, looking back it seems like leaving Virginia was the worst career choice we could have made. We, like many, were blinded by our love for the team and the school we knew. We traded opportunity for a dead end and were put into impossible positions because we wanted to be with you and believed in what we could do. Not all relationships have happy endings and ours could be written into a romance novel complete with all the twists and turns you would expect… but we had those years with you.

This weekend was just one example of the relationships and lives we were invited to be a part of, and we wouldn’t trade that.

We love you guys.

Some of you witnessed us in our first years of marriage and others watched us become parents… you have been a part of pivotal moments of our lives just like we have been a part of yours. That’s exactly what we wanted, what drew us back to the place we met and kept us there until we were forced to make the hardest decision to change. It’s so tempting to look back on this part of our story and become bitter, or angry with how things ended… but just like both of us were unexpectedly drawn to this place we have also been lead away. I believe our God has plans for us and is molding and shaping us through the pain of the situation.

As difficult as it is to say I’m grateful for that pain. Pain pushes you to become faster, stronger, and more like Christ. In fact we may never change without that pain. If there is one thing we learned while runners and tried to model while coaches it’s that our team had a higher purpose. Running was not just running, but life and faith and finding who you are. I’m so grateful we were able to share that with some of you.

(I’m going to get some tissues because clearly I’m crying right now).

There wasn’t enough time to catch up, or even say goodbye, but can I tell you that it made my year to dance like a crazy person? You could probably tell that, but it was the best. Also, I wanted to invite anyone interested to train with me for the next year – I think it’s finally time I do a marathon in the spring and have a half in mind for the late fall. So stay tuned if you want in because we want to see you again!!

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