Have you guys heard of the website thewaywemet.com? Or maybe seen their Instagram account @thewaywemet? A week ago I submitted the story of how my boyfriend John and I met (first mentioned in the ‘I’M BACK’ blog post) and have since been waiting for a response from its creator. In the meantime, I felt it was time I share all about it on this space.
There’s a short version and a long version of the story, but isn’t that true with all stories? Short story: we met at the gym. The long story, however, if filled with a beautiful mix of serendipity, grace, and destiny. Here’s the long story…
I arrived back home to New York after trying it out for a few months in Texas with my on-again-off-again boyfriend at the time of 8 years. It was the start of December. It was ferociously cold. I was sad and confused and lost and chubby — I had gained 25 pounds while in Texas, eating BBQ and sitting in the apartment wondering why it didn’t feel right. All I wanted to do once returning home was get back in shape. It became my beacon, my focus, and something I knew I could do for myself to gain some control and calm back in my day. I Googled local gyms in my area that had personal training, and found a gym that offered personal training-like exercises in a group-class setting (right up my alley) and was offering a 2-week free trial of the program. BINGO! I signed up for the trial, and on my second day of classes an outgoing & cute coach walked up to me and introduced himself. His name was John. He was energetic, he was sweet, and he was crazy good at his job. After the 2-week trial, I signed up to the gym fully and I attended John’s classes serval times a week over the next few months. I watched how he treated the other members of the gym with compassion and respect. He coached me on correct form and pushed me to push myself. I started to really like him, but discounted it for a while, thinking it would never be more than a crush. But crushing on him was something I hadn’t felt in forever (remember, I was with my ex-boyfriend that wasn’t right for me for 8 years…8 years!!!). The crush started to mend me more than the physical activity of the workouts. I was becoming stronger physically and emotionally. I felt healthy and happy and open to what life had in store for me. Then April 14th happened. On this particular rainy Tuesday morning, I was getting ready to attend my usual 9am class when something, like a warm wind, came over me. “10am,” it whispered, so I listened. I decided (out of the blue) that I would go to the 10am workout class, instead of my usual 9am routine. When I arrived for the 10am, I found that I was the only one in class with John. He…and I…alone…for 45 minutes. This was like a date! I treated it as such, engaging in conversation, and listening attentively and trying to pick up his signals. At the end of it, I thanked him and said ‘goodbye’. The hours following, I went back and forth and forth and back on whether or not I was going to message him on FB and tell him that if he wanted to continue talking over a meal sometime, that I would be down for that. I came to the conclusion that if I didn’t message him, I knew exactly how the rest of my year would probably pan out. I could predict my ordinary, solo routine. However, if I DID message him, something extraordinary could happen: he could say YES! Remarkably, that’s what happened. He said he’d like to get together and talk some more, and our first date was to dinner a few days later. We’ve been each other’s somebody ever since. The photo above was taken on his birthday, in the gym where we met, surrounded by other sweet gym members, three and a half months from that one-on-one workout Tuesday.
And that’s the story. I was with the wrong guy for 8 years. I went to Texas to be with him and try harder to work on a relationship that deep down I knew wasn’t right for me. Meeting and falling for John has been the most amazing answered prayer…and not in the blown up, birds chirping, cheesy Hollywood kind of way. Instead it feels humbling and real — like two level-headed people on the same page working through each day as partners who respect and appreciate each other.
I love him so much.
P.S. – He’s been in El Salvador on vacation these past two weeks, but is flying back tonight! I can’t wait to see him tomorrow. Wishing him a safe flight, and a pleasant return. Thanks for reading.