HOW WE MET:
We met at a local Queen Anne gym close to where we both lived. This may not seem strange to our friends, who know that we are very active people who frequent the gym often, but the fact is neither of us engage other people at the gym. Ever. We also have similar philosophies with our workouts: get in, hit it hard, get out. Socializing doesn’t fit into that plan. This local gym was very small, with only two stations having enough space to do the functional types of workouts that we both like. It just so happens that we would each claim one of these stations every time we were at the gym, and they are right next to each other. For two months we worked out side-by-side, without ever exchanging more than a nod on the way to or from the drinking fountain. During that time, however, we both felt something there. Independently and without even thinking about it, we both began to plan our workouts around when the other was most frequently there. After I realized what was happening, I knew I had to get to know this beautiful woman that I was being drawn to. Gym conversations can be short and sometimes awkward, and this was no exception. Liz and I both like to jump-rope as a warm up, and on this day she was doing something I could not do (at the time :))- every other jump she would cross the rope over quickly and cross it back. In between her sets I looked over and (quickly and awkwardly) asked “Hey, how do you do that cross-over thing with the rope?” Her response, “Um, you just watch the rope and cross it over…” adding in, “I’ve done some boxing-type training” I assume to not make me feel bad. I said thanks and that I’d try it and we both went back to our workouts. Luckily this opened the door for introductions a little later that day and we hit it off immediately, both yearning to know more about the other. This happened over our next few meetings at the gym and as we started to meet outside the gym (she introduced me to Paseo!), the more I fell for her. That unassuming gym meeting has blossomed into the best relationship I could ever ask for.
I’m an open and friendly person, but I also know that there are times I can be intimidating, if not downright unapproachable because I am a very focused individual – whether it be at work, walking down the street planning the day in my head, or at the gym. So although it makes sense that Branden and I met at the gym because we are avid gym rats, it’s surprising to most because to get me to pay attention to something else let alone stop and talk to someone at the gym is near impossible (according to the staff). My workouts fall in line with my personality – all or nothing, complete focus. Branden and I worked out next to each other for months without me even blinking, until one day I stopped and actually looked at him because I noticed how hard he worked, and how impossible those knuckle push-ups looked! (I thought, this guy must be in the military). It’s the first time I really ‘saw’ Branden, and it immediately gave me butterflies. I left the gym that day and texted my two closest friends, Katie and Jason, and told them about the “gym guy” as we affectionately called him over the next months. I started to plan my workouts around the time I would think he would be there, until finally Branden came over and we had our first conversation that still makes me laugh to this day. I’m a confident and collected person, and the first time we talked I was so thrown off that all I could muster were awkward sentences and quick glances in the mirror to each other after that. It’s funny that people say when you know you just know, and in our first conversation when Branden threw me off my game so far I could barely speak because the butterflies were so overwhelming, I knew he was going to be my husband. After that conversation, all my close friends learned about him because I wanted to be sure I wasn’t just overwhelmed by giddy feelings and that it was the real deal. From barefoot street races to “bro talk” with my nearest and dearest, it was confirmed and my new focus was found – I was going to marry the “gym guy”.
We had been trying to plan a week day hike throughout the summer, but per usual could never find the time to go. One day after work it was especially beautiful in Seattle so we decided we would pack a picnic and head up to Rattlesnake Ridge for an easy but beautiful hike. As we started to drive out to Rattlesnake, however, we could see darker and more ominous clouds ahead of us, and as we left the city limits we were essentially leaving beautiful Seattle behind to be in the middle of a rainstorm. Undeterred by rainy weather (We are Seattlelites after all!) we did the hike any way and as we reached the peak, thanks to the rain storm we were the only ones there and it was beautiful. Branden had already bought the ring a month ago and was just waiting for the perfect time. When we reached the peak and sat on the rocks, just over the ridge the sun from Seattle started to peak into the valley right in the middle of the rain storm. Branden decided this was the time and proposed in a beautiful Northwest backdrop.