Whenever I listen to Lindsey Heins podcast “I’ll have another” she almost always inquires about how her guest met his or her significant other. No matter how much I want to hear more about running, these stories always captivate me. People love love stories! Since yesterday was my Anniversary, I’ll share mine.
There is so much to this story.... Even the very shortened version is a long one... Matt took 9 years to propose so you can probably imagine we didn't start dating just after we met. Matt is kind of a long-con artist. He still says he needed that time to figure out if he could deal with me for a long time.... (that’s just the kind of flirtatious banter we have).... but I now know it was really because he was a little too much like Peter Pan to do something mature like get married and grow up!
December 16, 2006- the day we met. I remember the date well, but not for the reason you might suspect. It was also the day I helped deliver the puppies all through the night (15th-16th)
That's right, 11 puppies. How could anyone forget that? I was scheduled to be running in the BU indoor Mini meet. I was a graduate student with an indoor season of eligibility left due to previous injury. My goal for the season was to qualify for the NCAA's in indoor. I missed it by .24 seconds the year before with a 5:02, so I wanted to break 5. This was the first race of the season though so I was hoping for 5:10 after Cross Country. With shorter races, sometimes the best way to get better at them is to just do them!
... Poor Dog Mom, Abbey, had been in labor for pretty much all of December 15th (I sympathize much more now) and finally had the first puppy around 5pm the day before the race. You don’t know how many there will be so my brother and I stayed up until 3 or 4am when we were sure they were all out and Abbey settled with her huge litter of puppies. I know I know this isn’t about the puppies (BUT WHO DOESN'T LOVE PUPPIES!?...)
Anyway, The last thing I wanted to do the next day was go run an optional race.... but I was slightly interested in one of my brothers friends that was going to be at the race, so I went. I watched him compete (I later realized that Matt and him finished one second apart... I wont say who won... I'd like to stay married! haha). I don't even think I talked to my brothers friend; I was in a particularly impatient mood because a. I was tired, b. I wanted to go be with the puppies... so while waiting on the infield for my heat I was getting a little anxious and thirsty. I waited in line to grab water (the facility was new and no personal waters allowed on the infield) Then, out of no where some guy that just finished his heat of the mile cut in front of me and grabbed water. I was pisssssssed. I am not the type of person to keep my mouth shut on injustices... even just the small ones like cutting in line... so I turned around to give this guy a piece of my mind... but that is not what happened.
Instead my eyes locked with Matthew's, and that was it. My whole world slowed down. He said “sorry”, I said “it’s okay” ... and then went to run my race (5:11). He claims he cut me on purpose, I still don’t believe him. He’s very impulsive and I think he didn’t notice the line, but whatever. Anytime he cuts a line "by accident" in grocery stores or other places I'm like "should have yelled at you that day, you've never learned" but I had already, in an instant, fallen in love (shh.... don't tell him! His ego is big enough!).
After my race we caught up again. He was the coordinator and President of a team called the Sisu Project and was giving me some information since after indoor, my college running was over. I already knew about the team because someone had already asked me to join. I was intrigued even before meeting Matt since my ex-boyfriend (Social Media makes the world so small) and I used the word Sisu on the back of our sweatshirts; I hardly knew anyone that knew what it meant. At this point, part of my motivation to join any team was to meet someone.... but also to run fast. I had already looked up the team back in September and wasn’t interested because all the guys were from State Colleges and I was too elitist for that.... and on the competitive side, only one girl, Melissa, was better than me. I did notice all the girls went to Yale, and found that to be a strange combination. I wanted to be on a fast team so I could grow. But now, after locking eyes with Matthew, I was willing to sacrifice the competitive team for “love at first sight”... I inquired about the team, and inquired about Melissa... Immediately I figured out from his body language that she must have been his ex and they just broke up. Awkward. I tried to play it cool. I took his card with the team website and his email on it and since I couldn't stop thinking about him, I emailed later in the week.... not to profess my love, but to inquire about the team. I didn't want to show all my cards!
At first the emails were all business about the team, but we slowly worked in more personal conversations. Keep in mind, this is back before Facebook (for State Colleges, anyway), and smartphones or texting, and in Matts case, before internet.... He literally only had the internet at work. So I'd email him and he would only check his email before work and during lunch. I would be embarrassingly excited to get an email from him every day and if I was lucky, twice a day. This was also before you got an email from every store you've ever purchased anything from, so it was basically a real life "You've Got Mail" since the only mail I got was from him. At least I kind of knew who I was emailing!
I think the next time we saw each other was in February at the Valentine Meet. At this point we had been emailing for almost 2 months back and fourth every day. We talked about painting, music, our favorite movies, our families and upbringings, the puppies (I dropped the puppies in the emails often hoping maybe he'd ask to come see them. Every guy I know loves puppies) I felt like I knew every detail of his life (except for one...) Occasionally we talked on the phone, but cell phones had huge fees for everything, so it was either really late at night or not at all.
I went to this BU Valentine Meet knowing I'd see him there. When I arrived with my friend Louis, I scanned the whole place and didn't think he was there yet. I was freaking out just a tad. It was already a little desperate that I was there because it was a Men's only meet, the women raced on a different day... but I was with my best friend, Louis, so it was easy to justify that I was going to watch him.. until Louis got injured and now I wasn't even there to watch him... we just both went together to watch the races in general. Still, that wasn't unusual. Louis and I had gone to every race together for Cross Country too because I had no eligibility so I couldn't travel with the team. I had no car, so I was completely dependent on friends to get me to where I needed to go.... and these things are always more fun with company! (and just to clear things up (since Matt wasn't sure at first) it is completely possible to have a platonic friendship with someone of the opposite sex. Louis dated my friends, I dated his... we never even considered dating each other. )
I knew I liked Matthew through email, and I knew he liked me through email... But I was a little bit concerned that maybe I forgot what he looked like or he forgot what I looked like and that attraction wouldn't be there in person. I was also really concerned and intimidated by how polite and poetic and well spoken he was. I repeated to Louis so many times "don't let me drop the F-bomb today." I thought to myself this guy NEVER swears... His emails are all so polite... I don't think I can keep this up forever... this is never going to work.... It wasn't like I was being fake in emails, but the emails were the best version of me. As far as he knows I was a really nice bubbly girl who would never chew someone out for cutting them in line. But the reality was I'm not nice. I'm intense and aggressive, and stubborn, and direct and sarcastic... and a ton of great things, too... like insanely loyal and honest, and passionate... but nice is not a word used to describe me.
Then I saw him enter from far away and he started walking in my direction. Dear Lord don't turn red... Try not to look at him... do I wave or let him pass by me and pretend I didn't know he was here?... crap, he's looking at me... He did a quick head nod at me like I'm his "bro" and walked right by me...but before I could be embarrassed that he wasn't coming to talk to me or contemplate if the head-nod meant I was friend-zoned, I heard him start yelling "Way to Fucking Go Tommy Gun! You Fucking Killed it! Shit, Son!" (followed by aggressive high fives and man hugs)... I looked at Louis and said "yup... I'm going to marry him" .... If you couldn't guess, a fellow Sisu Project member was sitting two rows down from me and had just run a big PR... Matt was excited. He was also aggressive, and abrasive, and intense. What a relief!
We only spent a short time together at the race and Matt talked to Louis more than me... Matt could have written the movie Hitch. We continued emailing and seeing each other every few weeks at races. Louis even played wing-man inviting him for runs. They both came over my house to meet the puppies. We had a handful left. I thought for sure this would move things along. What guy doesn't love dogs? Why wont he ask me out? ...
Time passed. I was running out of email topics that weren't "are you in love with me yet?" ... I finally had the courage to invite him to the NCAA National Championship being held conveniently in Boston. Nationals was on March 8, (remember, I fell in love on December 16th). I was the last place qualifier... I barely squeezed in with a 5:03. I was hoping to get sub 5 at Nationals while he was there, but I was nursing a pretty bad back injury. I honestly wasn't sure I could finish a race of that intensity, but I was overloaded on Ibuprofen willing to try. I don't know what I was more nervous for, the biggest race of my life or the fact that I invited Matthew and I didn't have Louis as a buffer to make it less... date-like...(it was spring break). Every time I checked the stands I didn't see him... I was really nervous that he wasn't going to show at all... Even on the starting line he still wasn't there! The gun went off and I heard my name. It was my brother. Phew, at least someone came. Then in my next lap I heard Matthews voice... but my back had already started to seize up. Maybe it would have been better if he wasn't there at all! I limped to a 5:08, finishing last place. Embarrassing. I was mad. For 5 years all I thought about was Nationals, and now it was over. I spent a lot of nervous energy on this new relationship instead of on the race, I just hoped it was worth it. (spoiler alert, it was)
I was embarrassed and wanted to cry but I also didn't want him to see me cry yet. I was in so much pain from the race but was also feeling upset that he missed part of it and like maybe he didn't care much after all (I later found out how many other people tried to get to the race and just couldn't because it was one of those accidents that requires a helicopter and Boston traffic is already bad just as is... again, before Waze app, and texting). Matthew drove me to my hotel and came in to help me since I was in agony. While I took a shower he went and filled the trash bags in the hotel with ice and got extra pillows from the desk. It was really nice. I eventually found out I had a hairline fracture in my T12 and have an abnormality in my spine that contributes to a lot of my injuries due to how it alters my hip movements... so yeah, painful, I basically couldn't move from how tight everything got to protect me from pain. Not what most guys would expect coming to a hotel room, but he was a total gentleman anyway... I got to see a nurturing side of him, which was nice... and built a lot of trust... but then he went home without giving me much clarity on if we were exclusive or not.
I invited him to my house shortly after that... still trying to leverage the two puppies we had left (that we kept for good) He came to visit and we had some pretty deep conversations like we typically did in emails. He's gotta ask me out now.... I can't remember his exact words...something only someone with the big ego, but charm to match could pull off.... "well, you're obviously my girlfriend now...." type thing. (I mean obviously... I was trying to hide some cards here, but I guess I had a bad poker face?).... and then he followed up with... "but you should know, I don't like dogs...."
So SO soooooo much more to the story... (like 9 years worth) but that is how we began dating and how I fell in love with a guy from a State College.... and how Matt learned to tolerate dogs... and to tolerate.... ME!
Hope you enjoyed! How did you and your significant other meet or start dating!?
Does your significant other run?
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Welcome to my blog! I blogged my entire pregnancy in 2017 and I had high hopes for where I could take my running after baby number 2, but my body had other plans. At some point I got too discouraged to write and recently realized that it is essential for my personal growth and development to keep putting feelings into coherent(ish) thoughts. I still hope to run sub 2:45 in the marathon one day, but for now I’m trying to focus on the process and I’m learning to enjoy it. You can come along for the ride, apologies in advance for grammatical incorrectness!