January 30, 2013
I love telling the story of how Rich and I met. It all started with Zumba. Right? I mean, of course it did.
When I moved back home about a year ago, I left behind a wonderful group of friends at the University of Alabama Rec Center, where I was fortunate to have the opportunity to teach a Zumba class every week. Once I moved home and got settled, I set out to find a gym to teach at. I went to Bender's Gym in Madison, my last gym of the day, where I just popped in to see a manager. No manager was there, but a staff member let me fill out an application to pass along, and I went on my merry way.
That same night I got a phone call from a Rich Gaiser, looking to set up an interview for this Zumba gig. I found him charming on the phone as he asked me about myself, what my occupation was, etc. I found myself turning on a little flirtatious tone, feeling kind of weird about it, because I literally assumed this man was 40 years old (due to his deep voice) and married (due to his charm and assumed age). I also pictured him to be extremely tall and balding. Don't ask me...this is just what I was picturing. So we set up a time for me to come in to meet him and the group fitness coordinator. "Just dress casual. And just be on time. Seriously...be on time."
So I arrive two days later, to meet this assumed 40-year-old, baldish man. I call him, as instructed, because I could not get into the gym without a pass code. As I walk up to the glass window, cell phone to ear, he answers.
"Hi, it's Katie. I'm here."
"Okay, I'm over here to your right."
Then picture me peering into the window, eyes cupped around my eyes to block out the glare from the sun, looking around the gym for someone to let me in.
"No..to your right."
Picture me continuing to peer into the glass. Like an idiot.
"Haha, no. Out here to your right."
I finally turn to my right, to see this cutie walking toward me from down the breezeway. He was NOT 40, he was NOT balding...and well he wasn't exactly extremely tall either. But taller than me :)
He laughed. I giggled. I probably flipped my hair. I was attracted. And apparently so was he.
He let me in and had me sit at a table as he went to grab the group fitness coordinator. I sat down with the two of them and answered questions about myself. He asked me legitimate interview questions like, "tell me something you believe in and why." I won't lie - I was thinking...is this serious? It's just Zumba, dude. He later told me that I was the only instructor that he's ever interviewed. Because he thought I was cute and he wanted to figure out if I was single. I still don't know if I believe him, but I'll take it. **UPDATE: Emily, the group fitness coordinator, confirms that I was the only instructor he ever interviewed. Thanks for making me smile, Em :)**
I'd say that then the rest is history. But it's not, really. He interviewed me in late April and we did not start dating until July. I didn't even come back to the gym (minus a little dance audition I had to do. And not for him. Get your mind out of the gutter.) until June as that is when my time with Bender's started. It took a lot of social media interacting. Then a lot of coming to the gym early to hang out with him in the office. Then him asking me if I wanted to go to a dinosaur expedition at the VBC (duh, of course I did), and then cancelling on me. And then me finally telling him that we needed some face time because I had a lot of questions for him. And then finally getting coffee. Then getting to the coffee place an hour before they closed, only to move to a bench outside and talk for another 2 and a half hours about nothing. That. That is when the rest became history.
I miss him everyday. I missed him especially tonight when I went to a yoga class and there was a man there walking around in the tiniest shorts I'd ever witnessed in public. They were as close to boxer briefs as you can get without them actually being boxer briefs. It was awkward. He would have thought it was funny. And he would have been proud of me for even going to yoga because I always complain about being sore after Zumba and he always told me I needed to stretch more.
I think back to how he told me to "just be on time," more than once. And I can't help but smile and think about how he was brought into my life at the perfect time. At a time when my heart needed saving and my mind needed opening. God's timing is always perfect.
Missing his laugh and his love tonight.