If I could write my own verse to Rihanna’s overplayed on the radio pop song where the lyrics go “We fell in love in a hopeless place,” my version would go….”We fell in love in a HAPPY place!” And here is why…..

Flashback January 13, 2013. Rise and shine for a special two hour Pilates workshop at The Pilates Institute of Southern California in Manhattan Beach with my teacher’s teacher, Cara Reeser, who visited from Colorado to share her first hand knowledge of working underneath a Pilates elder Kathy Stanford Grant (aka protege ) who was trained directly by Joseph H. Pilates (the founder of the popular mind/body fitness method), more about dear Joe and his method in future blogs. But to keep this budding romance story interesting, I went to this empowering Pilates class and gained a vast wealth of inspiration and a deeper understanding about teaching the Pilates method to clients. So by noon that day I was ready to teach what I learned from Cara to anyone who would let me. Problem was I couldn’t teach immediately, I mean I had to wait 24 hours until my next class at the gym and I promised my longtime best friends M and D, I would attend their housewarming luncheon that starts at noon. So off to see friends and visit their new house…..in the suburbs! For years, M & D lived nearby me and we enjoyed a fun lifestyle in a seaside community, all while working hard at pursuing our different careers respectively. As their family was growing with baby #2 it was time to expand. So after the holidays, they moved and wanted to throw a party for their friends to celebrate a new home and an addition to the family. So far the highlight of the party for me was bonding with their firstborn daughter a vivacious toddler, I nickname, “Tender”  on the swing set. Swinging along swimmingly went well for about 20 minutes until Tender starts crying, pointing to a tall handsome man talking to her mom. “Big Man, Auntie, big man,” cries Tender and I am calming her down to no avail and wondering who is M, so engaged in conversation with and can she hurry over here to make baby happy? Finally, my friend collects her daughter and introduces me to her hubby’s good buddy from college, JB. Right, JB the former USC football player, who stands close to 7 feet TALL! I didn’t even recognize him since I saw him last at their wedding 4 years prior, and before that was 2.5 years earlier, when he helped me at a 2007 Labor Day party with installing my ipod for my car radio before I traveled to work at a new broadcast journalism job the next day. So memory served me well and I didn’t feel like such a fool remembering my friend’s friend and trying to console a young child. I told Tender “JB is a nice man, friend of her daddy’s and he likes to play ball.” And right then, the three of us played a game of catch with Tender’s toys, to which her tears vanished. Before JB played catch up on our whereabouts, he proudly told me of the gym he belongs too and how a healthy lifestyle has shaped his weight loss transformation. This is where I equate the corporate motto of one of my employers to “lovemadedoit” now that is not the marketing slogan this company uses but if you Google the large fitness chain I work for and check out their viral social media campaign, we who visit the club to workout “do it”  “it” that makes a person thrive and confidently propels  them to take risks and chances to live a healthy life by visiting the club. JB spoke with confidence, passion, and pride about his workouts and the choice to stay “fit for life.” So when he inquired about what I do for work, well the sparks flew. Our friends saw it before we did, in fact Tender laughed at us talking near the swing sets as if no one else was in sight. Our friends encouraged us to go on a car ride together around the block and it was kinda of awkward.  I remembered what Cara talked about a lot in mat class earlier that day and it was to do something radical and be open to change not just in your exercise regimen but in all parts of life. So it’s a new year and nothing was holding me back from being inspired, uplifted, and adding a new “friend” into my life. By the time I took my seat belt off, our phone numbers were exchanged. Quick cordial hug goodbye and I sensed JB was a really nice guy.  Unsure of if I will see him again or not but anything can happen…and something did. It has been continuing on until present day, 18 months strong. Took a few weeks to flourish, and being together each time was more exciting and fun. JB has enriched my life in the best ways possible and I am excited for the future we are planning together. To take that risk of falling in love again and be open to some sort of change is a challenge but the reward is so well worth it. Timing was everything. We both grew-up separately and also maintain the importance of growing together for the betterment of our relationship. I thank divine spirits. I thank the passage of time for setting us up at a certain stage in life. I thank M & D for throwing the parties of where we met. I thank Tender for her “tall man tears.” I thank the company I am happy to teach fitness classes for bring about a strong like-minded community outside the gym atmosphere to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I thank all our friends and family who are supportive of our happiness. And that is a choice, happiness! I choose it and on days when you want to hate on the world but wouldn’t dare say so literally, and no one is perfect. I still choose happiness. and love. Making this relationship thrive is a job I love having, and no other than “love” influences all my decisions for sharing a life with my tall man and the work that I do to help others feel fit for life.


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