A trip to Hawaii to welcome Stephen home from his two month military deployment also turned into an engagement at the top of a very slippery mountain with an even better view.

While many people may know the story of how Stephen and I met, many may not. Stephen and I actually met about 5 months before our first date. I had recently moved back to Charleston when a friend of mine asked if I wanted to do a charity CrossFit event with her. While I wasn’t a crossfitter, I knew I could do the bootcamp version (no Olympic lifting) and give money to a good cause.

I was relatively newly single and still recovering from how the past year had happened, but I thought that maybe I was ready to watch some hot guys workout. A firefighter’s CrossFit charity event in August in Charleston sounded like I might see one or two literally hot guys. I was also adamant about NOT dating another guy who did CrossFit since the first one turned out so terribly. I walked into that gym with my very serious “I’m here for a workout and a workout alone” face which scares off 99.9% of anyone who may think about approaching me. Even the event coordinator who needs me to sign a waiver.

Stephen walked into that gym on that day thinking he was just going to get a killer workout in too. He recently set his own policy of not dating anyone from his gym. We all know how that goes… and no one wants to have to find a new gym due to a relationship ending.

As it turns out, Stephen ended up asking around to see if I was a member, and after everyone said they had never seen me before, he introduced himself to me. If I remember correctly, it went like this…

Stephen: “Hi! I’m Stephen.”

Me: “I’m Stephanie.”

And then I walked out of there as fast as I could. Not because I wasn’t interested, but because I was and that scared me! There wasn’t supposed to be a hot one that was also sweet. And if there was, he definitely wasn’t supposed to talk to me. And even if he did, I totally imagined me not being even the slightest bit interested, but I was.

Part of me was surprised and part of me was scared to death. I hadn’t dated since 2002… that was 11 years prior.

Between the time Stephen first introduced himself to me and when a mutual friend introduced us in January 2014, I traveled, spent time with friends, and worked to put my life back together so I would feel more stable when I decided to start dating again. I’m not going to go into detail about how it ended before because someone like that doesn’t deserve anymore airtime, but I will say that it could easily be made into a movie and I wouldn’t wish that experience on my worst enemy.

I remember the day clearly. It was early January and I had just gotten back from a two week trip to Canada. It was a new year and I felt like I was finally ready. Luck would have it that my friend, Megan, had just met her boyfriend’s roommate. He had just finished working out and was eating dinner in the kitchen when she stopped by on her way out to meet me and some of our other friends. She showed up to our friends’ happy hour a little late, came sauntering in, and said in her southern accent, “I just met my boyfriend’s roommate. He is cute and single. Stephanie, what are you doing on Friday night?”

I turned to my friend, Marisa, and said, “it’s the year of yes, right?” She shook her head, so I said I would go on a double date on Friday night.

Now here is where the Law of Attraction is really funny. Now that I had said yes, I told Megan to tell me more about this guy other than he obviously works out. She said he was in the Coast Guard.

Let me take a step back. I had 5 specific no’s on my dating list…

No military. My previous experience was terrible and I didn’t want to repeat it.

No guys from the northeast. That wasn’t a good experience before either.

Over 6 feet tall. I am 5’9″ and in all of my life, I had never dated anyone taller than me.

No guys with big Irish or Italian families. My ex constantly told me that I wasn’t good at family and that his family didn’t like me, so I wanted to avoid that scenario if at all possible.

And number 5 was that I couldn’t listen to another dude talk about his WOD, so absolutely no crossfitters.

You can see where this is going, right?

Back to the Coast Guard. After hearing this, I turned to my other friend and asked her if she knew this roommate Coast Guard guy since her husband was in the Coast Guard. She immediately knew who he was, started showing me pictures of him at her house in Florida from several years before, and told me how much she and her husband both really liked him. That was enough for me to stick with my yes answer to the date.

She also answered my other questions about where he was from. Boston. How tall he was. 5’10”. And his last name told me he was Italian. It took a phone conversation from him when he asked me if I was at that charity CrossFit event in the summer for me to put the final check in the box of the Law of Attraction. That part of the conversation was just about as short as his initial introduction.

Stephen: “Hey, were you at that charity CrossFit event back in the summer?”

Me: “Oh my God. Was I rude?”

Stephen: “Umm… you didn’t seem interested.”

Even back then he was sweet and gave me the benefit of the doubt.

As if there weren’t enough coincidences in this story, Cari, pictured next to me at that infamous charity CrossFit event, is the one who coordinated the happy hour with my girlfriends where Megan sauntered in and told me about Stephen.

These past three years have been literally the best years of my entire life and I have the feeling it is only going to get better. I am so proud of the work he does in the Coast Guard, my big personality and strong will fits perfectly with a city boy from Boston, being the same height makes kissing so much easier, his big Italian family is beyond awesome, and he traded out CrossFit for obstacle course races. It looks like I attracted exactly what I wanted and needed after all.

In terms of fitness and SKFitLife, the name is changing to Sun Kissed FitLife. You can still find us on SKFitLife.com, but it no longer means what it used to. I don’t know about you, but I really love the sound of Stephanie Siraco so much better.

I also want to thank everyone for all of the support and kind words over the years. I knew we had a lot of people cheering us on, but we were still surprised to see so much support on our announcement.