Tale of a True Romantic · 9 May 2008

Many men may not like to admit that they are romantics but when a fellow teacher told how he proposed to his wife, another male teacher and I had to admit that we teared up at the telling. This true romantic, who shall remain nameless (which means that I will naturally mention his name later), is the male PE teacher at our school.

It was a couple days before his wedding and a few of us were still chatting at the end of lunch. Mike, the other male teacher listening to the story, and I were teasing the soon to be wed teacher about how he was all smiles and excited energy. He was leaving right after the staff meeting to get to his four-day wedding weekend.

Now the unnamed PE teacher, Micah, is always positive and full of energy. But on that particular day, he was even more so. He used some of that energy to tell us about how he proposed to Amy, who was then his fiancé.

For some reason, we had been talking about participating in Ironman competitions. While Mike and I said that we would not even consider doing one, Micah had prepared for a year to compete in one last August (2007). He was participating in one because his brother had done the same one before. His family and friends and Amy’s family were there to watch his feat. And to see the surprise at the finish line. In Micah’s own words (or close):

     Through the last few miles of the race, I was dragging. It was embarrassing to have 50-something year old women passing me in the marathon part of the race. I had had stomach problems and had to relieve myself on the side of the course several times. But no matter how much I wanted to, I couldn’t quit. I knew that Amy was there near the finish line.
     My brother had run the race before and told Amy the best spot to watch the finish. They were going to be there about a hundred feet from the finish line behind the 3-foot fence separating the runners and the spectators.
     One of the coolest things about the finish of the marathon was the announcer yelling out finishers. Everybody would cheer when he announced somebody finishing. It was crazy!
     When I finally got to where Amy was, I stopped and grabbed her hand. She was yelling at me saying, “What are you doing!? Go! The finish line is right there!” But I just grabbed her hand and kneeled down and asked her, “Amy, will you marry me?” She was shocked and totally surprised. Thankfully, she said “Yes.”
     I had a bunch of friends who had t-shirts that said, “She said, ‘Yes,’” and they pulled off their sweatshirts to reveal them. My brother handed me a sign saying the same thing and I ran the rest of the race with it held over my head. I might have been dragging that last few miles but the last 100 feet, I was floating. The announcer was yelling, “She said yes! She said yes! She said yes!” People were cheering and going crazy! I will never forget it.

I do not know if anybody who hears or reads that story would ever forget it. Micah said that every woman who hears it cries and I would venture that most men at least tear up. (Or maybe it was just Mike and me.) After writing this account, I suppose that I should have warned all men who read this to burn any paper copies and get rid of the link to my website afterward so that their wives, fiancés, or girlfriends do not get a chance to see it. After all, who could beat a proposal like that? Proposing in front of a bunch of friends at dinner or proposing with a poem at an intimate restaurant seem so blasé compared to proposing in front of thousands of people just before finishing an Ironman competition. Which of course means, after taking 11 hours to swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, and run 100 feet short of 26.22 miles. Then finishing after she says yes.

I know that proposing marriage to the woman you love is not a competition. But if it was a race, Micah would be the winner by a couple laps compared to anybody I know. Being a true romantic, I appreciate the thought and planning that had to go into such a proposal. However, to my own credit, I live within a few miles of where I proposed to my wife. We can have dinner and I can compose another poem declaring my love for her. If Micah wants to relive his proposal, he needs to train for a year and get through 11 hours of swimming, biking, and running. I am not sure that I am quite that much of a romantic.

© 2008 Michael T. Miyoshi

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