Monica and Steve - Not a Bad Way to Cross The Finish Line...
Steve and I signed up for the Under Armor Baltimore Half Marathon in Maryland (even though we live in Tampa, Florida). It was unusually hot there for that time of year, and by the time I finished it, I was in a pretty cranky mood. I was dehydrated, sore, my thighs were chaffed so it hurt to walk and to top it off, I really had to pee.
In the massive crowd of people, I was urgently scanning for the nearest port-a-potty. Steve however, kept talking to someone on his cell phone and was distracted. I was trying to remain patient and I ask him what he is doing, and all he would say is that he is was trying meet up with someone. That made no sense to me because we didn’t know anyone there. I was about to snap on him when I turn around and see my mom, my little sister, my aunt and all of her family smiling right at me.
I thought to my self, “Oh WOW my family flew in from Tampa just to see me complete my first half marathon!” Next thing I knew, Steve pulled me by the infamous Johnny Unitas statue in the Camden Yards area and got down on his knee. I knew that his knee was bothering him all during the race so I blurted out, “Oh my gosh, is your knee okay??”
He ignored me and said to me in Spanish (I am latin, he is Caucasian and trying to learn Spanish), “Monica Milagros Ortega, te caserillos con migo?”. He meant to say “Will you marry me?” in Spanish, but instead he said something along the lines of, “Go to the ghetto with me?”
As I mentioned before, I was in a dehydrated and exhausted state of mind, so I shot him a confused look. Then he pulled up the ring and THAT I understood! I said yes, and cried and the whole thing, then he went on to put the ring and accidentally put it on my right hand. Bystanders that had flocked at this point started to yell, “No, what are you doing? Wrong hand!” So we quickly fixed it and cried, laughed, took pictures, and I did finally get to go to a port-a-potty at the end. It was the sweetest thing anyone has ever done for me, considering the planning it took to do all of it. Not to mention, Steve confessed afterwards that he was checking his running belt every mile of those 13.1 miles, just to make sure that the ring was still there.
To this day when we pass Camden Yards, we point out the spot where Johnny Unitas, united us!
Photos by Carrie Wildes Photography out of Tampa, Florida.