Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Man in the Red Shoes

Definitely the most important thing that has ever happened to me in my life happened one year ago. Well, almost one year ago. I meant to wait until Saturday to post this, but I got too excited to wait.

This time last year, I was at a Young Single Adults' (YSA) Conference (for church) in Kentucky. I had been feeling somewhat juvenile when they handed me my jade-colored t-shirt and later I was shuffled out to the hallway to meet the other members of my "group." (That's right, I was being assigned to a group, in order to maximize socialization. Definitely feeling juvenile.) I was also feeling a little out of place, and hoped I wasn't the oldest person there. (I wasn't, but I thought I might be.)

Anyway, all I remember about that hallway is a pair of red tennis shoes who walked over to introduce themselves. Their owner was tall, handsome, and seemed gregarious as he stuck out his hand to shake mine. We exchanged names briefly and were then hushed by our group leaders as people began circling up to do introductions. When it was my turn, I said, "My name is Cammie, I'm from Colorado, I live in Alabama, and I like to do triathlons." Chad, the handsome man to my right, also introduced himself, saying he had recently moved to Kentucky and was from Idaho. He then hissed at me, "You do triathlons? That is sooo cool." I sensed the enthusiasm of someone who had some connection to the sport, and asked him if he did them too. "Yeah, I've done a couple," he said. "I'm more of a runner, though." Ohhh, I liked him.

After the introductions, our group walked back to the dorms together. Chad and I chatted the whole way. He was in dental school, I found out. Although, I didn't find out much more than that. I'm a little ashamed to admit I think I talked about myself a lot. I was just so taken in by his rapt interest in whatever mundane thing I was saying--my normal role of conversation-starter and keeper-upper went right out the window and I shamelessly droned on about grad school, or therapy, or. . . something.

My thought process about Chad went something like this: He is cute. He seems normal. He likes triathlons! He's smart.

Truthfully, I don't even remember how our conversation ended. Once we got to the dorms, we were shuffled into a "social room" for snacks. The room was noisy and filled with people and as soon as we got there I looked for the friends I came with, joining them as soon as I spotted them. It's weird that I don't remember being aware Chad was in the room after that (he assures me he was). I honestly thought he was a nice, cute guy who I'd be happy to see around over the next few days. I felt reassured that there were cool, nice guys left in the world, even if it didn't cross my mind that this particular guy would have any special significance for me.

This story is kind of like a lot of other stories about times I met people--some people who I met only once, and others who became important pieces of my life. Of course, I wouldn't tell this story were it not for the fact that Chad became one of the most important pieces of my life over the weeks and months to follow. I feel really, really grateful for that warm summer night in Kentucky and the handsome man in red tennis shoes. 

Do you see us? It's too bad I was too shy to ask him to take a picture with me that weekend. I definitely had my camera. Thanks, facebook!


  1. This is really sweet story, Cam. I'm so happy things work out the way they do.

  2. Wait... I feel like this blog post needs a Part II. And maybe even more than that.

    1. Haha, you're RIGHT! I'm glad it left you wanting more. :)


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