Shirtless Nostalgia

Mandy Arioto honestly

15 years ago I went for a run along the beach in San Diego. Accompanied by my roommate, we laced up our running shoes and set out for a Saturday morning jog. We were in college and what else do you have to do when you’re 21 than to spend a leisurely Saturday morning breathing in salt air and enjoying the 10am sunshine. A few miles into our run brought us to a place on the beach where the path runs parallel to a 40 ft cliff with no railing. As we jogged along this treacherous piece of coast I noticed a guy running toward us. He was wearing a pair of running shorts, no shirt and was totally hot. He got closer and I recognized that he attended the same college as I did and though we hadn’t met I had seen him around campus. As we ran closer I tried to play it cool, pick up the pace and not look like I was sweating too much. And then just as we got close enough to make eye contact, he tripped right in front of me, letting out an “ugh” and almost falling down the 40ft cliffs. He quickly regained his composure, hopped up off the ground and kept running without saying a word. My friend and I keep running and as soon as we were out of his hearing range she looked at me and said, “He totally has a crush on you”.

Fast forward a week and I get a message on my phone from “shirtless wonder”. He tracked down my phone number and utilized his most impressive verbal skills to convince me to go on a date with him. The rest as they say is history. To be honest he had me from the moment I saw him shirtless and teetering on the edge of the cliff.

This past week we went to San Diego for Thanksgiving. While we were there, Joe and I went on a date to the spot he first fell for me. We ran on the beach, reminisced about our whirlwind romance and the three whirlwind children that are the by-products of that romance. We talked feelings and hopes and remembered all of the silly things we did in the early stages of our relationship. Most of all, we remembered what started this whole thing in the first place.

I can’t tell you that the last 15 years have been easy. We have endured hard times where all we were running on is the fumes from the romance that drew us together in the first place. There have been financial struggles and moments when I wondered if we were ever going to have fun together again. The weight of life stacks up sometimes. It is in those moments that nostalgia saves us. Remembering the spark that kindled a lifetime of commitment can re-ignite that fire a second time.

I wouldn’t trade any of the adventures that we have had since that first fateful meeting on the cliffs. And I am the luckiest girl in the world that the man of my dreams literally fell into my life (and shirtless nonetheless).

Hello, Darling. There is a God.

Reminiscing is good for the soul. Have you been on a nostalgic date recently? Whatever brings you back to those early days of dating can be a great way to spend an evening with your guy. Maybe it is visiting the restaurant where you had your first date or pulling out your wedding video and re-living the day.

P.S. The Five Date Challenge. I’ll tell you about it real quick. It’s a great way to sauce things up with hubby. Go toMOPS.org/mobilefor all the details. (Can you say chance to win an all-expense paid trip to a dreamy location?) Play the Truth or Dare game in the app. It is hilarious (can you say naked cartwheel?) and will make for great conversation. Also, no matter how creative you are it is hard to come up creative date ideas on a regular basis- the Date Plan-o-matic has lots of fun ideas if you aren’t feeling very inspired. Ok, that’s it friends. God speed and truth or dare.

Tell us about you and your guy’s favorite nostalgic date location.

a Rafflecopter giveaway