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One of my favorite stories is about how Michael first heard about me, told to me by the incredible Jon Urbanchek. In 2007, Michael was on the World University Games Team (WUGs), and Jon was on the coaching staff. During the WUGs meet the US Nationals were going on back home, and Jon was asking Michael about the results from the meet. If anyone knows Michael he knows anything and everything about swimming and race results. Jon knew exactly where to go to get updates. On the last day of US Nationals Jon asked Michael how the women miles went. Michael’s response was they were ok and nobody important won… Well, I won that mile! I never knew about this story until after Michael and I were dating but always thought it was really funny.
It was one year later in 2008 that Michael and I would meet for the first time. Michael and I were both coming off great college seasons heading into the summer of Olympic Trials. He was much closer to making the 2008 Olympic Team than I was, but it was both of our goals to make the Team. Unfortunately neither of us competed as well as we wanted to at the Olympic Trials, and we both fell short of our goal of qualifying for the Olympics. We both went out with our friends after we had finished competing and ended up by chance at the same restaurant/bar.
There is still some argument on who spoke to who first… I say he sought me out and he says vice versa haha. Either way, we hit it off getting to know each other and found out that we had a lot in common. We also spent much of the next day hanging out as well. We both had decided to compete at the US Open in Minneapolis a couple weeks later. In between Olympic Trials and US Open we would talk every day by phone, text and Facebook, most of which was joking around and building our friendship. We spent much of the US Open hanging out and continuing to get to know each other.
Neither one of us knew what was going to happen with the relationship because he was still in school at Texas and I was at Michigan. We decided to just play it by ear and let things play themselves out. We continued to talk on the phone everyday, and one evening in September of 2008, I remember Michael asking me where I saw our relationship going. We decided to start dating and give the long distance relationship a try. I remember not many people thinking we would last because of the extreme distance between us.
It was definitely hard being in a long distance relationship, and we were lucky if we got to see each other once a month. However, we did make it work! In my opinion those two years of long distance were crucial for us because it gave us the opportunity to really talk about who we were, what our interests were, and really get to know each other.
It wasn’t until January of 2011 that we were finally in the same place together. We both moved to Southern California to train under the aforementioned, legendary coach Jon Urbanchek. Because of financial constraints, we needed to move in together to be able to afford living there. So we went from being over a thousand of miles apart to living together. I was really nervous at first but it was the best decision we made. We now live in Michigan together and cannot wait to spend the rest of our lives together!