Some people might find it a cliché to say that you find love when you aren’t looking for it. I, however, am pleased that stereotypes have a tendency to be accurate 37% of the time. It all started in 2012 on the Team In Training fall triathlon team. I had just finished the challenging Wildflower Triathlon long course and I was basking in my accomplishment and looking forward to some much needed recovery. My recovery period didn’t last long before I was feeling the itch to race again. I applied for a training captain position on the Team In Training fall triathlon team and had my mind set on improving my time at the Big Kahuna Triathlon.
I was all focus and dedicated my energy as a captain to helping new triathletes adapt to distance training, ultimately helping my own race goals as well. Then several weeks into training I noticed a cute brown-haired girl had joined the ranks to take on the Mighty Mermaid Triathlon. A few weeks later I noticed she was always smiling at me, but of course I didn’t talk to her. I was all focus, however I did volunteer to lead a majority of the Olympic distance bike rides (but don’t tell her that!).
The season rolled on. More looks, more smiling, still intrigued… still didn’t talk to her. During the season I was asked to be auctioned off at a bachelor/bachelorette fundraiser at Lily Mac’s. I acquiesced but thought, what’s the point? Do these setups even lead to anything? Remember, I was all focus.
At the auction, the participants were encouraged to work the floor and sell raffle tickets. I was working the floor when I saw her. I went up to her to talk to her for the first time and maybe it was the anxiety, but the first thing I said to her was, “Please buy my raffle tickets, if you don’t I will get whipped with a hose.” Smooth, but by some miracle it worked, she bought tickets!
Then during the auction, it was my turn and I was handed a grab bag to choose the venue for my date with the highest bidder. I couldn’t help but notice that the prize date, right on top, was tickets to a Giant’s game. I thought that at least if the date is really bad we will be at a Giant’s game. The opening bid was made and then she joined in. A bidding war ensued and to my surprise, she won. She paid a ridiculous amount of money to go on a date with me and to this day, I haven’t had the heart to tell her that she didn’t have to win me at an auction to go on a date with me (let’s keep that our little secret).
Now for the most embarrassing part of the story – I didn’t even know her name. Our Team In Training team manager asked me if I was going to talk to my date. I asked what her name was and was told its Moema, an interesting name. I was also told she was Brazilian and with that, we were officially introduced. It only took a month and half.
The rest is history. We went to the Giant’s game, we finished our races and eventually fell in love. Moema has been my biggest supporter, including her selfless support of my Ironman endeavor that consumed a majority of 2013. We now live together, with our dog Oliver and cat Buster.
You can find love when you aren’t actively searching for it. And Moema, if you haven’t decided to leave me after reading my version of the “how we met” story, happy Valentine’s Day! I love you.
Kevin LeBlanc first joined Team In Training in 2011 to compete in the Big Kahuna Triathlon. Since then, he’s been a triathlon training captain and completed Ironman Tahoe. Kevin is currently on a well deserved triathlon sabbatical to focus on his relationship with Moema and his career. He’s an attorney at law, practicing in bankruptcy litigation.