Maya and Ross

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How We Met

Ross and I met in 2014 when he walked into the fitness center, where I was working as a personal trainer, to play basketball. I was offering free body fat testing to members, which gave him the perfect opportunity to stop and say hello. After I gave Ross his results, he mumbled something about asking me on a date as he bent down to tie his shoelace. He wrote his phone number on my client sheet, which was tossed into a drawer only to be discovered by me two weeks later! I cold-called him on the spot and we agreed to go on a date when he was back in town. The next five and a half years of our lives saw us through a long-distance relationship and eventually moving around the world together, as I joined Ross in different major cities for his work as a professional basketball coach.

Those adventures all made our love story so unique and special. We knew very early in the relationship that we wanted to be married one day but took our time growing as individuals and partners before making the decision to get engaged.

How They Asked

Ross and I arrived back to the U.S. in mid-March after living abroad in Melbourne, Australia for a basketball season. We landed at LAX after a long flight, only to discover that COVID-19 meant canceled work and housing plans. When the opportunity arose to spend time at the McMains family compound in Baton Rouge, we were so grateful for a backup plan that allowed us to spend time with his extended family!

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On the day of the proposal, Ross sent me off to get some pampering done with his Aunt. We arrived back to discover that the patio furniture had been mysteriously rearranged. I was told to be ready for date night in one hour so I took the opportunity to toss aside my social distancing sweatpants to get dressed up! After an hour, he texted me to come out to the patio. I walked out to see a restaurant-style romantic table for two, set with the dinner he made at someone else’s house so I wouldn’t know what he was up to.

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We enjoyed dinner together and then he suggested we take a walk to the family basketball court. As we got closer to the court, I noticed another table set up for dessert and started to think this was very, very special date night. He brought out a beautiful cake along with a present for me, which turned out to be the most gorgeous pair of ankle-wrap stilettos I’ve ever owned.

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We had dessert and slow danced on the basketball court, with our Lola patiently watching and waiting for her turn for a dance. As we walked back home, Ross suggested that we take the leftover cake to share with other family members. He changed the song on the speakers to play our “future first dance song” as I opened the door to the family pool area.

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I immediately looked to my left noticed the table beautifully decorated with champagne and glasses, then looked to my right to see his professional photographer cousin snapping away. I finally realized what was about to happen and let out a few happy tears.

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Ross gave me a moment to recoup, told me how much he loved me, and dropped down on one knee and asked me to marry him.

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I said a big yes and was still wrapping my head around what just happened as the family rushed out of the house to celebrate. They’d known what was going to happen for weeks! Ross disappeared at one point and returned back with our friends and family from around the world on a Zoom screen waiting to wish us congratulations!

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Ross worked closely with designers at Natalie Marie Jewelry in Sydney, Australia to create this bespoke engagement ring that features a peachy-rose tinted rutilated quartz stone, ethically sourced from Canada.

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We are so excited and cannot wait to celebrate our love with friends and family from around the world!

Special Thanks

Frank McMains
 | Photographer