Brittany and Ryan

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How We Met

Both Ryan and I are runners. Ryan more so than me on account he was awarded a full athletic scholarship to Belmont University for cross country and track, set multiple records, won countless races, and made it all the way to the Olympic trials; and I just run for fun at a snail’s pace. Nevertheless, it’s what brought us together.

There is a running group that meets every Wednesday night in east Nashville called East Nasty. Anywhere between 100-200 people participate every week. Ryan has been a loyal member for over 8 years, and is obviously well know within the group with his outstanding ‘track’ record, get it. In April of 2015 my roommate dragged me to the group. I was resistant and told her I hated running in groups, but she argued that we needed to meet new people, so I gave it a try. The second time to the group, I met Ryan. He came up to me after a 4 miler in 80 degree temps to introduce himself, and I know I didn’t look cute. He said “Hi I’m Ryan, I haven’t met you yet.”

I was thrown off at first at how energetic and engaging this guy was. Also, I wasn’t used to talking to shirtless guys who wore those short running shorts. But he made me feel like we’d known each other for a while, as he does with everyone he meets. In fact, my roommate even asked if I knew him from somewhere. After that initial encounter, I (the girl who supposedly hates running groups) became a regular to East Nasty (the largest running group in town). I always hoped to ‘run into’ Ryan at the group, which wasn’t easy given he is a ‘Fasty Nasty” and runs with the 6-7 min mile group, and I was a “Lasty Nasty” in the back with the 9 minute milers. But somehow we seemed to find each other. We developed a friendship quickly. One night the local running store was having a trivia event after the weekly run. I made sure Ryan would be there, and conveniently made sure we were on the same team. We were terrible, and still are at trivia. After the event, Ryan asked to walk me to my car, where he then asked to take me to breakfast that Saturday. That breakfast date was our first date, and we haven’t looked back :)

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This photo is from Bourbon Chase 2015. We had been dating for only 5 months when this photo was taken :)

how they asked

The whole 2 years Ryan and I have dated he has been studying for something. He’s an ambitious guy. First, it was his private pilot’s license. Next it was the CFP designation (Certified Financial Planner). So I had gotten used to our down time together being consumed with him having his head buried in an estate planning book, or me reading off questions for the oral portion of the pilots test. We got through it though. He aced his pilots test, and I was so relieved once his CFP exam was finally here. The weekend after the exam Ryan asked me to go flying with him. He hadn’t been able to fly much due to CFP studies, and wanted to practice his maneuvers. I agreed to go with him, and he agreed to take me to brunch after.

So we head to the airport in Smyrna, it was a beautiful blue sky sunny Sunday. It was a typical pre-flight and take off, but once he began the ‘maneuvers’ I quickly developed a case of motion sickness. I spent half the flight with my eyes closed, just praying I didn’t get sick in the tiny cockpit. After a particularly gut flipping maneuver, I spoke up and asked Ryan to please not do that again. He laughed and said not to worry, we would land after that one. Finally we land, and I had never been so thankful. I love him, but wasn’t too thrilled with him at that moment.

We park and tie down the Cessna, and start walking back to the airport. There was a large passenger jet parked out in the airfield so Ryan of course had to stop and check it out. We begin walking around the aircraft, but I was still nauseous and antsy. I just wanted to go sit in a stable chair and drink ginger ale to settle my tummy. But he grabbed my hand and walked me to the other side of the plane. We begin chatting about who the jet may belong to, or what it may be used for. He is pointing to this and that on the plane, and points to something to draw my attention away from him. He then says “Hey, check this out on my phone. It’s our flight pattern”

Image 3 of Brittany and Ryan

He hands me his phone which has a GPS flight tracking app displayed. I look at the image on the phone and see “Marry Me” with a heart. Ryan had flown the plane, with me in it, and spelled out the proposal! I look at the phone, the next thing I know he’s on one knee with the ring out stretched in front of me. It was like a movie, or fairy tale! I can’t believe it actually happened to me :) Ryan made sure there was a photographer there to capture every moment. It was the most special day. I cherish this story, and more importantly I cherish Ryan.

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Special Thanks

Ian McEwen
 | Photographer
Matt Jetske
 | Transportation for Photographer