Before moving to New York -- when I lived with Giribar in Cupertino -- my favorite run was through the hilly trails of Rancho San Antonio park. Anugata and I had done some blistering circuits of the Wildcat Loop and those memories drove me back to those hills in my first few weeks back in California.
Alone, I'd ascend the trails that led to views not only of Silicon Valley, but of San Francisco on a clear day as well. I'd stop at the top and survey the view and imagine that there was a woman somewhere out there -- someone I hadn't met yet -- with whom I'd share my life with. As it turned out, she worked at the YMCA.
There were a lot of good looking women at the Y, both employees and members. But it was the Health and Fitness Director that caught my eye. Her name was Elaine.
At the beginning, I worked at the Y's front desk. I'd check member's cards on their way in, gave members their towels, checked out equipment, and did laundry. And at the end of each night, I was responsible -- along with one of the Y's executives -- for setting all the alarms and locking the place up.
The executives at the Y took turns staying late to close up. One night it was Elaine's turn and as we walked around the facility, she mentioned that she was going to be attending the Mushroom Mardis Gras festival in Morgan Hill that weekend. I was running in the Mardi Gras' 10K that Sunday, I told her.
"You should give me call," I said. Thankfully, she did.
That was more than 18 years ago and her eyes are even more beautiful today than they were then.
The picture above was taken at my dad's house, where I was living when I met my future wife. It was taken, however, a few years after our marriage. While it's not particularly flattering to me, it's a good shot of Elaine.