Our Engagement Story!

So, I wasn’t sure that I was going to write a post like this, but after the number of retells, I figured it was a good enough time to do it. Besides, when I went to the Morning Show (my run group here in Austin) this AM, everyone immediately asked and seemed surprised when I said I wouldn’t likely write a blog post. So, I guess this is something that people like to hear? Regardless, here I am!

It’s pretty simple, really. I know Paul well enough to know that he can’t keep a secret. So, I have to hand it to him, he did. And I really was caught off guard, although I’m also usually pretty good at sniffing out surprises. I’m not a surprise person. Mostly because it’s more likely that you’ll get a startled kick to the nads. Surprise!

But, on Saturday night, I had an influencer event at SXSW, which was the final event of my collaboration. Paul had been incredibly patient on Monday night with me during all of the retakes, reshoots and general Instagram-tweaking, so he was a double champ for going with me again on Saturday. It was pretty simple - go to Auditorium Shores, shoot some content, leave and start our date night! It had been a busy last 2-3 weeks and I guess I felt like we hadn’t gotten enough one-on-one time so wanted to do something out of the ordinary. Plans were made (I thought) to go to Bar Peached to try out the new bar right next to Rogue Running.

So, cut to Saturday night. We’re dressed up - we park at Rogue to walk the ~ 1/2 mile or so to the event and stage. I hadn’t brought a bag since we figured they might not be allowed, so we breezed right through security. Now, looking back, it makes sense why Paul dropped so far back behind me in security line! I’m not sure if jewelry sets off metal detectors or not, but I was definitely not in on it at that point. I just thought he was being slow!

The collaboration and event went really well - I got to meet some of the faces that I had been texting with earlier in the week, we knocked out our video and photos, and we were ready to roll around 6:30. I was pretty proud of myself because I thought we had reservations at 6:45pm, so figured we were right on time. We said goodbye to everyone at the event and started our walk back.

I won’t lie - as we were walking back, I knew that Paul had been a total trooper through the entire event. We did photos and videos for a couple hours and he did it spectacularly and without any complaints. I definitely understand how it feels to be on the other end of the camera and it could have been totally boring, but he’s a great iPhone photographer and content creator. So, I might have been putting it on a little thick - but whatever, we made a good team!

As we hit the pedestrian bridge as it crosses over Cesar Chavez, there was a couple getting their pictures taken on the spiral path that leads down to the trail. He told me to stop and take a picture in front of the Austin Power Plant, which I thought was silly because I was so hungry at this point. A moment later, he had given me a big hug and held on for just a bit too long when I realized that he was talking…

…asking me if I wanted to make our team forever…

And then he was down on one knee and I’m pretty sure at some point I momentarily blacked out before stammering out a “yeayeayeayeayeayeayayea” and a huge grin! It was a big ball of shock and awe and wow all rolled into one.

Ashley Rollins Swift Running & Fitness

He smiled; I smiled. My face hurt from smiling by the end of the day. It was one of those things that you dream about as a girl but you never really imagine what it would look or feel like when it actually happens.

Paul had called all of my friends that day and told them what was happening and so they were all in on it! They were all meeting us for dinner at the Park and so we jumped in the car and headed on over. It was such an incredible feeling to walk into a room full of people who were all there for you and were so excited.

I got the biggest hugs from his parents and his brothers, best friends and my friends. I loved seeing all my friends show me their text messages back to Paul when they found out (my personal favorite being “OMFG”) and how sweet everything was that was planned.

There’s not much more to say about that night other than I drank too much, I ate too little, and I was overwhelmed by the love in the room. Even though not everyone could be there, it was such an outpouring of love and joy that I’ll remember for a lifetime (also probably the post-two-stepping hangover I had the next day).

We don’t have tons of proposal pictures because Paul wanted to keep it between us. And honestly, I love it that way. It’s a special moment that the two of us will share forever. Each and every time I cross that bridge I’ll pause momentarily to let that moment sink back in.

I’ve been slowly soaking up everyone’s words of wisdom and genuine joy and happiness for us the past two days. It’s been incredible and this has been such a journey to this point, but there’s truly no other person that I would ever want to be by my side other than Paul.

Ashley Rollins Swift Running & Fitness
Ashley Rollins Swift Running & Fitness