It had been two years since we saw each other at The NCA Collegiate Cheer & Dance National Championships. Two more cheerleading seasons and two more years of college. It’s really funny how the world works. Over those next two years we would be so close to each other, in the same place at the same time, yet just far enough away that our worlds wouldn’t meet. Until the summer of 2004.
At this point in our story, we had a mutual friend. One summer night Ashley and a few of her teammates took a trip down to Mankato to visit this friend, who just happened to be Troy’s roommate. We met in the kitchen that night over pizza delivery. Troy in his knit beanie cap, uncut hair curling over the edges. Was it love at
first second sight? Not quite yet. But something sparked Troy’s interest in Ashley that night.
A few months later as fall approached, Ashley caught up with this mutual friend and one of the first things he said was,”Do you remember my roommate Troy? He asked about you.”
“Oh yeah. What did he say?”
“He said, ‘whatever happened to that Ashley girl? You should give her my number.'”
Ashley did remember Troy and also remembered the beanie hat. And the hair. She politely declined.
There were a lot of changes that happened in that 2003-2004 cheerleading season for Mankato, so many that Troy and this mutual friend decided to not continue with the cheer team. Lucky for them, they knew our assistant coach…
It was a Saturday night and everyone gathered at the cheer apartments (as if we didn’t already spend enough time together we all had to live together in the same apartment building). This little get together was organized for the purpose of Troy (and our friend) to get to know the St. Cloud team and to practice with us that weekend. Lure them to the other side, if you will. New coach, new year, big goals. This season we were going to place top 3 at nationals.
That’s the night we saw each other. Like, for real this time. Troy looked completely different that night. No glasses. Freshly cut hair. Nice button down shirt. Could this really be the same beanie-wearing guy Ashley had met a few months back? It didn’t seem possible. This guy was cute! Before she left the party that night, Ashley put her number in his phone but really didn’t think that much of it. Her mind was preoccupied that night. Little did she know she had just given her phone number to the man she was going to marry.
A few days later, Troy called and left her a very sweet message. He said he was calling to make sure she was ok, “you left the party kind of fast the other night.” What a nice guy, she thought. How did he even notice that something was wrong? We didn’t even know each other. She returned the call.
We spent a couple weeks talking on the phone, as if we had always been friends. Ashley told him all about her problems and Troy listened. He even gave her advice. She just couldn’t get over how nice and caring he was. It may have taken a few weeks but late one night at a team party, we kissed. And from that moment on we were inseparable.
Ashley’s love for photography brought her to buy one of the first flip-phones with a camera (obviously the camera was really high quality). A picture even showed up on the outside of the phone when someone called (SO fancy). The picture on the top left is the very first picture we ever took together, in Ashley’s car before cheerleading practice. We took selfies before they were called selfies.
And in case it isn’t obvious — Troy decided to join the St. Cloud cheerleading team.
Need to catch up?
Part 1: The First Time We Met • Part 2: Love at Third Sight • Part 3: Everything Comes Full Circle • Part 4: She Said Yes! • Part 5: Our Engagement Photos • Part 6: Our Wedding Day