I met my partner… At the gym


Richard Claxton, from Ayrshire, spent a year convincing his now fiancée to go on a date with him.

I met Nicola in the gym, where I teach Boxcerise and Metafit. When I first met her I thought she was a really nice girl, but I was going through a lengthy divorce so I wasn’t keen to jump straight into a new relationship. The more I saw Nicola and spoke to her, the more I realised I was falling for her. It was love at first sight but I wasn’t sure if the feelings were mutual.

One night I was on a first date with another girl when I bumped into Nicola. It was so awkward because I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. The girl I was on the date with noticed so it was the first and last date!

I finally decided that the next time I saw Nicola I was going to pluck up the courage to ask her on a date. It took a bit of convincing to get her to go out with me – a year’s worth to be exact. I never gave up on her and on January 4th 2013 she gave in and we went on our first date to see Dirty Dancing at the Edinburgh Playhouse… We’ve never been apart since.

My friends and family were over the moon that I finally got the chance to go on a date with Nicola – I think they were sick of hearing me talk about her. My Mum even resorted to contacting Nicola on Facebook to encourage her to go on a date with me, which was so embarrassing.

In January 2015, I bought director box tickets for Dirty Dancing at the same place we had our first date, where I was going to propose. I thought this would be the perfect time and location to propose because of the memories we share there, I wanted it to be something she would never forget.

I enlisted the help of the UK’s pro sports dance team ‘The Rockettes’ – the official dance team of Glasgow Rocks pro basketball team. I decided to propose to Nicola in public by using a flash mob. I asked the team to choreograph a Dirty Dancing style routine, in which I would also dance, before dropping onto one knee whilst a giant banner unveiled the words, ‘Nicola will you marry me?’

To say I was nervous about asking Nicola to marry me is an understatement, but it was one of the best days of my life. We both hope that once we tie the knot in December this year, we can start a family and continue to be as happy as we are just now.