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Our story is divinely inspired and started in a most unusual way. Well, not unusual in the romantic sense of two strangers meeting and being drawn in together, but unusual in the location and timing of our initial meeting. We were both at an event that made us question what brought us to this horrible place. It was at the LA Sports Arena on May 21st 2011. The event was "Cage vs Cons" where the premise was Ex Convicts in an MMA style cage fighting against policemen firemen and War Vets. Around the arena was the distinct smell of marijuana filling the halls, and tattoo ink machines buzzing away. Before the fights started there were hip hop artists shouting and gang affiliated colors were decorating the entire building. WHAT WERE WE DOING THERE???
Shannon was working with Xsura - Ziing which was a sponsoring company. She was in Los Angeles from Florida on a business trip working the booth at the Event, as well as spending time with family as her cousin was in the hospital dying. Ari was called at 9:30 that morning by a friend who had a booth at the show and needed some help working on the MMA fighters. I figured that I had nothing better to do that day, so WHY NOT come and help out a friend.
I had no idea what I was walking into when I got there. The police presence gang presence smell of marijuana throughout the Arena mixed with a level of tension and anticipation for the fights. It was thick and palpable the energy of the place. Not quite condusive to romance and love finding its way through the muck.
At some point during the day Shannon was told by someone that there was a massage booth
When Shannon first came up to the booth, I was sitting down relaxing and she went first to my friend Art San whose booth it was that I was helping at. I noticed her walking towards us and while already intrigued, I was not who she was coming to see. She was here to have Art work on her. I was watching him do his thing, and in my head thought that it would be really nice for me to get to work on her as well. I had no idea why I wanted to work on her, but it was something that popped through my thoughts. After a few minutes of Art working with Shannon, he said, "You should really have Ari work on you"
Shannon describes this better than I do because I couldnt see myself but I was sitting in a chair and had a chair for her in front of me. When she sat down and I put my hands on her shoulders, it was over for me. I was in love. I had no idea what was compelling me, but all I really wanted to do was rest my head on the back of her neck and melt into her. Turns out that my hands were melting into her and she into my hands. Shannon says that she first fell in love with my hands and then with me. It is absolutely amazing to me how divine spirit creeps into the most uncomfortable places and brings two souls together. When I was done working on Shannon, she turned around and cried while I placed my hands on her heart.
I was in Love and Knew that I would never see her again unless I got her number and called... So I asked for her number and got to connect with her one last time before she flew out back to Florida. We havent had a day without communication since that day.....
- Ari Gronich