Madden PT - Dauphin Clinic - December 2019

December 2019


This October, Maria and I had the opportunity to hike through the gorgeous desert landscape of southern Utah. After dating for the past 2 1/2 years, we were fielding many questions about whether this would be the trip where we finally got engaged. Coworkers and patients at Gilbert Physical Therapy, where Maria works, asked her if she thought a proposal was going to happen while we were in Utah. I had the clever idea to make sure it didn’t happen on our vacation — instead, I surprised her a week earlier. To train for our big trip to Utah, Maria and I had been hiking throughout Pennsylvania. The weekend before the big trip, we headed to Ricketts Glen State Park to climb through gullies of waterfalls shaded by trees. That morning, it was raining, and for as sure as I was that Maria was going to say “yes” to my upcoming proposal, I began to wonder if the rain was a bad omen. But the weather eventually cleared up, and after taking a look at the map, we descended down the trail. However, I didn’t realize just how popular Ricketts Glen was! There were hordes of people near every waterfall we passed by, and I knew I wanted this proposal to be something we shared alone. So, finally, we were between two waterfalls when I chose my moment. I asked Maria if we could take a break. As we moved to the side, I seized my opportunity and asked her to marry me. Naturally, she thought it might.

After her initial shock wore off, she happily agreed to marry me, and, even though I knew that was going to be her answer, I was still relieved to hear her say it. Once we made it back to the vehicle, we realized we were just 45 minutes away from Maria’s 97-year-old grandmother. We shot over there after the hike, and she had the privilege of being the first person we told after we got engaged! It was a pretty special moment. We’re now in full wedding planning mode, and we just secured our date at the time of writing this. May 22, 2021, can’t come fast enough.

And the first words out of her mouth were “I hate you!”

Of course, this was all said in jest and lovingly. Since she was caught off guard and shocked, she hadn’t been able to do her nails, and we were clearly muddy, sweaty, and fighting off the humid rainy day. It may not have been a picture- perfect day, but I had done exactly what I had set out to do: give Maria the shock of her life and a great story.

Thank you to everyone for your good wishes and kind words!

–Dan Hinnerschitz

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