Newlyweds Evan and Alana Philcox of Wading River delayed their courtship for a couple of years. Alana explains.
I was competing at the annual Inter-Beach Lifeguard Races at Jones Beach in the summer of 2009 when I noticed a guy staring at me from across the pool. As I got closer to him I saw how handsome he was, and I became interested in him. I asked around and found out his name was Evan Philcox. He was 25 years old and had been working as a lifeguard at Robert Moses State Park since 2000. I was 19 and had begun working as a lifeguard at Sunken Meadow State Park in 2007.
I "friended" him on Facebook, and to my surprise he sent back a long response saying he couldn't help but notice me at the races. He asked me out to dinner and I accepted.
A friendship quickly brewed that summer over dinner dates and phone conversations. We discovered our paths had crossed years before the competition -- he used to cut my neighbor's lawn in Smithtown. I then remembered my mother telling me at the time that she thought the boy mowing the lawn across the street was very cute, but I was too young to pay any attention to him.
Although there was a very definite attraction between us now, I was starting my junior year at SUNY Geneseo, and we both understood a long-distance relationship would not last. We decided to just remain friends and date other people. Over the next two years we kept in touch from time to time and sometimes saw each other during school breaks.
When I graduated and returned to Long Island in 2011, I took the lifeguard qualification tests at Nassau Community College so I could be rehired for the season. While there, Evan and I again spotted each other from opposite sides of the pool deck. The attraction was still there, but with 500 lifeguards swimming, taking CPR courses and running races, we didn't have a chance to talk. He phoned me later that day. After a standard greeting of "Hello, how are you?" etc., he cut to the chase and asked, "So, can we date now?"
We became Mr. and Mrs. Philcox on March 17, 2013. Evan is an English teacher at Longwood High School in Middle Island and coaches soccer at Longwood Middle School. He also coaches junior varsity lacrosse at Riverhead High School. I teach English at Eastport-South Manor Junior-Senior High School in Manorville, and I'm pursuing a master's degree in special education.
We continue to share our love for the beach while running ocean rescues together at Robert Moses State Park. In April 2014 we will be adding more joy to our lives with the birth of our first child.