By Lauren Tiller
BODYBUILDING WOMAN’S brother threatened to KILL her new boyfriend because of their TWENTY-THREE YEAR AGE GAP.
Personal trainer and nutrition coach, Anna Kenyon (24) who lives in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, met her partner of four years, business owner, Andy Dittmaire (47), when she was working as a waitress and studying at university and, at first, she kept her relationship a secret from her family.
While studying for a degree in criminal justice, Anna worked shifts at her local breakfast restaurant, and it was here where she met Andy. Sparks didn’t exactly fly for Anna, who said she wasn’t interested at all at first – whilst Andy was smitten and called it love at first sight.
Recalling their first date, the 24 -year-old was left red-faced when she ordered a huge fried meal, with chips on the side, whereas her date opted for a simple, healthy salad – but it was at this point Andy knew she was the one for him despite Anna still having reservations about the match.
Anna explains she feared the reaction of her family to the couple’s 23-year age gap and did not reveal she had met someone straight away. When she eventually did feel the time was right to share her secret, her family didn’t react the way she hoped they would.
Anna’s mother burst into tears upon hearing the news, her sister questioned Andy’s intentions, asking if he was planning to ‘chop her up into little pieces’, and her brother even threatened to kill Anna’s new partner, repeatedly shouting ‘I’ll kill him!’ – all before meeting him.
It didn’t take long, though, for Anna’s family to come around to Anna and Andy’s relationship once they’d met, and Anna describes them coming to love Andy as much as she does. The couple now even go on holiday with the personal trainer’s family.
Andy’s daughters, Ciara (27) and Cheyenne (22), on the other hand, were accepting of Anna from the start despite his eldest daughter being two years older than her dad’s girlfriend.
The blip in their relationship in its early stages wasn’t the only obstacle for the couple to overcome in their four-year partnership, though, as another rough patch arrived when Anna expressed her desire to take up bodybuilding professionally.
Anna describes feeling broken by the 47-year-old’s reaction to her dream, who expressed concerns her body would change too much and she would become ‘repulsive’ to him. The 24-year-old, not wanting to sacrifice what she wanted, continued and threw herself into training – leading the couple to split for sixth months after Anna’s first show.
Couple’s counselling was the saviour of their relationship and now Andy is supportive of Anna’s passion for bodybuilding. Anna, now, attributes their four-year relationship’s success to the hard times her and Andy faced.
“At first I did keep him a secret from my family. I was terrified of how’d they react once they found out about the age gap,” Anna said.
“My mum actually started to cry when I first told her, my sister asked if he was going to chop me up into little pieces, and my brother just kept screaming ‘I swear, sis, I’ll kill him!’
“He has two daughters who are pretty close to my age; we are only two years apart. His eldest is 27 and his youngest is 22 but they actually had no issues with our age gap.
“But after the first meeting they knew Andy was genuine and all fell in love with him as much as I did. We all even go on family holidays now which is amazing.
Anna has since competed in the NPC Hoosier flex contest and Indiana Muscle. She had plans to compete again this year but all three shows she’s been preparing hard for have been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.
“Our biggest problem by far was when I decided to become a bodybuilder.
“I very specifically remember Andy saying, ‘well I guess you’re going to look repulsive’. That honestly broke me, but I kept pushing. After that show, we broke up for some time.
“Fortunately, we chose to take on some couple’s counselling and were able to sort everything out. Now Andy is very supportive of what I do, and I am so thankful for that. Although that time in our relationship was hard, I believe it needed to happen so we can really value the relationship we have now.”
Anna’s family weren’t the only source of negativity for the couple who’ve also had to face ‘gold digger’ comments from the outside world. The personal trainer puts the trolling down to people not knowing the real ‘them’ and judging a book by its cover.
“From the outside looking in, it looks quite odd,” she said.
“Especially since I’m a young personal trainer and Andy is an older businessman. We kind of fit all of the stereotypes.
“Every now and then I’ll get the ‘she’s a gold digger’ comment but I know that once people sit and talk to us for ten seconds, they can see our relationship is genuine, true and full of so much love. At the end of the day love is love.”
This year will be the last for the bodybuilding competitions as Anna is hanging up her bikini and retiring the spray tans in order to start a family with her older beau after getting married – despite originally not wanting children at all.
“We have so many big plans,” said Anna.
“We aren’t too sure if we will just up and elope one day or have a big wedding. We definitely want children and after I finish competing in 2020, we are going to actively try for a family.
“What’s funny though is I didn’t want children at all, but he did. He was fine with my decision but had hopes that one day I would change my mind. I remember sitting him down and telling him I wanted a family and he was quite shocked but very happy.”
For more about Anna and Andy’s relationship journey, see @anna_gets_abs