NORTHVALE, N.J. – Brianne Deptuch and John Kuder were completing their Tuesday morning workout at a Northvale gym when he suddenly fell behind.
The two Norwood EMTs "were running the ladder and I thought he messed up," said Deptuch, 24. "I turned around and saw him out of the corner of my eye -- and then I saw the ring."
Kuder, a 28-year-old Norwood police officer who'd dated Deptuch the past two years, was down on one knee.
"I was just hoping she would say 'Yes'," he told Daily Voice.
"The response couldn’t come fast enough," said Kuder, who lives in Washington Township. "It was only seconds but felt like an eternity."
Some Deputch family members hit in a side room. Kuder's brother, Tim, was secreted in the rafters, camera at the ready. One Fitness co-owner Rob DeBrino held onto the ring.
Kuder excused himself to go to the bathroom, took the ring handoff from DeBrino and returned to drills.
Deptuch went first, then got the surprise of her life.
"It was definitely a first here," DeBrino said.
The couple have been training with Angelo Mazza for two years.
"Rob and Angelo have been great to us," Kuder said. "They’re both like mentors. By doing that [there] she would be completely surprised and have no idea I would pop the question."
Kuder knew he found his bride-to-be after they vacationed together.
"A couple weeks ago we went on a cruise," the Westwood High School alumnus said. "After those seven days that was the solidifying moment. I knew I wanted to, but that solidified it."
"We always have the same ideas for ourselves and each other," added Deptuch, an Academy of Holy Angels graduate who lives in Norwood and works at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center. "How we go through our daily lives, how we view life, how we go through our days."
The couple plans to enjoy the moment before they start planning their nuptials.
"It will be interesting, but it will be a lot of fun," Deptuch said.