Sometimes I feel like the main character in Forrest Gump, Forrest himself. I'm in the center of everything and seem to bump into all kinds "big" people while I go along living my life. I have to say it has been enjoyable and interesting to see how some people completely loose their mind when a "celebrity" walks in the room. The funny thing is that people are just people.
There are those who seem to bring an aura with them in the room - Princess Diana, Michael Jordan, Lee Smith (ex- Cubs pitcher), Bob Mc Keague to name a few.
There are others who you don't even notice as they slip into a room with their calm presence, but once they are there the room orbits around them; Dave Scott, Mark Allen, Tom Hanks, Bob Scott, Sarah Reinertsen (I was the next "finish line catcher" and may have been the guy to help her.)
How about the "famous people"...Mattew McConaughey, Tia Leone, David Ducovney and that actress from Desperate Housewives - don't remember her name...met them all. Some super model gal - who looked smashing and was surprisingly intelligent and easy to talk to. Macca, Floyd Landis, Chris Horner, Normann Stadler, Natasha Badmann, Michelie Jones...I've met them all.
Then add in others like Jon Blais, John Collins, Paul Simon, Jim Ashcroft, Dr. Bob Laird, Mike Reilly, Dr. Bob Murray, Andy Litinsky, Bob Lee, Bob Seebohar, Heather Hedrick, Troy Jacobson, Don Fink, Nate Llerandi, Jen Baer, Tim Hola, Gen. Colin Powell (helped him throw up before a speech; he had the flu and the secret service guy was watching the bathroom door after he was convinced that I either was trust worthy or had no idea who Gen. Powell was.) Let's stop here with the names.
I was on the goal line for the infamous Missouri/Colorado fifth down football game. Saw Walter Payton break records. Jordan score 60. The Bulls win 72. The Cubs blow a golden opportunity to get to the World Series. Meeting Louie Bonpua at Ironman Canada 2001. Bonpua, who suffered from leukemia, reached a lifetime goal of completing an Ironman, by finishing Subaru Ironman Canada in 16:56:40, providing inspiration to people all over the world. Bonpua would pass away in early 2002. Also in the 2001, Ironman Canada - passing 1998 IMC Champion Chuckie V clapping for age group athletes as I ran out and he was running (walking) in and clearly having a rough marathon. Having "living legends" help me prepare mentally for Ironman Hawaii - Mark, nobody can repay that...ever. I am eternally grateful. I can't even start the stories of meeting Ironman legends like Greg Welch, Bob Babbit, Heather Fuhr, Roch Frey and Paula Newby Fraser.
What is interesting to me is how the heck to I continue to run into extraordinary people/situations? Perhaps the old Italian proverb is true..."The right man comes along at the right time" or another "When the pupil is ready the teacher will appear."
I have a lot to be thankful for as Lou Holtz once told me, "The only things that change your life are the people you meet and the books you read." I agree Lou. I agree.