Jay gave the keynote speech on Friday afternoon, which closed out the official activities of this year's conference. For those not familiar with him, he is an elite Ironman Triathlete and three-time member of the U.S. National Team, who also happens to have type 1 diabetes. That means that during one race, he's swimming for 2.4 miles, biking for 112 miles, and running a full 26.2 mile marathon, all while managing diabetes.
Whoa. That makes my half-marathon last year look like a nap.
Hearing him speak about the obstacles, struggles, and triumphs of racing Ironman triathlons with diabetes was inspiring. His competitive attitude extends beyond athletics to how he lives his life with diabetes, too - "Diabetes is my motivation; it drives me to train and race for hours, endure the pain, all to send a message to this disease that 'you're messing with the wrong guy!'" (quote from the CWD FFL website)
Sara and I walked by the "meet and greet" area after his speech, and she turned to me: "Are you going to go ask him to do a You Can Do This video?" I stammered, "Oh! Um... but I don't have..."
Sara finished my sentence for me. "... a camera? I have my Flip with me. Seriously, let's go ask him. Right now."
That prompt was exactly what I needed to hear (thank you, Sara!) to force me to get over my sudden timidness and just ASK already. Jay was so kind and gracious, and asked us to wait around until he had the chance to meet everyone who was already standing in line - which we gladly did.
I don't think I've ever strung together words as quickly as I did when I was trying to explain the You Can Do This Project to him, but what I said must have made sense, because I now get to present you with this!