Monday, February 25, 2019

Say It to My Face!

It's been a while since I blogged.  This weekend, something happened that was so awesome so I had to not only embarrass myself but also had to share!

As you may or may not know, for quite a period of time, I have lectured to UTA Nursing students in their Pediatrics course about Type One Diabetes.   It's an interesting approach of viewing the disease from a nursing perspective and also as a parent.  One of the things I do at the end of my lecture is to show the student pictures of famous people living with Type One Diabetes.  The photos include politicians, activists, musicians, athletes, etc.  It's a demonstration of how this disease is part of life and does not define one's life.  It's meant to be an inspirational part of the lecture.

Well, I approach much of my life with humor, because if we don't laugh, we'll cry.  Right?

In the lecture, I show the picture of this fine gentleman.
After showing the picture, I amuse myself and the students by saying, "Anyone know who this is?"   I've never had anyone be able to identify him.  So, I answer for them, "Who cares?!!!  Just look at him!", which always gets some snickers.  After the requisite laughs, I reveal his name is Kris Freeman, and he is an Olympic cross-country skier.  Not the sport of my choice, mind you, given all that white junk on the ground, but he did not let T1D squelch his dreams of being an Olympian.

My thought:  He's from up north.  He's an Olympian.  I'll never see him in my life.  

Fast forward....

Yesterday, I was honored to volunteer at the JDRF Type One Nation Summit in Grapevine, TX.  Anyone want to take one guess who the Keynote Speaker was?

No other than the said gentleman above, Kris Freeman.  Wait, what?!!

I'm not afraid to embarrass myself at times, especially with such an awesome complimentary story.  I saw him walking around, freely talking to whomever, so I branched away briefly from my volunteer duties and spoke to him.

I told him about lecturing, using his picture, and my famous line in the lecture.  He gave me a big smile!  I admitted it was pretty embarrassing, as I never thought in 1 million years I'd meet him, but I wasn't afraid to embarrass myself to pay him a well-deserved compliment and share a funny story.  I thanked him for being an inspiration for all with Type One Diabetes as he did not let it define his life or squelch his dreams.  At the end of our chat, he told me, "There's an embarrassingly large number of shirtless pictures in my speech!"  I snagged a photo with him, smiled, gave him two thumbs up, and went back to my duties!

Lesson:  If you can't say it to someone's face, you should not say it!

Have a wonderful week!