After our short press conference, I wanted desperately to take advantage of the moment and meet her and tell her how she had impacted me, but I held back. I knew she was concerned about getting back to the kids in the auditorium who were waiting in line to meet her, and this wasn’t about me. If I was going to have the chance to meet her, as a fan and as someone whom she had impacted, I wanted to be fair about it.
So I lined up, and I waited. Scott stood with me as I bounced up and down, nervous and excited all at the same time. As we passed around her medals and took some pictures with them, my mind spun with all the possible things I could say to her.
When it came to my turn, I nearly burst out in tears. I joked that this time, I was there for me not as the press, and then barely managed not to cry as I briefly told her my story and how she had impacted me. Our exchange was short, but it was possibly one of the most memorable moments of my life. She told me I was inspiring and to keep doing what I was doing, because it would change lives. And though I felt a little silly doing it, I asked for a photo with her and her autograph. I had contemplated not asking for either, but I realize I may never get the chance to meet her again and I wanted something to keep with the memories.
I had nothing for her to sign, so I asked her to sign my iPhone case. Then we stood together and smiled as Scott snapped our picture.