Updated: Aug 2, 2021
“ I took a deep breath to accept and remember that Jamie Lee Curtis was pulling me by my hand through a crowd of people at a party."
Our PR director asked if I had met Jamie Lee yet and I said “no,” as if we simply had not bumped into each other, but I was intimidated. She was an image from the Hollywood of my childhood dreams, and now we were standing on a terrace in Malibu with the Pacific Ocean washing ashore in rhythm behind us. I approached her, and waited for just a second until she was alone. Her eyes moved to mine. “Hello Jamie Lee Curtis,” I sputtered, and introduced myself. She laughed, and repeated my entire name back to me as well. “Thank you for kicking off the event for us,” I offered. “Aww, thank you guys for raising so much money for the hospital… it is very dear to me,” she said, and told me about the little girl at St. Jude’s she had bonded with who then later died. Tears formed in her eyes, and I instinctively touched her shoulder. She didn’t pull away. I changed the subject. “Do you ever do the triathlon yourself?” I asked. “Oh God, no!” she gasped, twisting her face, “but you look like you could,” she said, scanning me up and down. “I don’t think I could do the swimming part,” I answered. She stared into my eyes for a long moment, as hers softened with kindness. “Come with me,” she said, and took my hand, leading me through the party and across the terrace. I took a deep breath to accept and remember that Jamie Lee Curtis was pulling me by my hand through a crowd of people at a party. We stopped at a man in chinos and an open dress shirt. She took his hand and placed it in mine. “Coach John, this man needs you to help him swim the triathlon next year,” she said to him. She turned to me, took my shoulders in her hands, and leaned into my ear. “You can do anything you want if you just ask for a little help,” she said, and walked away.