Lunch with Joe Theismann, what a way to start football season…


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“Football is a game played with arms, legs and shoulders but mostly from the neck up.”                                                                                                             – Knute Rockne

I attended James Malichak’s Speaker Success Boot Camp this past week.  As someone that literally went to boot camp, I can tell you that when it ended the feeling was similar to getting out of boot camp in the Navy.  I felt exhilarated, motivated and exhausted!  While being seated for lunch on Saturday, I saw that Joe Theismannn, the legendary NFL quarterback, was seated in the booth behind me.  I knew that he was the celebrity speaker scheduled later that evening and here he was sitting right behind me eating lunch.  Those of you that know me know that I am from a small western Pennsylvania town known for steel and football so to say I was excited to see Joe is an understatement!

As I am getting settled I find myself looking through my purse for my compact mirror to see if I can hold it in a position to see Joe.  Then I start laughing; a lot… and get up to go over to him.  I said “Joe, did you ever see the I Love Lucy episode where she is having lunch at the Brown Derby and William Holden is sitting behind her?”  Joe started smiling and nodding his head saying “Yes.”  I told him I just had to come over and say hello and that I was looking forward to his speech later that evening.  While reaching to shake my hand Joe said, “Michelle, I’m glad you came over to introduce yourself.”  I politely returned to my booth smiling from ear to ear.  Just before my food arrived, a large shadow on my right made me look up with my Lucy eyes to see Joe and he asked if he could join me.UN - Blog Picture - Lunch with Joe-2

Now I am telling you inside I am shaking but outwardly I tried to remain calm and replied “Of course.”  He proceeded to ask me questions about why I was attending the event.  I told him that I thought James was the best marketer and businessman I knew and I wanted to make sure my book business was on track.  We had a nice conversation and then he left saying that he would let me get to my lunch which had just arrived.

UN - Blog Picture - Lunch with Joe-3If you ever have an opportunity to hear Joe Thiesmann speak, please take it.  His speech was one of the most inspiring, motivational and endearing speeches I have ever heard.  They say that you need to eat a meal with a person before you can really know them so this is what I know about Joe Theismann.  Observant, he noticed my badge and called me by name; attentive, he looked in my eyes while speaking with me; student first, he demonstrated the joy of learning and discovery and excellence clearly evident by his habits, discipline and results.

Thank goodness for re-runs of I Love Lucy; Lucille Ball’s humor allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and turn around.

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