Last Wednesday was, if not the best day ever, then at least one of the most memorable (and longest) days of my life.
I woke up at 6 a.m. to meet a group of friends at Shutters (the cutest beachfront hotel in Santa Monica) for breakfast and a couple of workouts. My friends at ASICS invited a group of fitness editors, and me, to spend two days product testing their latest shoes and workout gear while participating in a variety of the hottest new workout trends. So … that morning, we did yoga with Reese Witherspoon’s personal yoga instructor and then drove to the Santa Monica hills for a 90-minute hike.
After the hike, I had to depart from that day’s ASICS schedule to run home, shower, change and drive to UC Irvine for part two of my day. On Tuesday, my friend Shelby, who works with surfer Kelly Slater, invited me to a youth marketing summit called PTTOW to listen to Kelly, will.i.am from the Black Eyed Peas and Rob and Mike from Linkin Park speak on a panel about the power of young people to impact social change through social media and global initiatives. But the real draw of the day was the keynote speaker, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. What is he like? The best I can sum him up is this: If it is possible to feel happiness and kindness enter a room, that is what it felt like when he walked onto the stage at UC Irvine. It was an honor to be in the room when he did. Also, he is very, very funny. And gave his talk while wearing his red-and-yellow robes and a white UC Irvine visor. You can read the story I wrote about the experience HERE.
About 15 minutes before the end of his talk, I had to sneak out (I know!) to run to my car to give myself enough time to sit in traffic while making my way to the Staples Center for game 2 of the Lakers-Mavericks series and part three of my day. I was meeting my friend David at the game, who was serving as our fan reporter that night. Any of you who follow this blog know how much I love the Fan Issue and the chance to play fairy godmother to my sports fan friends. David is a lifelong Lakers fan and spent tons of time preparing the questions he was going to ask the players in the post-game locker room. Unfortunately, the Lakers lost in dynamic fashion and it was tough enough for the real reporters to ask post-game questions. David certainly wasn’t going to ask Ron Artest about his rap career. I felt terrible. I wanted David to have the experience of a lifetime, and instead, he had an all-access pass to the imploding of his favorite team.
But then I realized … he was at Coach Jackson’s final home game and in the locker room when Andrew Bynum walked out of the shower, looked at the throng of reporters and said, “Let’s face it. We have trust issues.” He was at a game many sports writers would have loved to have covered and one Lakers fans will not soon forget. He experienced real, raw emotion and how tough it is to stick a microphone in the face of a teary-eyed man. He likely stood in a locker room that will never be recreated, as the Lakers will look very different next year. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It wasn’t pretty, but it was real. And I was happy I was able to make it happen. Hey, at least I didn’t request a credential for him for game 5 instead!
After the game and locker room and press conferences and a few more photos on the court, we grabbed some food and reminisced about the game. Then, nearly 21 hours after I woke up, I did the most wonderful thing of all … climbed into bed.