Friday, February 5th, 2010
A Conversation 38,000 Feet Up With The Two-Time Kona Ironman World Champ
I’m phobic about flying and didn’t want to be squeezed between strangers on the 14-hour flight from Sydney to LAX, so I chose a seat in the rear of the Qantas 747 where I’d have only one person at my side. Whose elbows would I bump as we ate over our trays, whose knees would I climb over to get from my window seat to the aisle? From seat 70K, I guardedly watched the flow of humanity funnel through the Economy section. Would it be Mr. No-Neck with the upper body spilling out of a tank top that pictured an airbrushed Harley, or the gray-haired lady wearing an inflatable pillow like a neck brace and dangling shopping bags like ornaments? Please no, please no, I silently prayed.
And then I saw him standing patiently behind a turban-wearing man and sari-wearing woman who were taking an inordinately long time to stuff the overhead bin. I blinked, and there he was: a perfect specimen, thirtysomething, with dark hair, chiseled cheekbones and a tight black polo shirt that revealed sculpted arms. He looked unperturbed by the people blocking his way and seemed unaware that he turned heads like Heidi Klum in a hardware store.
He looked at the empty seat next to me, then right at me, and then smiled. Yes, thank you, thank you, I silently prayed again. (more…)