You were getting onto the 19th floor elevator at a downtown Chicago hotel with your wife around 7:30 a.m. Green sweatshirt. Newly shaved head. Blonde, tall and pretty dang skinny. If I had to guess, I would say that you ran the Chicago marathon on Sunday, you won the Olympic trials in 2008, placed 10th in the Beijing Olympics and you hold the US half marathon record at 59:43. Just a wild guess. If I wanted to take a stab in the dark, I would say that you look like a “Ryan” and I would bet your last name is “Hall.” No, no, I’m not a creeper, this is all pure speculation.
I was coming off of the elevator, too consumed with how I probably stunk up the thing with my post-run stank. As I walked off, I looked up and for the first time in my life, saw you and your wife, and my mouth wouldn’t work. My mind was racing thinking, “Holy shiz, that’s Ryan Hall! Should I say hi? Should I say congrats? Should I ask for a photo? Should I leave him alone because he’s totally a celeb?” By the time these thoughts raced through my head, the elevator doors shut and you two were gone.
What was wrong with me?! I’ve seen Ryan Hall more times than I could count at race expos, but seeing him here was the difference between seeing a lion at the zoo and then a lion on an African safari. I’ve never been star struck, I’ve never not known what to say, but dang you Ryan Hall, you got me.