Patricia Panics when Introduce to President

What a privilege to meet President Obama, Michelle Obama and Joe Bidden.   I was under the impression that each of us would have a few second to shake the president’s hand and quickly move along.  I prepared to say something sincere and short.  Turns out each of us had a few minutes.  To my credit I did handle the first 20 second with grace; followed by a steep drop off.

I challenged the president of the United States to a game of basketball…

I also don’t know why I said what I said.  He then asked me if I had moves to which I responded a firm “No”.  What was unspoken between the president and myself was “why did you bring it up?”

I panicked.

I have since engaged with a basketball coach, Helen Tau, because I think I stand a greater chance of learning basketball than I do of not bringing it up in strange situations in the future.

I hugged Michelle Obama twice.  All I could spit out was “I am so proud of you”.  A strange thing to say to the first lady.  She is a hero of mine and I lost my head.  In meeting Joe Biden he put his hand on my face and said he was proud of me.  I almost cried.

It did not occur to me how strange it was that I challenged the president to basketball until 15 minutes later.  The internal dialog went like this… “You are an intelligent woman, there are so many other things you could have said… why basketball???”  Followed by “Are you sure your intelligent?  Is that something you’ve heard other people say?”

I had serious preexisting medical conditions.  I was one of the people who was helped tremendously by Obama-care, I was previously uninsurable.  Why couldn’t I have said thank your or something to that effect.  I read both his books and loved them, I have always been a huge fan, and I volunteered on his first campaign.  I could have said any of that, but instead I asked him to play basketball with me…?  I’m still scratching my head.

It was a great honor to meet the president.  At this event he also honored the descendants of the Berlin Olympics.  The African-American Olympians in 1936 were not invited to the white house visit.  It was remarkable to be in the same room as the descendants of Jesse Owens and all 19 American Olympians that had not received the honor they deserved.

As always so proud to be part of Team USA.


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