It was my senior year of college and with graduation approaching, I decided to apply to give the commencement speech. I started watching other commencement speeches on YouTube to get some inspiration and came across Mitch’s in the search results.
I loved the sound of his voice and how witty he was. I emailed him to ask if he would read the draft of my speech and he wrote back saying he would. I later found out that I’d reached out to Mitch at the right time, as he was on bed rest after a diving accident. He was at a masters swim workout when he jumped in to the deep end of a pool too quickly and went straight to the bottom of the diving area. The implosive force was like a gunshot that ripped his inner ear membrane– resulting in a ‘fistula’ – the medical term for his ear injury – and it would leave Mitch unable to do anything physical for the next couple of months.
Anyone who knows Mitch, knows it’s impossible for him to rest. Ever. As a 22 times Ironman triathlete and a serial entrepreneur, his relentless drive doesn’t mesh well with the words “day off.” However, one of the silver linings was that during his months of bed rest, he had a lot of down time to connect with people. One of them being me – ‘the random woman who emailed him for help with her college graduation speech.’
And also his future wife.
After our initial conversation, a year passed of not talking when I messaged him online and said ‘Do you remember me? I’m the graduation speech girl.’ He responded: ‘Of course I remember.’ That night we chatted for hours, connecting on so many parts of our lives and laughing so hard that my cheeks hurt. We connected most about having both lost our fathers following several medical challenges.
I had just moved to NYC when Mitch mentioned he would be visiting from California for a charity event. We arranged to meet for a boat ride with some of his friends on the Hudson River. When I arrived at Chelsea Piers and saw Mitch walking towards my cab, I suddenly became nervous. I wasn’t expecting to be so attracted to him. To buy some time to compose myself, I purposely dropped my credit card in the cab.
Within the first minute, I knew he was the one. As I was getting out of the taxi, he said, ‘Oh my, you are so beautiful’ and then quickly apologized for being so blunt. We spent every day together for the next week until he had to fly home.
Just four months later, he proposed, and I moved to La Jolla, California
After our wedding, Mitch convinced me that we should do a 70.3 Half Ironman together for our honeymoon. We did the entire race together, start to finish, and even got a drafting penalty for biking too close to each other.
I’m forever grateful to have trusted my intuition after watching his speech to reach out to him. He is my soulmate. Finn, our first baby, is over a year old, and when he smiles, he has the same eyes as the man I found on YouTube. Anything is possible.