I had the privilege of spending time with J. J. Watt this morning in Sausalito, California, as part of an event announcing Gatorade's plans to revolutionize sports fueling through personalized hydration and technology. When I found out that I had a chance to speak with Watt, I opened things up to our audience to see if they had any suggestions about what I should ask the All-Pro defensive end. I quickly learned that this wasn't such a good idea.
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Through cruel fate, the winning request came from Jen, a volleyball player from Cleveland who submitted the following:
"Would it be weird if I asked you to hug J. J. and then tell me what it feels like? And, it can't be a manly hug, it has to be snuggly."
Yes, Jen, that would be incredibly weird, but we keep our word around here, so here goes:
Hoping that Watt would quickly shoot down the odd request, I filled him in on the weirdness that Jen had sent us. Despite having been up since 3:30 a.m. PT for previous media commitments, Watt was amazingly game for it. As you'll see in the video above, he and I locked ourselves up in a powerful hug that lasted several seconds.
Jen, here is how I would describe what it felt like to hug J. J. Watt:
It was glorious. I have never felt so small, secure and safe. It was like being embraced by a giant, well-dressed friendly grizzly bear. He smells like the forest with a subtle blend of pine trees and fresh mountain dew. And yes, it was snuggly as all get-out.
Did I hold on too long? Probably. But shockingly, it was not awkward—at least for me. My head against his chest. His giant hands across my back. It all felt right for some reason.
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Watt is clearly a great guy and good sport for doing this. Like me, he must've realized the importance of what we were doing. It was one small hug for Jen and one giant hug for all women across America.
God bless you J. J. Watt.