#116: A serving of brain food? My #GS2014 Review

A bunch of hours on a plane followed by a day and 1/2 of meetings followed by a bunch of hours on a plane – do not do wonderful things for triathlon training…..but that’s the big story of the week for me….so here goes.

Now, to be fair, I normally I don’t spend much time on this blog talking professional shop, but after getting back to NJ and trying to make up some training hours lost, it’s where my head is at……and….several hours on a bike trainer give you  plenty of time to think….

I came to realize that although not nearly as physical as I might have hoped, the conversations & relationships definitely help another aspect of training – they keep me inspired and balanced about the other aspects of life – and with that kind of balanced inspiration, good things happen.  So, although a quick training-week review is included – the remainder are the ramblings from my week.

On Thursday, I headed to my (now 4th) annual pilgrimage to one of my profession’s “meeting of the minds” – this time in Salt Lake City, UT.  It all started a few years back, during a moment of weakness by the organizers I presume, when they let me into one of these meetings and I had no idea what to expect. To me this year was a really poetic venue, as the famed Sundance film festival was taking place just up the road in Park City…..poetic because as many of the entertainment industry’s heavy hitters and stars were making their way Park City, many of my industry’s heavy hitters (and somehow me) were assembling nearby – not right in the center of the mayhem, but near it and impacted by it to some degree. 

See, this is something very much akin to the Physical Therapist’s role in the current mayhem that is healthcare – not right in the center, but near it…..and DEFINITELY impacted by it…..and that’s what supplanted several of my training hours this week…..I don’t know how athletes who do a substantial amount of traveling do it.
  • Monday and Tuesday were strong workouts, 
  • Wed (scheduled day off) I could have crammed another workout in there, but my body was ready for a break. 
  • Thursday – travel – no workouts.  
  • Friday (all day meetings – and an evening at Sundance – carb-loading), 
  • Saturday – pre-session run at elevation (which never ceases to amaze me), 
  • Sunday – 3 hour butt-busting bike trainer workout + 40 min run (to salvage the week at nearly 10 hours of total training)
#GS2014 Review

I’m willing to fly across the country because I know exactly what to expect – great conversation and thought-provoking commentary by colleagues from around the nation that I hold in high esteem. It’s funny how much insight can be gained when you put 150 passionate people all in the same room.  

Not all were super involved – like any profession there were the people who flew across the country to play on their laptop……but those that were engaged contributed significantly when they chose to chime in.  On the other extreme there were folks who were super passionate – happy to chime in…..there was even one guy who screamed his approval during one monologue so loudly that the people next to him jumped (ok, that was me – sorry again Jeff and Laurie) – but that’s only 1/2 of the value of these meetings.

The other 1/2, which is my favorite 1/2, are the relationships gained – getting to know people and learn about (or more about in some cases) them in passing or over a few beers.  There was:

Brett from Wisconsin – read my favorite poem to the group (which spurred the yelling) and gave more credence to those of us who “ready…shoot….aim”. Effectual.

Jerry from California – there is just something about smart people with a sarcastic sense of humor that I find compelling.  He’s sort of like those two cranky muppets in the theater – the one’s that are cynical but very funny – an ability to push others out of their comfort zone is an asset for any group.

The other Jerre, from Texas – one of the most thoughtful “big men” I’ve met in the profession – I’m sure it looks a little like an adult talking to a child when he and I are talking – but I find his thoughts insightful and appreciate them.

Roger, almost from NYC – he’s the only person that consistently gets up early to run with me – a conversation I really look forward to – although this year we added a third (our group is growing)

Mike from Iowa – another one of those smart senses of humor that I like – but behind it is a hard worker who is getting things done and I admire.

Dan from Utah – although I had my suspicions going in, after hearing some of the things he does outside of the profession this go around, I’m now convinced he’s actually Clark Kent.

The other two of the NJ trifecta (Kathy and Nancy) – I’m pretty sure they meet prior to conspire as to how they’re going to say really strong things to counterbalance my babbling and keep NJ looking reasonable.

Rob from Wisconsin – somehow I keep finding myself sharing cabs with this guy.  This time I learned he’s got an impressive Endurance-sports resume.  What next?

Stacy (Cali), Paul (Pennsylvania) – I will wear my “Pig Pen” shirt with pride…..in Park City $10 gets you a shot and a shirt – that beats eating the “big 96-er” every time.

Jason from Tennessee – Gave a really strong message that if it weren’t for a smooth, southern style, would’ve been a punch in the gut for more than a few.

And of course – there is the cadre of PT superstars that have been attending since the beginning – all of whom have held (or do hold) formal leadership positions in the organizations that pull this thing together….to them and the thought provoking panelists – thank you for tolerating me again this year.

As I have for the last several years, I feel again this year – PTs change lives…..and I am proud to be a part of such a passionate and honorable profession.

Happy to be home – all charged up,

Mike E.