Day 1: Chicago Style


Wednesday got off to an unusual start for me. Unusual in the fact that I started the day with a walk, and it cost me big-time.

Let me explain. On Monday morning, with the Club Industry show looming, I decided I was going to start walking every day. And so I did that on Monday and Tuesday on our treadmill in our basement. With a mid-afternoon flight on Wednesday and no reason to go into the office, I decided to take the time and walk on the trail behind our house.

But in doing my part to join the fitness world, I lost out on a running back I really wanted to get for my fantasy football team. Right before my walk, I checked to see if the first-come, first-serve free agent period had started for my fantasy football league. When it hadn't, I went for my walk. In hindsight, I should have waited just three more minutes before my walk. In double hindsight, I should have just picked up the player in the silent auction period the day before.

I told Pam and Jenn this story, and Jenn made a good point that I may have lost in fantasy football but I got a win in the game of life. I weeped openly after she said that.

I touched down in Chicago a little after 2 p.m. at Midway Airport, where we flew right over the houses in the neighborhood and landed on the runway. I wonder what the value is of those houses right next to the airport runway. It can't be more than $79.49. Sure, you'll get a nice-sized house at an unbelievable rate, but you might get hit by an airplane every once in a while.

It took me a good 1 � hours to get from Midway Airport to McCormick Place. I still had my luggage with me, and at one point Wednesday, I had both my luggage and my work bag in a not-so-secure area of the convention center. Thankfully, all my white T-shirts were accounted for when I picked up my bags.

I attended a 4 p.m. seminar on corporate fitness, which I'll delve into more in another post here on the blog. Our November issue will include a Trend Watch on corporate fitness, so stay tuned.

After the seminar, it was time for our welcome reception. We grabbed one of the few standing tables, and wouldn't you know it, everybody we knew or worked with came by to say hi, as well as every server with a tray of hors d'oeuvres (had to look up the spelling). Mmm, mmm, those corn dogs were tasty.

The real drama of the night came when the Club Industry group decided to go “crash” the IHRSA party at a nearby hotel. You needed a badge and perhaps a reservation, but a lot of the folks who had been at our party were going there, so we followed suit. Surprisingly, no one stopped us from going in, which was a little disappointing in a way. A few minutes after we got in there, Pam, Jenn and I decided to head out. The fun was in crashing the party, not the party itself. And we didn't even drink anything there, either. (OK, so I had a little hors d'oeuvres. Again, tasty.)

We headed back to our hotel and later out to a nearby establishment, Miller's Pub, where I could see how everybody would know your name. If I can work it out, I'd like to go there for every meal. When I saw that they serve eggs and omelets there, that includes breakfast, too.

That about sums up our first day in Chicago. The show floor looks great, our booth looks great, and we can't wait to see what tomorrow brings.

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