Rather than doing a thousand or so teeny-tiny blogs, I thought I'd wrap up my experience at the Club Industry East show with a few more thoughts and stories in one big blog:
On Friday morning, I attended two seminars, one by San Diego State's Ken Baldwin on university membership demographics and another by Tony Tamules of Orlando's RDV Sportsplex on the transition from personal trainer to club manager. Baldwin had some good information on student recreation centers, which I've been following closely the last few weeks. Tamules' seminar was based on leadership issues and could have been used at any type of convention, not just for the club industry.
Yes, Walt Disney, it is a small world after all. I ran into two people from my past at Club Industry East. I saw a friend from college who was at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort for a child life council convention. Heather is now a certified child life specialist at Virginia Commonwealth University's Children's Medical Center. The next day, I ran into a former college basketball player whom I covered at Emporia State in Kansas. Ryan is now a fitness consultant for ConocoPhillips in Oklahoma.
Pam, Jenn and I went to Magic Kingdom on Thursday night. The first ride we did was "It's a Small World After All." Jenn correctly pointed out that every racial stereotype was on display during the boat ride, although I speak for all of us in saying that the dolls were rather cute racial stereotypes.
Here's a little known fact about Disney World: There were plans to put it in St. Louis, MO, in Walt's native state. But the Busch family of Anheuser-Busch fame wanted to sell beer there, and Walt wouldn't have it, so he went to Florida. Here's a not-so-little-known rumor about Walt: He wasn't very fond of my people.
I didn't spend too much time touring the show floor, but it was pretty lively when I was there. I got my right thumb manicured and worked on my abs, which I can still feel now. The show floor had photo images of two Chicago Bears linebackers--Dick Butkus and Brian Urlacher--promoting massage chairs and fitness equipment, respectively. I remember seeing the women from the tanning booth walking around the show floor, not wearing a heck of a lot. There was also a woman in a white bikini/workout outfit at one of the equipment displays. I don't why I remember them; I just do.
The only good thing about flying out of Orlando two hours behind schedule was seeing the Space Shuttle Atlantis take off while I was on the airplane. (I even snapped a couple of photos. Pam and Jenn saw it from the ground, too.) Pros about AirTran Airways: XM radio, which allowed me to listen to a few ballgames on the way back home. Cons about AirTran Airways: They lost my bag, but luckily, they got it to me the next day.
As I was recuperating from a late night by flipping through channels on my couch the next day, I caught the end of "Celebrity Fit Club" on VH1. Our friend, Dr. Ian Smith, was on there, but he was having a tough time trying to restrain drill sergeant Harvey after Screech from "Saved by the Bell" (aka Dustin Diamond) challenged Harvey to a fight. This show had a much better ending than "The Sopranos" finale. I had seen a clip of this quarrel on E!'s "The Soup," and I never made the connection to Dr. Ian. Had I known, I would have definitely asked the good doctor about the profanity-laced tirade, which produced more bleeps than an SOS distress signal. Maybe we can get Screech to speak at the next Club Industry show.