Friday, January 8, 2010

Conventions: The next endurance sport?

I'm writing from brightly lit Las Vegas, Nevada. My home for the next few days is a hotel room at the Imperial Palace as I partake in the annual right of passage known as the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). CES is a 4 day electronics trade show, the worlds largest I might add.

Getting around Vegas effectively is mostly about walking. If you're leaving the strip there are taxis or buses, but for moving from casino to casino, nothing is more effective than travelling by foot. However, when you're here for leisure, you walk from one casino to another, then you sit down for a while to gamble. When you're here for a conference, you walk from casino to casino (or the LV Convention Center), just to walk around some more once you get there.

It can be grueling, standing in line for nearly everything you do, constantly on your feet in temporary booths with carpet no thicker than a kitchen rug. There are very few places to sit, and most are taken by women or the people working the booths. It's also mentally draining, because there is no place you don't wait, except maybe in your own room. Very little happens quick with a convention this big.

That's why I'm so glad for my triathlete training and experiences. We triathletes know how to suffer. It's part of what we do and who we are. It's in there, the ability, and sometimes even the need to suffer in order to achieve. And talk about mental toughness, I know no one mentally stronger than a triathlete. You can't suffer as hard as we do for as long as we do without a resolute mental fortitude.

So, while I lumber on towards the end of my trip, and I keep a keen eye for the next big technology, I'll also be looking for anything I can find at the show or from my experience here that will help me continue to grow in my ability to handle suffering.

But for now, I'm off to soak my feet in the giant soak tub I upgraded my room for.

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