It is 5.34 am Central Standard time on Friday, February 15, 2008. Since 4 pm yesterday, I have flown from Chicago to Dusseldorf, and Dusseldorf to Birmingham, England. It is 12.30 pm local time in Manchester.
As the group publisher of seven magazines and the president of a firm that reps thirty four total titles, I could be traveling every day. I do not. However, most events that I attend have dual roles-I am able to write about the events, represent our magazines and also meet with our advertisers. On top of that, I work in a sport that i love and I spend much time trying to help make the sport better.
One of the busiest months of the year, and even more so, in an Olympic year, is February. It is the height of the indoor season in the US and Europe, and there are three major trade shows for the sport and for the business of footwear during this time.
I am never at all of the events. Just impossible. I try and pick the best events each year to attend where I can fulfill my various job requirements. This year, two weeks of bronchitis made some decisions for me, and now, in order not to get sick again, I am trying to watch myself-the late nights, the dinners at midnight, and the subsequent revelry until all hours does not make one a poster child of health.
I do have some practices, that for me, in my pretend world, seem to work, and I am, as a public service, sharing them with my fellow travelers and blog readers:
a. Always wear comfortable clothing while traveling. I have a couple of suits that I wear when I travel, as I am always meeting people on planes. They are loose and allow me to relax and sleep, read, or chat, whatever the case may be.
b. Always be courteous, keep a sense of humor. I can not tell you how many times a joke or courtesy to an airline employee after they have had the passenger from hell makes their day and mine. Keeping an island of civilization around oneself is a good thing.
c. Water, water, and then, water. I am a water hound. I have also become a purveyor of Airborne, a nutritional supplement, with vitamin c, b, and many other vitamins that I take before and during travel. It works. The eight to ten glasses of water a day is a huge deal, it keeps you alive and healthy. While I never drink hard liquor on flights, I do have red wine, in moderation.
d. Bring those work projects you can’t do in office, also some good reading to clear the brain. I always have FT-Financial Times, and a couple of books. This trip I have a book on the crusades and a series of short stories by Ron Clarke, the famous runner.
e. Make time for friends and family. I have learnt that in many of the places I travel, I can surprise my sisters, brother or parents and friends for dinner. I take a walk with a friend, or grab some coffee. One of my favorite breaks each year is the two hour tour of Boston, on a walk, with a former race walker. We plan our get togethers each year for indoor season and take the tour of the city of Boston.
Two good movies to see!
The Martian Child–John Cusack is one of my favorite actors. From movies like High Fidelity, Gross Point Blank, Max, Must Love Dogs, Cusack likes diverse roles. In this movie, he portrays a newly widowed man who adopts a kid who thinks he is a martian.
Cusack’s character is complex, layered and shows the vulnerability and pathos of a man trying to love his adopted son, while letting him be unique or crazy as some might see it. In the end, they heal each other, and one is not sure who the extra terrestrial really is-the author (Cusack) who writes about Mars, or the kid, who seems to have lived there.
The King of California–Michael Douglas, in my mind, has not done a real acting role since Ivan Gekko and Wall street. Evan Rachel Ward is the young actress of her generation, running up one great role after another. Ward plays a precocious seventeen year old who has to take care of dad, a former bass player, who is in and out of the mental hospital, and is now fixated on finding a Spanish treasure. When Douglas lets go, and allows himself to be the half crazy, half brilliant father, one sees an actor at the top of his game. Ward’s interaction, and genuine love for her father character comes through, as well as trying to protect herself from getting hurt again by a man whose forays into the real world seem less and less frequent.
What I am in Birmingham for!
I will be writing about the Norwich Union Birmingham International meeting, to be held on Saturday, February 16, 2008. Birmingham is one of the sites of the industrial revolution in Great Britain and it has more canals than the city of Venice! In fact, on my walks around town, there are some lovely walks down the canals and some beautiful
apartments and homes along the canals as well!
The Norwich Meeting is producted by Fast Track. This agency run by Alan Pascoe, John Ridgeon and meets directed by Ian Stewart, has shaken up the sport of athletics in the UK. I try to see the meets, and get a few questions in to Ian, John and Alan, when I can, as I see their innovation as key to what we are trying to do in the US. Some of what they do can be replicated, some can not.
Fast Track knows that sport is entertainment. And in the nearly three hours of the meeting, they put on one exciting event after another. The crowd is transfixed and the sponsors are happy, and on top of that, it makes for great sport television!
Expect a lively report on the meeting and also some thoughts on the production of the event over the weekend. For now, I will bid you a fond goodbye because I need to sleep!
For more on the sport, click: http://www.american-trackandfield.com
I hope you don’t mind my asking what the book of short stories by Ron Clarke is called?
Ed, The book is called the Lonely Breed! Great Book!