Thursday, May 28, 2009

IAFC Miscellany

I got home again with no trouble and the cool, dry Alaska air hit me like a delicious tonic as I exited the airport. Everything I brought home was damp and musty and needed airing, washing and/or drying. My poor old water shoes never got dry once in Florida. I baked them in the Alaska sun:
but they still were beyond redemption and had to be thrown away. Fortunately, I had anticipated something of the kind and had packed an old pair to begin with. I had every intention of quickly writing up a final post with all the bits that hadn't fit anywhere else, but that excellent ambition fell victim to a week-long brain crash compounded of jet lag (why is it always worse going west?) and withdrawal from massive quantities of exercise. Just a good thing that I didn't have to do any brain surgery or rocket science right away.

So here they are, finally, all the odd bits and pieces:
  • I had a wonderful conversation with a lady who is the aquatic director of the Orlando health club that advertises itself as the home of the Magic basketball team. She had great stories of the pro players in the pool, like the 7-footer doing laps behind his trainer. The trainer was swimming, "pacing" the player. The player, a non-swimmer, walked behind him in the "deep" water while "swimming" his arms. The trainer hadn't a clue.
  • I heard rumors about fabulous pay for aqua teachers in the southeastern retirement areas--$50-$60 per class. Hard to believe numbers like that, but I'm sure there is high demand that will continue as boomers retire.
  • To my surprise, I was not the fattest, oldest, palest, or least fit participant in the conference. The attendees were a wide spectrum of humanity from all over the world (29 countries represented). It was so splendid that what we all had in common was a commitment to excellence in water exercise.
  • I keep getting asked if I lost a bunch of weight during that week. Sadly, no. Actually, food was a bit of a problem. Except for the meals included with the conference, it was hard to find good quality, reasonably priced meals and the time and energy to get them. Food at the hotel was expensive; within reasonable walking distance there was only franchise fast food. After a long soggy day you really just want to rinse off the sunscreen and crash.
  • I just have to mention what was probably the best feature of my hotel room, the thing that made blogging and peace of mind possible--the room safe.
It was really ingenious. It was wide and deep, so a laptop fit in there just fine and there was even a plug in the back so you could recharge while it was in there. And what peace of mind for a conference where you had to spend so much time at the pool! You could put your purse or wallet in there and not have to tote it around and worry about light fingers all day.

So, what about next year? The AEA has already booked the Wyndham for a week in April 2010. A bit hard on west coast members, but really it is difficult to imagine a facility better suited to such an event. And the April date will mean that the climate may be a little kinder. Warm, but not quite so hot and less chance of thunderstorms busting up the fun in the afternoons. Start saving those frequent flyer miles!

And how great would this look to you coming from Alaska in April? Ornamental pineapple and banana plants on your way to the pool...................

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