Friday, August 17, 2012

PERSONAL: Joys of Travel.... Well, Sort Of


At this point, there isn’t anything I could see that would make me change my job.  A year ago, I did that and all is well.  And here I sit… in 4B Delta to Jacksonville.

Love the people, love the challenge, and love the chance to be part of momentum – always.  Earlier this week outside Toronto at an outing with LPGA partner Manulife Financial, I spoke about that very fact.

 Stress... Directly Affected By Travel
Tonight, I’ll be on another plane to Portland, Oregon for the weekend of work at our Safeway Classic.  Looking forward to that too! What’s happened since Monday is the one thing about my job that I might trade….. or at least modify…. the travel.

Try to follow along..... So I started out with a flight to Toronto – direct on Monday night.  Of course that non-stop flight was delayed out of Orlando.  Pushed back a few minutes because of weather.  Arrival in Toronto at midnight… customs and a monorail to the hotel.  Picked up the next morning at 6:45 to head to Glen Cairn – a terrific course that holds water very well.  :) 

Playing in a group with Manulife execs and their business partners… the 4th hole brought rain… and for the next 3 hours, lots of it!  Hearty souls all of us… we "mudded" through….made a few birdies and created a few relationships that will no doubt carry on.  Quick shower, toss on the blazer and  a speaking opportunity in front of everyone to speak on the state of the LPGA and do a Q & A with Manulife Financial LPGA Classic winner Brittany Lang and professional Lindsey Smith…. and then back in the car jetting for the airport.

Toronto Home... LATE Night
Of course I missed the early direct flight to Orlando… which only stung because I was being picked up the next morning at 5am to go back to the airport for a trip to Columbia, MO where I’d spend a few personal days helping my alma mater on a consulting project.

Sat in the Toronto airport for 5 hours and of course... the next direct flight was delayed.  Fought my way thought a "glass-half-empty" woman at the desk in the Star Alliance lounge who didn’t trust my “Gold” frequent flyer status… and waited out the delay.

Home at 12:45am… home to home and in bed at 2am with an alarm set for 4:30.

Flights to Columbia went off without a hitch…. probably the Mizzou karma I’ve been living since 1984.

Personal Time At Mizzou
After two days of seeing friends, seeing students arrive back for fall classes,  watching Gary Pinkel’s Missouri Tiger football practice from the field at Faurot, and speaking to a group of University administrators and business influentials as part of a long-standing commitment through @HTKmedia Consulting, I was back in the car with my good friend Kent Skornia who runs Krilogy Financial, headed for St. Louis where I’d catch flights to Jacksonville, FL for a Friday speaking engagement to the Golf Course Builders Association of America.

Reluctantly, I checked my most important bag… and then watched my world unravel.  Flight delayed, missed connection in Atlanta… stayed in Atlanta hotel without my clothes, re-booked on first flight this morning to Jacksonville and scheduled now to arrive (late of course)  at 9:30am and make the drive to World Golf Village in St. Augustine for am 11am keynote.  IF my flight and my treasured bag make it… I’ll change clothes quickly and speed down the highway to arrive right about 11am.

Sound familiar?

After that talk… it’s straight to Orlando where I’ll pick up my wife at home and head to ….. gulp …. the Orlando airport for flights to Portland, OR thru Salt Lake City, UT.

This weekend I’ll be working … my wife will be relaxing…. and Sunday night we’ll take the LPGA charter to Vancouver for a few days at the CN Canadian Women's Open.

So why do I tell you all this?  Not for sympathy…. but just to get it on paper so 15 years from now I can look back and say… “WOW, that really happened?”  Also to tell you that a “jam-packed” schedule comes with heavy risk and a decent chance you’ll be separated from your suitcase along the way. 

Yes, I scheduled it…. and I’m glad I did.  It’s kind of how I roll.  Speaking engagements are good opportunities to grow and spread the word about the LPGA, the game and future of golf, and also to share a few personal stories along the way.

Have YOU been there?
Needless to say, this week provides a good one… or two… or three.  Orlando, to Toronto, to Orlando, to Memphis, to Columbia, MO., to St. Louis, to Atlanta, to Jacksonville, to St. Augustine, to Orlando, to Salt Lake City to Portland and Sunday night to Vancouver.  4 delayed flights, one missed connection and one night without my luggage.

Gotta go… my plane in to Jacksonville is about to land….I hope my bag makes it with me… I need a change of clothes before my talk :)

* Update:  Bought a new shirt in the Jacksonville airport, was on my way quickly thanks to National Car Rental... quick stop at a rest area to "tweak" the wardrobe.. and arrived for 11am talk at 10:54.  Plenty of time to spare... and one of the best groups I've been in front of.  More followers for the LPGA I hope... and now on the plane to Portland for the weekend at the Safeway Classic.  All's well that ends well :)
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