Sunday, August 1, 2010

Preview Expo Day - Atlanta! Saturdy, July 24, 2010

So, my Saturday didn't start off well at all.....Friday night my WiFi system broke, which left me without the internet. Talk about cutting me off from the world....but I need to take you back a week to show you how this affected me this particular Saturday more than any other day since. You see, I had RSVP'd to a training walk led by my team captain for Saturday morning at 7 AM on Tuesday. At the time I RSVP'd, I put off getting everything together until Friday night - maps, phone numbers, etc.- thinking "if I do it now, I won't be able to find it on Saturday morning." When I lost the internet Friday night, I was flying blind. I sort of knew where the walk started (SBUX), and I knew the time I was supposed to be there (6:45 AM), but I had never been to that particular Starbucks before AND I didn't have my team captian's phone number. Procastination, it is a KILLER! Anyway, to top off being cut off from the world, I set my Saturday alarm for weekdays, not weekends, which just left me to oversleep by 1/2 hour! So, there I was, rushing to a place I didn't know how to get to hoping beyond hope I'd catch up with someone who I couldn't reach. How lame is that? Yeah, exactly! The reason I went anyway - I didn't want to let my team down AND I didn't want to go by myself to the Preview Expo...because the whole point of the "Join A Team Day" walk was to recruit new members and get the team together to carpool to the Expo!

What happened? Well, I got to an empty parking lot with no sign of anyone, anywhere. But, my car needs work, and I have to keep my driving to a minimum. So, I stayed hoping I was in the right place. I waited, and waited and waited. At 9:15 AM, I freaked out. The Preview Expo started at 10 AM and I was at least 45 min away....I still had no sign I was in the right parking lot and had NO idea where the Preview Expo was, because in my mind, I was getting there by carpool. So, I texted a teammate who was meeting us at the Expo hoping to get the team captain's phone number. She called to give it to me, only to hear my sob story that I had no idea where I was going or how to get a hold of anyone. What does she do? She RESCUES ME! She drove out of her way to pick me up, all for the price of a Diet Coke! And, wouldn't you know, as I walk out of the store with her Diet Coke, I run into my team captian returning from the walk! (Almost quite literally!!) For some unknown reason it all worked out perfectly as I had just enough time to meet a few new team members from "Join A Team Day" before my ride showed up. All smiles by 9:30 AM.

And all smiles it stayed during the Preview Expo! We played Expo Trivia - visiting all the stations on the Expo Hall Floor. We learned that DeKalb Medical is our local affliate hospital from the Education Station. We learned how big our tents will be, the set up of the route, and that our packs can only weigh 35 lbs - sleeping bag & all - at the Camp Station. We read interesting news articles from local 3-Day Teams (one such article was mentioned in this blog a few months ago), at the Inspiration Station. We learned about and shared fundraising ideas, teams, and other inspirations at the Ask The Expert Station. The best part of the Expo Trivia? We found our team's Co-Captian manning the Ask The Expert Station! While there, we introduced her to the newbie my ride recruited the day before and she filled us in how we got 3 more members through "Join a Team Day!"

Overall a great Expo - even though we didn't attend any of the Clinics - see schedule ..... Reason: too many people in rooms too small to hold them. I guess it was both a blessing and a curse: a blessing that so many are championing the cause to put an end to breast cancer and a curse because the space did not allow everyone to attend. I am very grateful that what I couldn't learn in the clinics I either learned at American Red Cross in 2009 (I'm certified in First Aid) or at the REI booth (my teammate had a blister that the people at the REI booth dressed, and while dressing the blister they gave an impromptu talk on what they were doing and why they were doing it.)

While at the vendor booths, I met up with Mike from THORLOs socks again. He said "Hi" and thanks for the shout out. The guys from Big Peach were also there. Along with REI, THORLOs and Big Peach were New BalancePhidippides, and SHOPTHE3DAY. We entered contests to win such items as a pink iPod Nano from New Balance and a $50 gift card to REI. We didn't win any of the give aways, but we did get lots of discounts that will help pay for items desperately needed on our 3 Day Journey!

After the vendor booths, a mishap involving GPS & Starbucks, and the raffle drawings, we headed back to the parking lot where my day ended with smiles, hugs, and new friends!

The most important thing I learned from the Preview Expo: bring duct tape!!! Not only will it fix holes in your tent (should there be any) but it will also keep the moleskin on your blisters from slipping off!! The most important thing I learned during my day: DO NOT PROCRASTINATE!!!

Thanks for reading! ~ Deanna