Back in The Gulf

I'm living the dream.

I'm writing this from my hotel in Downtown Houston. I'm down in the area for the third time in the last six months. Whereas my two previous visits have been solely focused on working with Bridge Bats, this time I have a dual purpose. After talking with swimmers, parents and coaches from the team, I'm headed to the Gulf Swimming Coaches Clinic.

I'm going there to talk about Positive Psychology and coaching. Alexis Keto will be there, and I'm really looking forward to hear what she has to say. I asked her for a little sneak preview a few months back, and she's been in on a few things I'm curious about since then.

I'm also looking forward to continuing to step outside of my swimming bubble. There are a lot of people in Gulf Swimming I've yet to meet and learn from, and a big gathering of coaches presents one of the best opportunities you can ask for.

I'll be presenting on learning the skill of Optimism, character strengths, and some techniques for getting people to tell you a little more about "what's going well" with them. The last, I must confess, I haven't written a good blog about so I had to link to someone elses.

In each case, my goal is to present end users (in the case of the clinic, coaches) with distilled tools they can use right away. I have always found it frustrating at clinics to listen to presentations that lack some practical utility. At the same time, anecdotes are often what help people to remember useful stuff. I hope I can thread the needle.

But on any trip like this, there are a couple of things I've had to get better at over the years. The first is basic self-care. When I'm away from home on business, my FOMO-meter goes crazy. I don't want to miss talking to any new person, or any potential event.

So I have to plan times where I'm going to do something for myself, like go and exercise, or take a walk, or just take a five min break. Otherwise I'm looking at complete exhaustion after a couple days.

The second thing I have had to improve is calling back home. Yesterday I couldn't talk to my daughter so I made a video for her to see when she got home from school, then we talked in the morning. I usually end up checking in with my wife a couple times a day.

There's a balance to be struck between being away, being in the moment where you are and also being a little present for the people you care about most.

Yesterday I kicked things off talking about Empathy with the Bridge Bats and it was amazing to see how far parents and swimmers had come in their willingness to discuss tough, emotional and personal things in a big group. I'm looking forward to tonight and the rest of the weekend!