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Speaking at a Conference—Before the shutdown

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We never know where the next turn will take us. A week after my travel to California, the entire country was shut down due to Covid-19. On the plane ride home, a lady sat next to me with a mask on and said she did not want to catch anything prior to visiting her relatives. Now we are all wearing masks to go out in public. Who would have thought the bank would want to have customers wear a mask to enter the building?

I received an email from BetterUp! the coaching service that my company employed as I was transitioning from working to retirement. I have previously written about my photo shoot and that fun experience. This time, I was asked to speak on a panel to discuss my experiences with coaching for one of their conferences.

Of course I went. It was a chance to visit with family and connect with some old friends, including my coach Rob, and I was excited to make several new friends including my fellow panelists.

I knew this conference would be different from other I attended. The head of the company began on Monday night by insisting we refrain from shaking hands and just bumping elbows.

Monday, I was able to go to lunch with my youngest and spend some time prior to the conference kick off.

Glen and Jette

At the conference, I met the other speakers in the morning to go over our parts. What a great group of people. I was pleased to be included in the group. Our BetterUp! representative was Damian Vaughn, a former NFL player. What a supper nice guy to have as a moderator and facilitator for our part of the program.

The Claremont Club and Spa Berkeley we were staying at for the conference was really a treat. I loved the view from the room overlooking the bay.

When I say the hotel was top notch, the California primary election was on Tuesday and Michael Bloomberg who was a candidate (and is a billionaire) was staying at our hotel.

Other Fun

As part of my running program, I was out of town and missed the group run, so I took the opportunity to run into the campus at UC Berkley. The campus was full of students , but I was not the only older man running through campus. I assume the others were local residents or professors. The hotel had a running route that you can listen to while it gives directions and points out some of the features on campus which was a fun way to run around town.

I got to have Leslie Odom, Jr. sign a copy of his book “Failing Up” back stage after hearing him speak and sing for us. He is super guy and easy to speak with. I was happy BetterUp had him at the end of the program. It was well worth sticking around to hear him speak and sing. I recently had the chance (thank you Disney + and the Berns) to see Hamilton with Leslie playing Burr. It put it all together for me. The book was good; one of my kids also read it and enjoyed it. Take a chance and read it too.

Rob (my BetterUp! coach) took me for a hike to the Siesta Valley Recreation Area near the hotel and near where he grew up. We had a great view of San Francisco and walk around the area.

 

Siesta Valley Recreation Area sunset

Siesta Valley Recreation Area looking at the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge

Lessons learned:

Take opportunities when you can. I did not know that a week after my return home, St. Patrick ’s Day, would be the day we would go into what I would call seclusion and the travel industry would be shutting down for a while.

I enjoy speaking with others about my experiences, like all of us; it is nice to have others care.

Hiring a coach to assist you in life is a good deal; it really makes a difference. A coach will get you to where you are going faster and on target. My journey in retirement is richer because I was coachable. I hope you are coachable as well.

Siesta Valley Recreation Area Glen and Rob

No bike riding on this trip.  I will get the bike out of the basement in the spring.

Ohio River near Rabbit Hash--side

Ohio River looking toward Indiana. Taken from Lower River Road near Rabbit Hash

 


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