Like many college recreation professionals, staff members from the University of Missouri's rec department, MizzouRec traveled to the Athletic Business Conference & Expo in San Diego last week. However, unlike many college recreation professionals, MizzouRec's staff road-tripped more than 1,800 miles to get there.
Follow along as we posted daily updates from Diane Dahlmann, Carrie Steuber and Emily Bach as they documented their four day journey #ABCSanDiego and the excitement of the event once they arrived.
Day 6: Friday, November, 22, 2013 San Diego, CA
Friday was another exciting day for attendees at the Athletic Business Conference. While Thursday's keynote speaker, Dr. Ken Dychtwald's captivated everyone in attendance with his thoughts on the aging population and how it applies to fitness and recreation, Friday brought one of California's biggest celebrities, to the stage: Magic Johnson.
It was also an exciting day as Missouri's own Diane Dahlmann was a featured speaker in one of the seminars.
Then it was on to the keynote speech by Magic Johnson. About 3,000 people filled the ballroom to hear him speak. Magic didn't just speak to the people in crowd, he interacted with them. He immediately left the stage and strolled down the aisles, frequently asking people to stand up asking them about themselves and taking photos with them... all while continuing his speech. It was truly impressive.
Diane was one of those lucky enough to be singled out by Magic. This picture was taken as Magic was in the middle of his keynote address.
Of course, the journey to San Diego wouldn't be complete unless everyone in the group got to meet Magic. After his speech, their wish came true as they posed with their "Road to ABC" banner.
It was a great way to end a fantastic journey to the 2013 Athletic Business Conference and Expo.
Day 5: Thursday, November 21, 2013 San Diego, CA
Thursday marked the grand opening of the Athletic Business Conference trade show. With nearly 300 exhibitors and 600 booths, the trade show features products and services related to every aspect of athletics, fitness, recreation and wellness. And yes, that even includes an HydraFacial who offered free facials on the trade show floor.
Day 4: Wednesday, November 20, 2013 San Diego, CA
Day one at the Athletic Business Conference & Expo is always a fun one. The seminars, keynote and trade show don't begin until Thursday, but Wednesday features the ABC Golf Classic, hands-on workshops and facility tours.
ABC attendees and exhibitors hit the links at Coronado Municipal Golf Course.
This year, attendees had two different tour options to choose from. Our friends from Missouri chose the tour that visited the McGrath Family YMCA and the U.S. Olympic Training Center.
First up was the 35,000 square-foot YMCA which opened just three years ago, but has already expanded to serve more members. This facility has a state-of-the-art aquatic center as well as a softball facility and an indoor soccer arena.
The second stop was Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista. The OTC provides everything athletes need to train including food services, sports medicine, biomechanics, strength and conditioning and more. The facility features facilities for archery, BMX, field hockey, rowing, rugby, and track and field.
"The Olympic Center was an amazing experience," Bach said. "We got to meet members of the rugby team hopefuls." Rugby will be a new addition to the next summer Olympics.
The Athletic Business Conference tours are not only a chance to sight see, but for facility managers and operators, they can serve as a valuable learning tool. You never know what great idea might be sparked by something seen at another facility. As one attendee put it, "Facility tours are the best part of the whole conference. I can get many ideas from a couple hours in a great facility."
With the business portion of the day in the books, Emily, Carrie and Diane set out for a little fun. Of course no trip to San Diego is complete without visiting the beautiful and historic Hotel del Coronado on Coronado Island.
Day 3: Tuesday, November 19, 2013 Sedona, AZ — San Diego, CA Miles Logged: 463
7:00 am: The crew from the University of Missouri awoke and once again hit the road bright and early, but not before capturing the sunrise in beautiful Sedona.
Day three turned out to be the shortest leg of the trip, "only" 463 miles. However, it was filled with plenty of action. Diane, Carrie and Emily encountered everything from prisons to aliens.
The first stop of the day came nearly 300 miles after leaving Sedona when the MizzouRec staff stopped at the historic Yuma Territorial Prison. From 1876 until 1909, the prison held more than 3,000 prisoners. In pop culture the prison was made famous the by the western movie, 3:10 to Yuma.
Just beyond Yuma, the group stopped for a picture at the Mexican border.
After the stop at the border is where things started to get weird. As anyone who has taken a road trip knows, you never know just what you're going to see along the way. In the case of our friends from Mizzou, they ran into what appears to be aliens in the California desert!
And if you look closely in the window of this RV, you can see for yourself.
Fortunately, these aliens were friendly and the Mizzou crew was on their way to San Diego in no time. Around 4:00 pm, they officially arrived, marking the end of a 1,722 mile journey. Today, they're attending the Athletic Business Conference facility tours of the McGrath Family YMCA and the Olympic Training Center.
They'll check in with another update tomorrow. As always, stay tuned for what's next!
Day 2: Monday, November 18, 2013 Tucumcari, NM — Sedona, AZ Miles Logged: 523
6:00 am: Monday morning our friends from MizzouRec were once again on the road bright and early. They hit the road and continued their way west. After a stop at the historic El Rancho hotel in Gallup, NM which was once a swanky hotel for movie stars shooting westerns, the crew continued west to the Painted Desert/Petrified Forest National Park in eastern Arizona where they snapped this beautiful photo.
About 50 minutes later came the next stop at the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, AZ. It's safe to say attendees at this year's Athletic Business Conference & Expo won't be staying in anything that looks like this:
Today's journey was "only" 523 miles. Before reaching the day's final destination of Sedona, the group from Missouri stopped in Winslow, AZ., an old town on the original Route 66. Winslow achieved national fame in 1972 thanks to the Eagles' song "Take it Easy" which has the line "standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona," which of course provided another photo op.
As for what's next? You'll have to check back tomorrow for the latest adventures on the road to #ABCSanDiego...
Day 1: Sunday, November 17, 2013 Columbia, MO — Tucumcari, NM Miles Logged: 736
5:00 am: The staff departs the University of Missouri's Recreation Complex and heads southwest toward Joplin, Mo. After about a four hour drive in the white Chevy Suburban they lovingly refer to as the "white shark," they arrived.
Next up, the white shark made it's way toward Oklahoma City. Just outside of OKC is the famous Route 66 restaurant, POPS in Arcadia, Ok.
From there, the crew followed Route 66 heading west as they crossed Oklahoma and into the northern tip of Texas. The next stop was the famous Cadillac Ranch in Potter, Texas. Cadillac ranch is a public art sculpture made entirely of used Cadillacs. It's also the name of a 1980 Bruce Springsteen song.
After taking in the sights at Cadillac Ranch, the crew hopped back in their Chevy and traveled into New Mexico where they called it quits in Tucumcari, NM. Day one of the journey lasted approximately 14 hours and covered more than 800 miles!
As for what's next? You'll have to check back tomorrow for the latest adventures on the road to #ABCSanDiego...
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