I’m not a Catholic, and find that the blog can be something of a confessional (how fascinating that many humans long for such a function). Today we sent out a survey to some 1500 librarians, asking them to share their tips for conference survival. I mentioned that at ALA in Boston I’d had sore feet and switched to sneakers after three days. But there is more of a story, and herewith the confession.
I was deeply chagrined about wearing sneakers with my proper CEO suit, though I tried to put a brave face on it and justify it as part of my being a coeditor of the Berkshire Encyclopedia of World Sport. In fact, I’d been dealing with an injury for six months, something called plantar fasciitis, which meant that proper CEO shoes were almost impossible to wear. I’d been living in sneakers, in fact, and the conference was the first time I’d tried to move back to regular business wear.
What a disaster. Concrete floors and long days were not the right venue. Most people didn’t notice, or didn’t comment, but I did hear about an ascerbic remark from a long-time business acquaintance who is certainly style conscious and sensitive to publishing proprieties. But it’s hard for me to confess to a self-induced injury, even if it can be considered a sports injury. If you meet me at ALA in Chicago, I’ll be making the most of our launch of the Berkshire Encyclopedia of World Sport. (And trying, I resolve, to be more open about the physical limitations I’ve had to face, and my own stupidity: I was piling on weights around waist and ankles in a fitness campaign last spring, and that’s what did in my plantar fasciitis, injury to an underappreciated set of tendons in the bottom of the foot.)
Our survey has elicited a fantastic response, and if you would like to participate, sharing your secrets for conference success and survival, please visit Berkshire’s Gearing Up for Chicago Survey. We’ll be publishing the results, sharing suggestions, and learning from them ourselves!