So! I was one of the 70-ish speakers on the docket, and my talk was scheduled for the very first session on the very first day. Not scary at all, right? Actually, I was a lot less nervous than I would have liked-- I rely on the butterflies to give me an extra burst of energy. It's the same adrenaline I use on race days. But, despite my coworkers' best efforts to freak me out (almost every one of them stopped me some time during the 12 hours preceding my session to reassure me that I didn't need to be nervous and I would do just fine, and after the fifth go-round I was starting to worry that they had no confidence in me at all), I was way too calm.
So, this is what I looked like:
|Picture courtesy of @donnaleehoffman.|
I was talking about social media. If you thought I was talking about bicycles or advocacy things that go beyond social media, you are quite mad. Not my skill set.
So after the session my day kind of went downhill, because we were frenzied and racing round and it just happened I caught one coworker after another in a moment of unhappiness until by the end of the day I was convinced I had somehow angered them all, so being as I am overly sensitive to other people's moods and how they relate to me, I was in a pretty dark place by Wednesday night. We got it sorted out before I went to bed, and I got up the next day for a three-mile relaxation run, which made the next day go so much better.
Do I remember the rest of what happened? Well, as the designated Social Media Goddess at BikeTexas (that's my preferred title that I tell friends, not the official one on my email or business cards), I was responsible for tweeting, retweeting, Facebook posting, and other things that required staring at a screen for about 72 hours straight. So, no, I have my tweets to remind me of what happened. And a three-day headache, I might add, because human eyes were not designed for that much screen time.
I do know the conference was super-successful and so much fun, and I got to cap it all off with a B-cycle ride around downtown with a coworker on Friday night-- also to shake off some adrenaline so we could sleep. (Well, that's what I was doing. No idea what he was doing.)
We passed this:
|Seventh Street Bridge in Fort Worth. Picture courtesy of @jacksanford.|
|Tilley Bike/Pedestrian Bridge in Fort Worth. Photo courtesy of @jacksanford.|
|Picture courtesy of @SafeCyclist.|
And for my final (sappy) thought: My coworkers are fabulous, knowledgeable, passionate, dedicated advocates, for whom I have tons of respect. The knowledge gap between me and the rest of them when it comes to our field is huge, and events like this remind me of just how huge it really is. I work at BikeTexas because I have some skill with words and a brain full of social media savvy, but that doesn't mean I don't wish I had the same knowledge and skills that my coworkers do. I need to work super-hard to make that gap a bit smaller.
Tl;dr: I went to a conference with my work last week. I experienced all the emotions in just three days. It was a great week.