This morning Monica and I slept through the start of the first session ("Better turn my phone to silent so my emails don't wake me up. OH WAIT. MY ALARM IS NOW SILENCED." Brilliant.) Once we realized we weren't going to make the first talk we decided to take advantage of our locale and go for a walk. The resort (a golf club that apparently boasts to having Tiger as a member) is so stunningly green. I am totally sold on the recent claims on "nature deficits" - that less time spent outdoors plays a role in many of present day maladies. There is something to be said about that restorative feeling you get being surrounded by all things green (or blue, if you're like me with an inexplicable serotonin surge near water.) Our walk ended at one of the resort's restaurants with a quiet, empty patio overlooking the first tee and we plopped down for coffee, eggs and fruit. Clearly, exercise and a healthy breakfast serves an acceptable proxy for my presence in a conference based predominantly on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. I mean, I'm just trying to practice what I preach!
The leisurely morning was a nice contrast to what proved to be an intense day of presentations. I feel like my brain has just taken a Pilates class. Although I try to keep abreast of the recent research in my field, I'll be the first to admit that my version of continuing education is some elliptical reading of the oh so laudable Prevention and Women's Health. (Which genuinely do report research, but in a Crystal Light kind of way - seems like the real thing, til you have the real thing.) To actually sit in a room and hear the most recent, hot off the press research not just presented, but argued, critiqued and debated... there is nothing like it. I got goosebumps today when someone discussed the effectiveness of a health behavior change theory that I use in my program, and I did a happy dance in my seat at a presentation on the ROI of workplace wellness programs. I'm pretty sure what this all boils down to is this: somehow, someway, I ended up in the right field. For that, I am thankful.