It's that time of year again, although everything is different in 2020. USMS is mandated to hold an Annual Convention and we did it virtually this year. My fellow Pacific masters delegates and I spent last weekend in front of the computer at the Virtual USMS 50th Anniversary Annual Meeting and Convention. It was different of course, to be at home, yet chatting with 250 people from all over the Unites States about what we all love: swimming. This is the third Convention I've attended and have met many of the people who were speaking and asking questions.
The 2020 Convention was originally planned to be in Jacksonville, Florida. We convened there two years ago in 2018. My favorite part of Jacksonville are the blue dolphins in the St. Johns river. We had an amazing time in St. Louis last year, with a warm, southern welcome and an abundance of fried raviolis. (Seriously, fried cheese raviolis were served at least three times. I put on 5 lbs.) This year there was no traveling. Get up, have breakfast, get dressed with my Pacific Masters shirt and go to convention. My password for the meetings was a cryptically spelled "Don't Have To Fly."
We covered a lot of topics, considering the new format. Lots of folks were forgetting to un-mute themselves and were talking for a while before they realized no one could hear them. But all in all, the tech part went smoothly. Instant voting results, too, instead of waiting for a count of Yes or No cards.
I mention a Slack account set up for Pacific Masters. We had a group text going, "What's he talking about?" "Why are we voting on the pool/open water fees if there is no change?" and the plaintive, "Our breaks are getting shorter." Many comical comments about what's for dinner and needing a nap, or a swim (!), made the long hours sitting in front of the computer a little easier to bear. I missed my Convention buddies, Maggie and Annette.
I wrote a report about the Convention for our on-line newsletter, Pacific Masters Update. It can be found on Pacificmasters.org.