I want to give something to the fencers, my nine year old daughter says. Let’s see what we have in the gift cupboard, I respond. We pull out colorful goodie bags left over from her baby sister’s birthday party. Water bottles. Chocolate. We decide to add containers of powdered Gatorade that my husband uses when he competes in fencing tournaments.
Can I draw on the bags? she asks. That is a great idea, sweetie pie! Make sure to put the permanent markers back in the locked bin when you are done so your sister can’t use them to decorate the walls. She covers the bags with NCAA trophies, using her father’s as a model. Inspirational sayings. And then packs them carefully in a giant Ikea bag for me to transport to the venue.
Spring break begins this week. My kids are set to go on a fishing trip with family members. When my husband and I agreed to buy a second car, the intention was that I would use it for girlfriend road trips. One week ago, my college fencing team – the current NCAA champions – qualified a full roster to this year’s championship tournament, which begins in five days. And when I discovered an incredibly low hotel room rate through a list of alumni housing options via the host university? I booked it minutes before the deal ended.
With transportation and housing all set, I reached out to a fencer who has been incredibly kind to my family, and asked if she wanted to accompany me on the trip. Much to my joy, she said yes. After laughingly discussing sleeping on her dorm room floor, we agreed that she would take the train to my home early on the first day of competition, and we would drive down together.
This is why I do what I do – to spend time with amazing people. When I first became an entrepreneur, I attended numerous networking events. And came away feeling empty, much like speed dating. So when I identify the possibility of spending significant chunks of time with a room full of people I would love to know? I jump at the opportunity.
Kathy Zucker is an international social media Shorty Award winner, mother of three and a startup founder at companies including the Metro Moms Network®.