One hectic, sometimes rainy weekend in the life of the Trikke Academy Coordinator.
The Trikke Academy’s traveling road show of seminars and riding lessons don’t happen by magic. It takes detailed planning and organization, and countless emails and phone calls. And thinking on your feet when things don’t go as planned. It’s a full-time job, like motherhood. So how does Ann Pirone, Academy coordinator and mother of a young boy, manage it all, especially during a Trikke Academy road trip? TrikkeWorld went in search of a little insight by way of a journal we asked Ann to keep during the Academy’s recent visit to Charleston, South Carolina. Here now, Ann Pirone’s Diary:
Day 1 – Travel
Started my day with the wrong alarm going off at 5am (instead of 5:30am) … lucky me. It was probably a good thing: I spent the rest of the morning rushing to get to the airport. Almost missed a plane a few years ago, so my stress runs high until I’m in my seat and the jets start running.
Rush, rush, rush. There’s never enough time when you’re getting ready to fly, especially with a toddler. We did make it with plenty of time to spare, though.
Stop 1 Austin – pretty uneventful. Yippee, Liam falls asleep.
Stop 2 Nashville – pretty uneventful. Oops. I wrote too soon. It’s a full flight to Charleston and now Liam’s awake. Thank God we only have an hour more to go.
Seven and a half hours later, we arrive at the Charleston airport and I’m already in love. It’s such a small airport, easy, easy, easy. Rental car on site. With bags in hand, we’re on the road. One of the easiest airport exits I’ve ever experienced. Great signs and easy to find my way, didn’t even need directions. 15 mins to the hotel and all is well.
Check in. Food. Sleep
Day 2 – Pre-Academy Day
Couldn’t sleep … typical in a new place with an Academy starting in a day. Just can’t seem to turn the brain off. Up and out by 9am. Ran a bunch of errands and helped to set up the conference room. Everything is going smooth, just the way we like it. Enough time left to enjoy a little pool time with my son. The hotel has a salt water pool and I’m in heaven.
Day 3 – Academy begins
Eyes pop open three minutes before the alarm goes off. Gotta love that! I headed down to the meeting room to set up the registration table. Everything going well and there’s plenty of time to spare. Everyone showed up on time, if not a little early. They’re all checked in and I have to say, I can already tell this is going to be a great group.
With registration over, I run into Fred, who is having a problem with our riding space. It’s about five mins before the Academy starts, so he asked me to take over and get it resolved.
I spent some time with the hotel manager to find a solution. Basically, they didn’t set up our riding space and now there’s a car parked in the area. Unfortunately, the hotel is not equipped with anything to block off the space (although this was all communicated well in advance). We moved a few cars and blocked off the area, temporarily until I could find some tape. 30 mins later, I was back with some orange workers’ tape and had the whole area blocked off. Woo Hoo! Problem solved. Our group was still in the classroom. Big sigh of relief.
Just after lunch, it poured rain with lighting and thunder that sounded like an earthquake. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced rain like this before. 30 mins later, it was done. Fred flipped the schedule around and all was well.
Ran a few more errands, then set up for the reception that evening. It went nicely and was over by 8:30. I was in bed by 11pm
Day 4 – Academy continues (along with the Riding Clinikk)
At 9:30am, I set up for our Riding Clinikk registration. By 10am, the Clinikk was under way. At this point, most of my work for the Academy is done. (Most of my work happens just before the Academy, a little during, and a lot right after.)
Took my son into town to the local farmers market, which, by far, was one of the best I’ve experienced. We grabbed some food and as we were waiting, the sky opened up and dumped a swimming pool on us. I enjoyed every second of it!
When there was a break we headed for the car. By the time I was on the bridge, the pouring rain started again. Luckily all this started at about 30 mins before the Clinikk was scheduled to end and our Academy attendees were at lunch. No need to adjust the schedule, all is well.
Back at the hotel, we had a little pool time and called it a day!
Day 5 – Last Day!
Got to sleep in… Woo Hoo! Or so I thought. My son had a different plan for me. After handling a few things for the group, I decided to take Liam to the park, just below the bridge. It was fabulous. We played for an hour, then headed back to the hotel for lunch. I took some photos of the incline workshop and also got a group photo before heading back out.
Had about 2 hours to kill before the Academy wrapped up for the day, so I decided to head into downtown Charleston. I’m in LOVE! What a beautiful city. So incredibly peaceful. It reminded me of New Orleans, without the music, and it was exceptionally clean. I so enjoyed wandering the streets and looking at the homes. So much history, I was in awe.
The Academy is over and we had a great time. This was a great Academy on so many levels. Many Thanks to all those that Stepped Up! I’m looking forward to working with each of you.
Special thanks goes out to Andy Pliska the Academy Tech Director / Guru. As always … YOU ROCK!
Day 6 & 7 – VACATION!
We added two days to this Academy to really take in Charleston. We had a GREAT time. Took a tour of the city. Spent some time on the beach. Got to do a sunset Kayak trip through Folly creek.
Day 8 – Travel day back to Sin City!