Do you remember how in your teens and early 20s you had a stomach made of steel? Nothing eaten would ever negatively impact the stomach. Then, with the 30s came a little more digestive awareness. Maybe it was the level of spice being consumed after a certain hour or that late night cup of coffee, but a conscious awareness was required to maintain digestive harmony. Then, comes the 40s.
I am currently in my mid-40s, and while attending a business conference, some somewhat exotic food was served. How can food be such a one-sided relationship? I loved this meal. I enjoyed and cherished every bit of this beautifully displayed tasty sensation. However, for a brief period, it became abundantly clear that the food did not like me.
Although there is never the ideal location for a digestive revolt, the home field is always the preferred location. There is the familiarity of the surroundings and no obstacles located in the path to the restroom in an emergency evacuation situation. There are the proper tools and medication support present for battle. There is quiet and solitude.
With that said, the most inopportune location for a digestive revolt would probably be a business conference. To be successful, a business person must be at his/her best at a business conference. It is an environment not only to solidify/strengthen your existing client base but provides an environment to engage potential new customers and efficiently network among your marketplace. But, it is also an environment which makes positive first impressions critical for success.
While working the floor of the conference, I was continually canvassing the exits for the quickest evacuation route should the pressure get to the point of critical mass. The population of the meeting was almost double the anticipated attendance. This provided adequate cover for my casual exiting and re-entering the conference.
The conference began at 10:00 am with the food consumed approximately an hour later. It took less than 30 minutes for the adverse reaction to taking full effect. The conference was scheduled to end at 6:00 pm – which probably resulted in the longest day of my life. Although I may have worked the meeting the entire day, I have never had such a cardio workout in a single day (resulting from the continuous wind-sprints to and from the restrooms). It may have been a successful event. New clients were actively engaged, existing clients were further nurtured, but I also became intimately close with every stall in every restroom on the first floor of the hotel as a result of my 47 visits throughout the day.
I was reminded that evening by one of my peers (who chose not to partake in the exotic food) that for every guilty pleasure in life there is often a consequence – which I thought was a very appropriate metaphor. However, he then followed it with a more practical (and unfortunately very true) statement; if it is hot going in……it is usually equally hot coming out.
Nonetheless, there is another conference in two months of which the calorie intake will be limited to plain bagels and potentially a turkey sandwich. Guilty pleasures in life do come with consequences and rarely does the fun outweigh the result. No more exotic food for me.
Husband, father, coffee connoisseur and lover of all things hockey. At 51 I sometimes wonder have I done enough. I have been married to my best friend for 30 years. She knows all my faults and loves me anyway, As a father of “almost always” perfect boys, I am always surprised at what life has to offer. It is messy, scary, thrilling, and always fun.