I'm Not Going to CSM Next Year
For the past few weeks, I've been receiving email reminders that early registration for the 2015 APTA Combined Sections Meeting (CSM) is underway. Separate emails inform me of how to reserve housing. Another batch tries to entice me with the various topics. Naturally I go immediately to the neurological section and see how many courses will address stroke.
Heading into CSM last February, I was very excited. This time I'm toning down the enthusiasm as I'm not going. I made the decision months ago. Part of it stems from the location. It's in Indianapolis, which will be cold in February. I don't do cold. One reason I stay in Texas is we don't really get winter. I don't care how many sky bridges and underground tunnels there are. It will still be cold.
The bigger reason I chose not to go is disappointment from the last CSM. The pre-conference stroke class was such a letdown that it ruined the rest of the conference for me. I hope they seriously retooled it before taking it on the road. Plus it seemed like every lecture I wanted to attend was scheduled at the same as another I wanted to attend. Although there were several things I wanted to go to, they were all at the same times. I spent most of the conference trying to figure out what else would be interesting.
Of course that's not the fault of the planners or organizers. With something that big there are bound to be conflicts. Topic choices aside, the conference was very smoothly managed. I can't complain about Vegas. I got to go to the famous pawn shop. Yes, it looks just like on TV. I never had to leave my hotel for entertainment.
Budget figured into this decision as well. I had a choice to make: CSM or take two horses to regionals in the spring. I guess we know what I chose. I'm torn between being excited about regionals and disappointed about CSM. Going there is really the only time I feel like I'm living up to my professional potential. Plus I take notes on topics. One of my bucket list goals is to present there. Yes, I'm strange. But then we all knew that.
So this spring, instead of having broadened my horizons in February, my mare Allie will take her first major steps toward a national championship. My gelding Flame will represent our barn in the growing arena of sport horse. Should Allie live up to her potential, I won't be attending CSM until it comes to San Antonio in 2017 if I'm lucky.