2018 CREW Network Convention and Marketplace Article
Attending my first CREW national convention exceeded every expectation that I had going in. I had heard from prior attendees about the energy in the room, the welcoming atmosphere, and the wonderful and welcoming people I would meet from other chapters around the country, and they were all right. I met so many amazing women from around the country, and I was delighted to be able to spend more time with my fellow CREW Chicago attendees than we typically do in our busy day to day lives.
While every session, breakout, and excursion I attended during the convention was great, my favorite session was the opening session with Alison Levine. Her story of leading the first US Women’s expedition to climb Mount Everest was inspiring. She spoke extensively about how success is not a linear process – “backing up is not the same as backing down”. Any attempt at climbing Mount Everest involves many weeks of up and down. Up to a new altitude, back down to base camp to recover. Up to another new altitude, back down to base camp to recover. It was a good illustration of how success often works in any area of life. Most things worth doing involve some degree of starting and stopping, of backing up and resting before you can make another push forward and upward. And even if you don’t reach the summit, there is success in the work, the journey, and the distance you do travel. Alison Levine wasn’t able to make it to the summit of Mount Everest on her first try, but that doesn’t make the expedition a failure. The time and effort and skill put into such an attempt is awe-inspiring, and the lessons she learned helped her to make it to the summit on her next attempt years later. Every time we put ourselves out there, work outside our comfort zone with all that we have, we succeed. It may not look like the success we imagined going in, we might not make it to the summit on the first try, but the experience and knowledge and skills we learn will only help us to reach higher next time. Backing up is not backing down, indeed.
The conference also closed on a high note with Robin Robert’s presentation at the close of the conference. The story of her journey from a small town to a national anchor job in New York was quite a story to hear. Her dedication to her goal and her unshakable belief in herself was inspiring. I loved hearing her talk about redefining her goals. Once you meet what seems like your ultimate goal, how do you decide where to go next? I was also moved by what might be my favorite quote of the conference, “diversity means being on the team: inclusion means getting in the game”.
I think after attending convention and meeting so many wonderful CREW members from around the country, and after having the privilege of listening to some amazing speakers and attending the convention breakouts and excursions, I am more excited than ever to come back to Chicago and to continue on my own path to success with my friends and colleagues in CREW Chicago.
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