GeekWire Summit 2019

The past couple days I had the opportunity to attend the 2019 GeekWire Summit,Β a 2 day conference exploring some key topics in tech, business, science & society.

https___cdn.evbuc.com_images_66672443_14836518695_1_original.jpeg

I generally enjoy attending conferences that aren’t just about tech, since I find that a lot of tech-centric discussions or demos are usually things that I can read about online or aren’t too short for me to really get much out of it.

I’ve found that listening to talks that are more opinionated or vision-based are not only easier to follow up with discussions of my own with the colleagues I attend with, but they’re also often more inspiring and get the gears turning in my head πŸ™‚

The schedule for this year’s summit was pretty great, with a solid blend of tech, business, science, social good, and health. There were also lots fun GeekWire specific events such as the Elevator Pitch (where finalists from several different categories gave pitches to some investors from PACCAR) and the Favorite Inventions segment (a showcase of some really interesting inventions by their inventors) that were fun to watch πŸ˜€

There were also some pretty high profile speakers such as Brad Smith, the President of Microsoft, Dave Limp, the SVP of Devices & Services at Amazon, and Mark Okerstrom, the CEO of Expedia, so it was really cool to see them in person and hear about their perspectives on a variety of topics.

One of the most powerful speakers, in my opinion, was Doug Baldwin, a former Seahawks football player and now Senior Advisor of Product Concepts at Intellectual Ventures. He didn’t really talk about anything tech-specific, but ratherΒ  about his passion for solving problems that are people-centric. He also emphasized the importance of having empathy for other individuals, making the effort to see ourselves and each other as human beings who are all in it together.

Living in this age where there are especially large amounts of siloizations occurring in many different parts of the world, the country, neighborhoods, and people, I admit I felt a twinge of sadness upon hearing his message and what it said about us as a society that we would warrant such a message, but it was also resolving in a way because it reminded us, or at the very least me, that empathy is a very human trait that we need to exercise more often and gave me aΒ  pleasant sense of solidarity :).

 

Overall, I really enjoyed my experience attending the Summit this year and was pretty happy with the quality of the panels and logistics of it all πŸ™‚ I appreciated the mobile app that was provided by Alaska Air as it made it pretty easy to stay abreast of the different events that were happening during the Summit, and the venue (Hyatt Regency in Downtown Seattle) was also pretty swanky πŸ™‚

 

Seattle YMCA

So I’ve been going to the YMCA for the past 5 months, since I first signed up for a membership in October. To be honest, I really love the YMCA! I had a few co-workers at back in Dallas who would go to the YMCA (affectionately referred to as the ‘Y’) during lunch breaks to get their exercise in for the day, so since then I’d been curious about what programs and group classes offered at the Y.

The specific Y that I am a regular member at is the one in downtown Seattle, which is conveniently located right across the street from the Central Library, an awesome convenience for me since I also happen to really love going to the library too XD.

My favorite part about the YMCA is that it really fosters a sense of community. I haven’t been to many other gyms before but the few times I have been to classes at other places, my experience generally has been more of an in-and-out kind of thing where I go to a class, exercise really hard (or sometimes just listen to the instructor say supportive things while lying on my back lol), and then go home.

The experience I’ve been having at the Y has been pretty different though; the front-desk people always are ready to greet people as they come in to the gym, and periodically ask you how you’re workouts/classes are going and if you have questions or comments. They even sent me a welcome postcard when I first joined the gym with the picture of all the YMCA staff as the cover of the postcard, which I thought was a very personalized touch πŸ˜€

 

Aside from the sense of community at the Y, I also have been really enjoying taking the group classes at the center. One of the main reasons I joined a gym was to take group classes and have an instructor tell me what exercises I should be doing, and the Y definitely has not disappointed me in this area :D! The group class schedule also changes a bit each month, which creates a bit of variety and interest every month.

If you’re somebody who’s more interested in just going to the gym and doing workouts on your own or want to play pick-up sports games, the Y also has those available as well as a swimming pool for people who like to swim as their workout πŸ™‚

 

The YMCA’s membership might be slightly more expensive then usual gyms like 24 Hour Fitness or Gold’s Gym, but I think the number of facilities and the friendly staff really make it worth it. The YMCA also offers sliding scale payments/financial assistance if that is an option that you are interested in.

 

If you’re interested in giving the Y a try, the Seattle branches offer 3-day guest passes that you can use while deciding if the YMCA is the gym for you! : )