I am, as promised, at LAX for the 3rd weekend in a row. I'm in the Admiral's Club waiting for my 10:00 pm red-eye to JFK, just for fun. [Insert gasp, and 'why are you doing that' here, then see the entry below for your answer.] It's a nice view while I wait anyway, as it looks out of a wall of windows onto the international terminal. For some reason I can sit for hours and watch them push the big planes around. I especially like the ones from the overseas airlines, they make me wonder where they've been, and the stories of the people on them must have. Besides.... they're usually REALLY big.
Anyway, I'm sure there will be many more entries about airports in the next 48 hours, so I'll pick up my initial topic for now. I have decided that I may be, as Malcom Gladwell dubs them in his book "The Tipping Point," a "Maven." However, a soft-core one perhaps. Wikipedia describes Gladwell's mavens as:
"Information specialists", or "people we rely upon to connect us with new information." They accumulate knowledge, especially about the marketplace, and know how to share it with others. [...]"A Maven is someone who wants to solve other people's problems, generally by solving his own". According to Gladwell, Mavens start "word-of-mouth epidemics" due to their knowledge, social skills, and ability to communicate. As Gladwell states, "Mavens are really information brokers, sharing and trading what they know".
When I read the book, my take on the maven is that they are the type of people who will go on seemingly at no end about the best deal on coffee in town, the absloute best car to buy that year, what hotel to stay in when in Burlington Vermont in winter, and so on. They are people who are always trying to convince you to try what they've found and liked, not because they think they're any better, but because they honestly want you to get the best deal....or haircut.
So, that said forgive me if I have a maven moment now and again. Here comes the first one- I love my gym. No they didn't pay me to say it, I really love it. I've been a member of Equinox Fitness for about three years now, and before that I'd never belonged to a gym I felt inspired to go to. The difference is that this corporation really pays attention to the details that make you want to spend time there. A few examples:
1) It's CLEAN. It's that simple, everything sparkles, all of the time. The locker rooms, the showers, and the gym floor are generally spotless.
2) There's plenty of everything. I've never had to wait for any machine or equipment.
3) Unique architecture. This is not one of those places with one huge room, they have locations in interesting buildings, and the layout is accordingly done.
4) They stock everything you want, and it's exactly where you think it should be. This goes for both the locker rooms and the gym itself.
5) Little extras. It's really the little things that make me happy, like when they have someone standing outside the cardio classes as they finish with a bowl of chilled towels, or the regular cocktail parties for members on the spring and fall equinoxes (of course) as well as various other occasions.
Now I know this just sounds snobby and a waste of money, but, here comes the maven side of me. I find it to be worth it because: 1) I actually go, 2) I have saved hundreds of dollars in co-pays on migraine and back pain medicine I no longer need because I'm more balanced, and 3) I actually go. I realize numbers one and three are technically the same, but I thought it was such a good point it was worth mentioning twice.
So, ok, maven moment over for now. Really, the reason I wanted to toss that out there was because that's where I went before starting this crazy weekend of travel. I ran a few miles, did some weights, and showered, getting ready to sit for the better part of the next 36 hours. Speaking of which, I should think about packing it up soon, paying my tab, stealing some candy from the lobby, and heading to gate 42B. I'm sure I'll have a comment or two from the sky later if they weren't lying about the wifi.
Until then, wish me luck.