September 23, 2012 by Lindsey
I was a first timer at Fitbloggin this past weekend and, since I got back home yesterday evening, in the midst of pouring rain, I’ve been trying to work out what my favorite part was.
But I’m indecisive. So I made a list of my Five Fitbloggin Favorites. In no particular order (of course not– that requires decision-making).
First, I am eternally grateful to Roni for giving me the chance to take part in Fitbloggin! I really enjoyed the McCormick HQ experience I recapped for the Fitbloggin blog.
And now, my list:
Her energy is infectious. Her spirit and smile are HUGE. She’s super friendly and gifted me with a Zumba tattoo that I couldn’t get off if I tried. The atmosphere she created for the Fitbloggin Zumba session was everything (I feel) Fitbloggin is about: it was energizing, uplifting, and incredibly supportive. Her regular Zumbaers are so lucky!
Before I discovered BodyJam (and everything Les Mills…) in England, I was not much of a dancer. I did tap, ballet, and jazz, when I was younger, but I thought I had aged out of my enjoyment of dance. Jam showed me otherwise. And when I moved back to the U.S. last year, I found an awesome Zumba instructor. The instructor makes a HUGE difference. I’ve had bad BodyJam teachers and not-my-style Zumba leaders and the class time just d-r-a-g-s. Instructors like Mrs. Fatass and my favorite BodyJam teacher make you sweat with the time FLYING.
This was the most touching session I attended. All the brave bloggers told their tales with such clarity and honesty .Their genuine openness was very heartfelt. I’ll make a generalization (because I was too busy listening and trying not to bawl myself) and say everyone got a bit emotional listening to stories that were so close to their own experiences. Empathy was ever-present.
I was AMAZED by the commonality of so many of our issues and the tremendous interplay of emotions, body image, mindset, and general health.
I was not expecting any session to be so therapeutic!
3) Drive More Traffic Through SEO with DietsInReview’s Brandi Koskie
My education background is in journalism, marketing, and advertising, so I’m always looking to learn more promotional tactics. Purely from a business perspective, Brandi’s session was the most useful for me.
She gave clear examples using real blog samples, which helped a lot. I’m a visual learner and with new terminology like “title tag” flying around, any visual helps my slow brain.
There is so much to learn about SEO, web optimization in general, and mobile-readiness that I am not sure where I’ll find the brainspace to fit it all or time to teach myself everything. It proves that I have a long way to go on my blogging (and career) journey, but……….I’ll try to be happy with baby steps.
It also cemented in my mind that blogging (or maintaining any website) takes a lot of time and persistence.
4) Friday Morning Workout with Cathe Friedrich
The best part about attending a conference with a fitness theme: having time set aside in the schedule itself to WORK OUT! No horrible dreadmill time in the hotel gym needed to be logged. No hotel-room workouts. Instead- group fitness classes with fellow attendees! Hurrah!
I had maybe heard Cathe’s name once or twice, but, admittedly, never tried any of her workouts. Since I do Metabolic Effect on a regular basis at my gym, I was worried (?) it would not be hardcore enough to make me sweaty, especially since there were things like CrossFit (I wish I could’ve tried it!) and bootcamp early in the morning that I could just not make it to.
But since I’m not used to working out in the morning at all, and since Cathe can (apparently) be quite a taskmaster, I was definitely sweating. Part of it, sure, was due to the no-fans or blasting a/c hotel ballroom pseudo-fitness studio.
The larger part was due to Cathe’s creative exercises with the resistance band, a teeny Theraband, and thick plastic plates some caterers are now using that slid and glided on the ballroom carpet.
I wasn’t sore the next day, but I was definitely sweaty– even my shins.
Thank you, Cathe!
Also, she says she is 40-something and I swear I thought she was way younger than that. I would like her tips for aging beautifully as well as her fitness tips.
5) Kindest-to-me Sponsor : Eggland’s Best
As a new blogger, I kind of felt as if most of the sponsors brushed me off as a nobody. Which, fine, I am! But those kind of interactions leave me with a sense of your brand that is not pushing towards the positive end of the spectrum.
I understand there are bigger and more important people for them to talk to, but as someone who has staffed conference booths for brands before, I say, keep a smile and a positive tone with everyone. Treat everyone with kindness. You don’t need to be fake-nice, you don’t need to be overzealous– just show a little courtesy and curiosity.
The rep from Eggland’s Best was sweet, generous, and helpful. She told me great facts about the availability of the new products they’re promoting and even was extra concerned about helping me the best way she could when she learned I shop at military grocery stores.
Also, I loved their cute, stuffed-animal(?)-egg on their display.
A Few Fixes…well, more like Obsevations:
A few for Fitbloggin, a few for me…
- Fruits/ veggies: Maybe they were all on offer at breakfast (which I missed both days), but I was in fresh fruit and vegetable withdrawal by the end of the conference. The rest of the food was delicious and the hotel staff was very helpful and kind, but I felt like, for all the talk of nutrition, more produce could be offered.
- Opportunities for Newbies: Individually, everyone I spoke to was really friendly. But I felt like I’d be committing a fitness-conference-faux-paus if I intruded on already-formed small groups of blogger friends. I’m fine with sticking it out by myself, but I would’ve liked some more opportunities to be introduced to other new bloggers or be paired with someone more experienced. Probably not a very executable idea, but just an observation. For other new people, I’d recommend finding a roommate or bringing a buddy. I think it would be more fun than being alone.
- Swag bag is not big enough: Ha, kidding! I am overloaded with stuff. It’s HUGE! It is amazing! I can’t believe how much great gear I have. I’ll write a separate post about this.
- I am probably the least technologically-adept Millennial in the country. A session leader even pitied me enough to say he’d be willing to get me a phone I could use to go online. I know a lot about Apple products– iPads, iPhones, etc, etc, tablets, smartphones, all the gear. I just don’t have any. And I’m okay with that. I’ll write more about that, too. It was just funny to be surrounded by people going online 2 or 3 ways at once and I just have my notebook.
- I don’t do Twitter and I hardly do Facebook. I can get better at Facebook, but I’ll probably never do Twitter. I don’t feel like I have enough time or energy to dedicate to yet another form of communication. Plus I think I’d be repeating myself? There are times I feel left out, but then I remember– I don’t do well in short-form communication. 😉
- Not having a full kitchen works wonders for being binge – free. I felt so much more in control at Fitbloggin (even with all the goodies constantly being offered), but the second I got back to my full kitchen (aka last night and this morning) I go crazy– as if there is no food ever again.
- ^^^ I need to work on that.
- A lot.