You know that feeling when you get home from camp and your crazy excitement turns into exhaustion which turns into a sad funk? Yeah, that’s what happens after blog conferences too.
It’s so exciting to meet new people and learn new stuff and your head fills with all the possibilities, and then it’s over. Just like that.
The new friends are gone and now it’s time to implement everything you learned which is exciting and overwhelming. Returning to the grind of a 9-5 day job can be a rough transition back to reality, although in my case, I’m left with a taste of that motivation and I am determined to work that much harder on my health, my fitness, and my blog.
I got off work early on Thursday to attend a Pyrolates (Lagree Fitness) class at Firebrand Sports in Portland. This wasn’t a conference sponsored event, but a local FitBloggin’ attendee, Katrina (Funky Fitness PDX), had an in with the owner and got a class set up for a dozen of us. The first person I met was Sam (Life is Bangin’) and we both had the same idea – to start things off with a small group so that when the conference actually started we’d know a few people. Us self-professed socially inept introverts think alike!
Firebrand was a really cool place with bikes on the wall, a Human healthy foods vending machine, a fun Portland painting, a great workout space, and the owner/teacher, Sarah Stimac, was really nice.
Pyrolates was hard. No really, it was HARD. It was an hour long class and I only made it through about 40 minutes, maybe less. I was shaking with the first plank move we did and then I got to that point where if I pushed myself farther I was absolutely going to puke.
I checked out the garbage can situation and it did not have an open top, it was one of those enclosed ones with a small opening on the side. Definitely not conducive to puking so I called it quits and was then sore for days. No really, sore for DAYS!
Thankfully there was a little Portland Juice Press station in the lobby and I asked if they had anything with ginger in the hopes that it would ease the nausea. It did, and it was delicious!
When we checked in we got a Reebok bag STUFFED with gifts from the various brands sponsoring the conference, and then we explored the Expo area where each Brand had their own table set up and you could chat with them and they’d give you more free stuff. I’ll admit it, the free stuff is fun, but blog conferences are about so much more than that!
The first table was Reebok and they gave everyone a pair of Crossfit Nano 2.0 shoes AND a tank top. Crazy generous! All the brands were generous and it was fun talking to them and learning more about their company, their product, and the ways that they work with bloggers.
The other great sponsors: Nutrilite, Amana, Blue Diamond Almonds, Total Gym, Soy Protein, Manitoba Harvest, The Laughing Cow, Nature Made, SoyJoy, Enell (sports bras), Taffy, Now, Refuel (chocolate milk), Jump Sport, Driscoll’s, Attune Foods, Shareasale, Sworkit, Hot Chocolate 15/5k (totally want to run this next year), and Handful (sports bras).
Eventually everyone congregated in the ballroom where there were sushi and veggies to snack on while you decorated your nametag, worked your way through a scavenger hunt list of questions to ask people, and filled out some cards (anonymously) telling what you were most excited about and what you were most nervous about. Then we did some mixers which were lead by Susan Ito (Food Food Body Body), who I was told is a real life camp director so if that’s true she was totally in her element. She did a great job wrangling us.
The first mixer was for everyone to group together by zip code and make a big circle in order of smallest to largest. Those of us that started with 9 found each other and got lined up. Apparently a lot of what Roni (theconferenceorganizer) did was organized by zip code so now she could put faces with numbers. It was also a great idea because you found out who was from your general area.
Then they went around and passed out the excited/nervous cards we filled out earlier and they were read out loud. This was helpful because so many of them were the same and it made you feel not as alone once you knew that everyone was nervous about meeting new people and feeling left out.
After that came speed-dating! The chairs were set up with an inner circle and an outer circle so you were facing someone and you could chat and answer the question that Susan threw out there. Then the people in the outer circle would rotate counter-clockwise and you’d be looking at a new person to chat with. I thought it was a great idea and these were the beautiful ladies I had the pleasure of dating:
After speed-dating was over, we got in a big circle around the chairs we had just been sitting in and Samantha (Simplifying Sam) lead us in a little dance session with some vogue-ing and some shimmying; she’s a Zumba instructor and she knows how to boogie for sure! My hips have no idea how to move like that, but some gals (cough…Brittany & Melissa…cough) had some major dance skills. I was quite jealous!
And that was Day 1, although I’m pretty sure I have forgotten a lot of things already.
Oh, since I’m such a fashionista (ha!), want to see what I wore? No time to change after Pyrolates so I put a t-shirt on over my tank and Target C9 yoga pants and called it good.
The shirt is Old Navy and says: KNOW SWEAT KNOW FUN
Hot, right? That’s the other nice thing about this conference, with the morning workouts there isn’t always time to get showered and changed before the sessions start so a lot of people are in their workout clothes all day long and that’s perfectly okay. It’s not at all about looking fancy with the perfect makeup. Thank goodness!
However, it would be nice to wipe down and not feel stinky! That’s where Action Wipes come in handy and I’ll tell you more about them tomorrow!
Not sure why I thought I could fit my entire re-cap into one post. If you don’t already know, I like to share every detail, haha! Come back tomorrow for Day 2!