Getting Nourished at FitBloggin’

Ever feel hungover from a vacation?  After a two week trip which included a long stay in Chicago with friends and the FitBloggin’ 2014 Conference in Savannah, Georgia, I was happy to get home.  Being away for so long can sometimes be depressing but when I sat down to write today this lyric from Train’s “Drops of Jupiter” popped into my head:

 

FitBloggin', health, fitness, conference, blogging, Train, Drops of Jupiter

 

The past 2 weeks were most definitely a soul vacation.  Chicago and Savannah were nourishing.  Good friends always fill your heart and soul but few people can say that a conference can have a similar effect.

 

FitBloggin' 2014, health, wellness, fitness, blogging

FitBloggin’ 2014 Attendees: Image: Carrie D Photography

 

Last year FitBloggin’ was life changing and this year FitBloggin 2014 was soul nourishing.  When you get the chance to spend a weekend with a bunch of people who share a passion for community, health, wellness, fitness and blogging, you can’t help but feel refreshed and invigorated.  Nourished isn’t a word that normally doesn’t apply to conferences but FitBloggin’ is different and here’s why:

 

N – New (and old) friends

If you’ve ever thought that maybe the social media friends you have aren’t really your friends, here’s where you’ll find out.FitBloggin’ is the place where you’ll get to see if you can crossover from virtual friend to IRL friend…and likely, you will.  It certainly happened to me!

 

My SoCal Ragnar team was born at this conference last year – Amy@It’sAllAboutTheJourney, Jill@TreeFitness, Carrie@FamilyFitnessFood, Jamie@FitApproach (who got married this past weekend!) and Kia@BodhiBear (who was not only my ride to and from Atlanta but she was very visible during the conference).

 

Ragnar So Cal 2014

Ragnar So Cal 2014

 

I met the amazing Kimberly@ManifestYourself and Nellie@BrooklynActiveMama at FitBloggin’ last year.  Kimberly and Nellie teamed up with Cassandre@LosingInTheCity in May for A Healthy U Conference.  I never would have been invited to speak at their conference if I hadn’t met these ladies through FitBloggin’.

 

ManifestYourself.com, LosingInTheCity.com, BrooklynActiveMama.com

Kimberly, Cassandre and Nellie

Even though the conference runs from Thursday night to Sunday morning, I still did not get enough time with many friends including Kelly@NoThanksToCake, Melissa@MelissaRunningIt, Erin@DigDeepPlayHard, Aliah@TheGetFitDiva, Alyssa@DoubleChinDiaryTammy@GingerMantraDanielle@TheTRexRunnerShannyn@FrugalBeautiful, Erica@EricaDHouse and Kat@KatrinaElle just to name a few.

Although we didn’t meet at FitBloggin’, it was also a time to reunite with my good buddy Allie@VitaTrain4Life

Allie, VitaTrain4Life

Me with Allie@VitaTrain4Life

 

There were also so many fabulous new people that I met as well – Stephanie@FoodandFitness4Real, Ashley@FierceForwardForLife, Shannon@BadAssFitness, Allison Carter (girl, I don’t even know your blog), Jesica@rUnladylike, Sarah@RunFarGirl and I finally got the chance to hug and hang out with the wonderful Alan@SweatingUntilHappy!

 

Leopold's, Savannah, FitBloggin'

Alan@SweatingUntilHappy in a Melissa sandwich with me and Melissa@MelissaRunningIt – a great ending (with delicious ice cream) to a first night of FitBloggin’.

 

O – OMG! Moments

So, it rains a lot in Savannah.  Unexpectedly, so there were a lot of OMG moments including:

  • Got to meet and take a selfie with the vegan athlete, Arian Foster of the Houston Texans.  I’ll admit that not only did I not know who Arian was, I didn’t even know that there was an NFL team called the Houston Texans.  I’m certain with a son that has embraced sports this is the type of stuff that I’ll get to know soon.
Arian Foster, Health Warrior, Chia Bar

Me mugging with Health Warrior’s Chia Bar and Arian Foster of the Houston Texans.

  • 80’s Zumba – I’ve taken one Zumba class before but there was no way that I was going to miss this one.  Sadly, no Duran Duran was played during the class.

 

U – Unexpectedly Good Eats

Who knew that an old fashioned town like Savannah had such modern restaurants?  The restaurants I went to in Savannah rivaled many of the establishments in both NYC and LA in both food and feel!

The Coffee Fox, Ampersand, The Bee's Knees, Augusta, Savannah, Metter, grits, sweet tea, breakfast tapas

Deliciousness in Georgia

 

Normally, I’d classify myself as not a fan of southern food but I believe I’ve been converted. Here were some of my favorite things – the Horchata Latte at The Coffee Fox, Fried Green Tomatoes at Bohemian House’s Rocks on the RiverGouda Grits and Athena Cocktails at Ampersand, the Turkey Burger, beer and Oreo Pie at The Crystal Beer Parlor (none pictured but the place is absolutely worth mentioning) and the sweet tea and breakfast tapas at the Bee’s Knees in Augusta (a stop made on the way to the Atlanta airport).

 

R  – RunDisney 10K Savannah Bridge Run with Jeff Galloway

I still can’t believe that not only did I run an unexpected 10K over the massive (and scenic) Savannah Bridge but that I did it with Olympian and run coach extraordinaire Jeff Galloway (and his lovely wife).  I’m a sucker for bridges so it was almost a gimme when I found out that the bridge was only included in the 10K (vs the 5K or the 1 miler) at the end of FitBloggin’. The fact that Jeff Galloway was running the 10K made it an even quicker yes.

 

RunDisney, Jeff Galloway, 10K

#EpicSelfie fom top left corner: Jeff Galloway, Ashley@FierceForwardLife, two people I don’t know, Margarita@CupcakeCardio, Me, Stephanie@FoodFitness4Real and Barb Galloway.

 

This run was so unbelievably life changing for me that it will get it’s own separate post in the near future.  All I can say is that Jeff and Barb Galloway may have altered my running life forever and I’m thrilled to have taken this #epicselfie to prove the awesomeness.

 

I – Ignite Presentations

Ignite is the Key Note of FitBloggin’ and it allows multiple speakers to each present on their topic of choice for 5 minutes with 20 slides to help tell their story.  Presentations vary from the funny like Sarah@LosingWeightandHavingFun’s – How To Make A Proper Cuppa Tea or Andre@MissionMeltdown’s rap to the inspiring from Allie@VitaTrain4Life, Alan@SweatingUntilHappy or KrisOlsen.  Every single speaker did a great job!

Ignite Fitness

Ignite makes everyone at FitBloggin’ friends whether they meet each other or not.  Being in a room when people share some of their innermost thoughts and feelings to a crowd is something that has an impact.

 

S – Sessions

Conference sessions at FitBloggin’ come in 3 varieties – educational, emotional or exercise.  Here’s my take:

  • Education: I wasn’t particularly interested in most of the talks this year.  Some seemed to repeat from last year and 2 were about podcasting.  I was particularly disappointed with 2 of the sessions I attended but I did love the presentations by Katy@KatyWidrick about Media Kits and with Shannyn@FrugalBeautiful about Blog PlugIns and found them both very interesting and helpful!  The How To Survive Your First Triathlon discussion session could (and likely should) have been made into a presentation.

 

  • Emotional: Last year I found myself in quite a few small discussion groups and it was both wonderful and draining.
  • Blogging Over 40 with Gail@GoGoGail was very eye opening.  It reminded me of how much age-ism there is in the fitness/health culture and that I am part of an untapped group of smart, savvy females that need to convince PR people what we’re worth!  #noelderbloggers
  • Maintaining Your Mojo with Kat@KatrinaElle and Dubya@DubyaWife impressed me with how prepared both moderators were and how the attendees really spoke up and supported one another.
  • Blogging Without Losing Yourself had 4 moderators – Kimberly@ManifestYourself, Nellie@BrooklynActiveMama, Maddie@FoodFitnessandFamily and Presley@RunPretty (which seemed a bit excessive) but perhaps it was the sheer number of moderators that gave a wider perspective of the subject matter.  This is a topic that could have been discussed for a very, very long time.

 

  • Exercise:  Cards on the table, the trampoline class from last year was sorely missed BUT having Erin@DigDeepPlayHard reprise her outdoor bootcamp (along with her husband and infant daughter to help motivate the group) was amazing!  I’m a fan of hot vinyasa yoga and I can say that I’ve never sweat so much in my life.  Erin is a powerhouse that makes exercise accessible, fun and challenging which is a quite a feat!
DigDeepPlayHard, FitBloggin'

Brave Bootcampers after a 6am class.

 

  • I also found the 80’s Zumba class a ton of fun.  Even though it was light hearted, I was sweating and sort of emotional.  Kia’s yoga class was not the yoga I typically like but after lack of sleep, a slow stretchy almost restorative class was what my body needed even if my head disagreed.

 

Zumba, FitBloggin'

80’s Zumba

 

  • I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to attend more of the exercise sessions but they clashed with some of the other discussion groups or presentations.  I wish that there was another afternoon exercise session at a different time because I’m especially sad that I missed PiYo/Insanity.

 

H – Hell Yes! Attitude

After two weeks away and some soul vacation, the fire of inspiration for blogging, my business and for fitness was reignited.  Ever since I went to my first blogging conference (Bloggy Bootcamp by the SITS Girls), I’ve loved the quote, ” If the answer isn’t a ‘Hell Yes!’ then it’s a ‘No!'” but it never resonated with me until I got home from this conference.

We all want to be healthy and happy human beings but sometimes we do our best to stand in our own way.  It’s not easy to say no or choose the path that would better suit us but it may be the only way each individual can really thrive.

I went for a 5 mile run Monday (which is long for me – especially after running 6.2 miles the previous day) and it was glorious.   My mind was clear, my body felt strong (even though I barely slept and was jet lagged) and my soul felt nourished.  I”m looking forward to the latter half of 2014.  You never know what might happen….

 

Post 5 miler post FitBloggin'

Post 5 miler post FitBloggin’

 

What nourishes you and who’s with me for FitBloggin’ Denver in 2015?

Comments

    • says

      Carrie: The Blogging Over 40 Group was most definitely an interesting group. I think that this should be a continuing discussion. Us “over 40’s” are strong and powerful and the PR world needs to know that! I missed you this year at FitBloggin’, my friend!

    • says

      Kimberly: Your comments on my recaps always make the effort worth it. I’m so excited to watch what happens next for you! Keep me up to date on what happens with San Jose/Anaheim. xoxo

  1. says

    Ok so can I just copy and paste this into my blog? PERFECTION my dear!! You truly captured all that was (and wasn’t) FitBloggin’ 2014. Thank you again for everything you did for me and I’m still smiling about our long walk home in the rain and your kick ass (unexpected) 10K with a running legend. xoxoxo
    Allie Burdick recently posted…What Motivates You? How About A Giveaway?My Profile

    • says

      Allie: Getting some time to spend with you was really fabulous. Thanks for being the real deal! I’m so very glad we’re friends and can’t wait to see you in the future!

      PS – You absolutely killed it at Ignite!

  2. says

    Piyo/Insanity was awesome! I hope you get a chance to try it soon. I was also a little ‘meh’ about the sessions, but I went to Fitbloggin this year knowing it was primarily to hang out with friends, exercise, and explore savannah!

    • says

      Erica: I was exceptionally bummed to miss Kat and Katy! Kat definitely has me intrigued with Beachbody and their offerings. I’m sorry that you didn’t speak this year. Your honesty and transparency as a blogger is rare (although I do believe that Shannyn is in your camp) and we need more people like you being visible.

      I had a good time in Savannah but it was a different experience than Portland for sure. I hope to get the chance to see you again soon and I look forward to reading about your training for your upcoming (amazing but insane) races.

  3. says

    I’m getting ready to attend my own business conference in a few weeks; I just hope it can be as much fun, and nourishing as yours sounds.
    By the way, I did see that ghost pic & yes it looks like one to me too. Did you see any?
    Ann recently posted…My Yoga Works Any Time, AnywhereMy Profile

    • says

      Ann: I didn’t see any ghosts (thank goodness!) but Savannah was an amazing experience. FitBloggin’ is definitely a unique experience and I hope that your upcoming conference is half as nourishing as this one was for me.

  4. says

    What an awesome recap (seriously like day-um!) and yes, I wish we would have spent more time together. I love this: It’s not easy to say no or choose the path that would better suit us but it may be the only way each individual can really thrive. You are amazing with such tremendous knowledge and heart. And that dress on Friday–wowee zowee! xx
    Aliah recently posted…Accountability 101 – Back to the BasicsMy Profile

    • says

      You are too cute Aliah! I’m glad that we got the chance to meet at FitSocial because you are one amazing woman! I love that you are so multifaceted – a working woman, a mother, a wife, an athlete, a DIY’er (I love your money pit photos) and a writer. You show the struggle with grace and dedication and are an example to what we want to be.

    • says

      Yes, the 80’s Zumba did feature 80’s songs – not traditional but so very awesome! I missed you but you had something a little more important to attend to (didn’t you?). Hope you are doing well – goodness knows you look adorable!

    • says

      Jennifer: You would LOVE this conference. I hope you do plan to go in 2015. If you don’t apply to speak, consider applying to LiveBlog (go to a session, take notes and publish a blog post about it before the conference ends) for a free registration.

  5. says

    It was SO great to meet you at FitBloggin. I LOVE what you did with the word nourish, and I couldn’t agree more with many of your sentiments. I enjoyed getting stuck in the unexpected rain and gorging on burgers and the best Oreo mud pie ever. Hope we’ll get to meet up again soon! xoxo
    Jesica @rUnladylike recently posted…Getting Sweaty in SavannahMy Profile

    • says

      Thanks Jesica! I loved meeting you and Sarah and our evening at the Crystal Beer Palace is an example of what FitBloggin’ means to me. I’m glad that my blogging universe has expanded to include you and I look forward to seeing you and following your blog in the future!

    • says

      Sue: I’ll forgive you. The amazingness of your session far eclipsed my NEED for some Duran Duran. Can I tell you that I was teary eyed through a good portion of the session? The session was so much fun and there was so much passion that my heart was touched from somewhere that I couldn’t hold it in. Thank you!

  6. says

    I’m reading ALL the recaps! I’d love to see you again somewhere …. We in the 40+ category with money in the bank (or at least several credit cards in our wallets) need to stick together.
    Coco recently posted…Happy July Coffee DateMy Profile

Trackbacks

  1. […] FitBloggin’ and BlogFest were two of my favorite things that I technically did alone this summer (I arrived alone and left alone but I had many old friends at both events and I got to make many new ones so I never felt alone).  If hard pressed to choose a solo activity though, I’d say my Duran Duran run was my favorite alone time this summer. […]

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