FitBloggin’ 2013 Recap : Thursday and Friday

If you didn’t get enough FitBloggin fix from my IG, Twitter and Facebook love last weekend, allow me to share even more about the fabulous time I had in Portland. If you want to have a fabulous time like me, start saving your pennies or frequent flier miles and join us in 2014. Word on the street is it’ll be at the end of June again and either in Austin or Nashville. Also, this is a rather image heavy post…to see even more pictures of FitBlogging (if you can believe there are more) please visit my photobucket site here. BTW some of the photos (any that look professional for example) I must thank Carrie D Photography for, you can visit on Flickr for even more.


I began my experience bright and early…scratch that…it was just early. Waking at 5 AM is a very rare thing and something I must be STRONGLY motivated to do. Looking back I’m glad I did because for the first time ever in the history of me going places, I was not running late. I arrived at the extended parking and did a quick check to make sure nothing valuable was sitting out in the open of my car. I put my water in my cinch sack and it popped out the side. WAIT WHAT? Yep, my cinch sack ripped completely down one side, exposing all contents. Nooooooo. As I mentioned though, I wasn’t running late! Which meant plenty of time to play rearrange the goods. I took a few things out of my suitcase that weren’t “needed”, tossed whatever I could into it, the rest (ID, money, cell phone) went into jacket pockets and I was back on track.

Flight from Cleveland to Seattle and then Seattle to Portland were not very eventful. I was able to hang out with Alicia. We grabbed some lunch and I mostly slept on the plane and finished reading The Great Gatsby, and I have to say, I wasn’t impressed).

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Once landed and somewhat checked into the hotel, I made my way to the Pyrolates class at Firebrand Sports. I was tired, sore and probably a little dehydrated, but I wanted to go to this class! Walking/running through the streets of Portland I had this amazing sense of acceptance or belonging or something. Everyone was very relaxed, I felt safe. Others were walking or running and everyone seemed so at ease.

I hear Pyrolates is a mix of a few types of classes. I couldn’t confirm this because despite my many and varied experiences at gyms, the classes it combines are not in that resume. Because of this, there were many terms and positions and other cues I did not know. During the class I was embarrassed. I was lost and panicked and didn’t feel I was “good enough” to be there. I tried to focus on how far I’d come since last FitBloggin, but it was so hard when all around me people were twisting and bending in ways I never could. Yes, I liked my new toe socks and I liked the attitude of the staff.

Firebrand pyrolates

The concept was really fun and the staff were very encouraging and helpful. All panic was in my head. I know it’s OK to modify and in classes where I feel comfortable I modify all the time, for some reason at this class, I didn’t want to modify. I left feeling defeated, but I forced myself to stay and walk back to the hotel with other conference members. I’m glad I did too, because those 10-15 minutes put me back into a happy state of mind. The next day around lunch time I suddenly couldn’t laugh without tenderness in my abs. It stayed this way the rest of the weekend. Whatever I did was working and so my final verdict is Pyrolates ROCKS and I would totally go back. I can’t even IMAGINE how good it would feel if I wasn’t modifying!

Back at the ranch. Err the Nines hotel. I was able to shower and get ready for the badge decorating party and meet and greet. I stood in the mirror and hated everything I had brought with me to wear. Admiring Alan’s idea, I too didn’t bring “safe” clothes. I regretted that choice many times. I finally settled on my jean shorts and green giraffe tank. Alicia came back with her SWAG bag and I drooled all over her goodies. She convinced me to check-in and not worry about things so much. Down the elevator from floor 8 to 6 (stairs were for staff only, there was a lot of elevator use this weekend). I made my way to the desk and gathered my new bright blue Reebok bag and other goodies. Within moments I was sucked into the magic and energy that is FitBloggin and I barely had time the rest of the weekend to feel sorry for myself.

I went to a few sponsor booths before heading into the mixer.


I have to point out how WONDERFUL the people at the Reebok booth were to me. I must have asked them trade my shoes/tank 3-4 times and kept waiting for the perfect mix. I think I’m fat so I insisted on a large tank…after trying it on, medium might have worked actually! My first color was a pink/salmon color, I looked bad in that shade. The next one was black and I really wanted a “fun” color. Third time was a charm with the purple top. For the shoes, originally my shoes were black and pink, it turns out this was the more “rare” of the color mixes. I had black & pink shoes from FB 2012 though, so I traded mine in for these amazing purple shoes, perfect for CrossFit, but for me they’ll be great general gym shoes. Like what I did with the laces?


Badge properly decorated I spent the rest of the night hugging old friends, hugging new friends and playing some type of getting to know you dance party. We finally crashed out around 2 am? 1 am? Either way that’s west coast time, meaning I was awake for nearly 24 hours! Yikes!


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I skipped the 6 AM Bootcamp class. I figured if I didn’t do “well” with Pyrolates, I didn’t need to be at Bootcamp.

Instead my day started with 7 AM breakfast and chatting with EXPO booths and 8 AM discussion on “Getting back from Gaining Back”. This was way too deep for me, but I’m glad I went. It was nice to know I’m not the only person struggling with gaining weight after losing it and SO MANY people were in there with reasons like mine. While it gave me a sense of togetherness it also gave me a sense of fear. Fear that if this many other people are struggling too, is there any hope for me to “get better” AKA lose weight?

At 930 AM I went into ZUMBA and my world connected. I LOVE ZUMBA and no matter what anyone says I think I’m good at it too!


Here is a video posted on Facebook, hopefully public enough for you to view. If you look at :20 to :25 is in the middle in the purple Under Armour shirt and black pants is me! I’m sure I’m other places too, but now you know where to look.

11-12 was my presentation/small group discussion on Tackling the Taboo of Therapy with Alicia, Christine and Cynthia. It went SO WELL (you’ll just have to believe me since the liveblog isn’t posted). Many people told me later, they loved the small groups for discussion and thought our topic was important too.


At 12 we all had lunch. There was a fun little fashion show and we did the official group photo. I’m near the third row from the front on the right (of the picture) in a red dress. My eyes are closed. Go figure. Haha.

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Note: Both breakfast and lunch I was able to eat! The hotel staff was so wonderful and so willing brought me whole milk or asked what types of oils things were cooked it. It was wonderful not to have to panic and run around town looking for food. For dinner both Thursday and Friday I went a few feet down from the hotel to a placed called “Freshi” where I had a brown rice bowl with beans and other veggies. So good. I mean so so good and really reasonably priced too.

After lunch I attended workshops focused on writing. One for writing a good pitch, the next on taking your pitch and using it for publishing. Personally I don’t like the workshops. I like discussions and I like presentation, but when it comes to having to DO something as the workshops require, it’s just too much for my brain to process during a conference.

All work and no play makes for a cranky ROJ though, so at 600 PM I was pleased to meet up with the lovely ladies of Got Chocolate Milk and Team ReFuel for a quick 2-3 mile run along the waterfront outside the hotel.


As the day came to a close we all gathered for the keynote speakers. Ignite Fitness does the keynote and several people speak, each for 5 minutes with various slides, timed to advance every 20 seconds. Kinda cool, huh? I spent most of it talking with Leah about allergies though.

Finally the day wrapped up with some karaoke! Roni (leader of all things FitBloggin) was kind enough to sing Paradise by the Dashboard Light with me and it was AMAZING. Way beyond amazing. So much fun and I personally think with our duet the place came alive and everyone started having more fun. You can’t convince me otherwise.


Come back tomorrow to hear about Saturday and Sunday! And remember, if you want to just glance at pictures (in no particular order) you can find them here on Photobucket.

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