FitBloggin’ 2013 Recap : Saturday and Sunday

Hello again! Wanna know something cool? Today is my birthday! Yep, I am now 29 years young. More on that in a future post.

If you missed it, yesterday I posted about the first two days of my FitBloggin adventure. Today I will cover Saturday and Sunday. As a reminder, all pictures can be found in my Photobucket album HERE.

Saturday

Once finished with karaoke, I made my way to my room. It was at least 1230 perhaps 100 AM and I was exhausted. If you read the recap you can understand why. Technically this happened on “Friday”, but I’m including it in today’s recap. My 5th roomie had a terrible experience with her flights and schedule and despite planning to be in Portland Friday early afternoon, she arrived at the hotel at about 130 AM. Yikes. She called and in my half sleep I went down the hall to lead her to the room. The other 4 of us were up again by 530 to attend 600 AM Yoga.

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Yoga helped me wake up and get stretched in all the right places. I proceeded to then get fat on potatoes and eggs at breakfast (yum) and made my way over to my next exercise stop, the class I had been looking forward to taking for 9 months since last FitBloggin…the JumpSport Trampoline class!!!

Even though space was limited (I think people came who didn’t sign up in advance) we all managed to make it work safely. We partnered off and while 1 person used the trampoline the other would do floor exercises. I have not sweated so much in a class EVER. Constant motion for 60 minutes. Except for my quick break to meet the cow from Laughing Cow Cheese. My partner in crime was Kymberly from the amazing twin sister duo of Fun and Fit.

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Doing a trampoline fitness class was one of the most unique experienced in my fitness life. Simultaneously I felt the thrill of being 10 years old and jumping high into the sky and thinking if I believed enough, I could fly, along with the stone cold fear and realization that I am NOT 10 and if I fall off this thing at a certain angle it is going to hurt like hell and possibly take a long time to heal. How do you come to grips with wanting to go “higher high” while wanting to be safely planted on the ground? Personally I said “screw it” and kept jumping.

Here is a video of the class. I’m not in it very much (sad panda), but you get a small glimpse of me and Kymberly around 3:24 – 3:30. I’m in the yellow and she’s in pink. Look for us other places too.

A really cool thing happened after the workout. A flash mob! I was so impressed with the way this group of people took over the EXPO floor and rocked it out.

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Now that I was sufficiently sweaty, I went to sit in a room full of other people. How thoughtful huh? I went to a session on EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and learned how to use tapping to self soothe. This was a very challenging session for me and I wasn’t expecting it to be so rough. We were taught how and where to tap, and the general phrase. The first example given by an audience member was how she had gained weight since last year and was struggling. Hit so close to home. We went through the motions saying things like “Even though I gained weight since last year, I love and accept myself”. “I gained weight and it sucks, but I love and accept myself”. I was a ball of tears before we even got to “I love myself” and I couldn’t say it. I’ve come a long way with my various depression and anxiety issues, but the truth is I don’t like the weight I carry and I can’t say I love and accept myself, because it isn’t true. I’m working on it though. It also made me so thankful to my counselor for being in a place where I could comfortably sit through a session like that and so many other things that weekend, that were previously so out of my grasp.

Lunch hour(s) were on our own. Before we all took off though I insisted on a roomie picture. Holly was only with us Thursday and Friday, Elizabeth on Friday and Saturday. I’m glad I did too, because even though we weren’t all in our best state of dress, we didn’t have another moment where we were all together again. I never lived in a dorm or did the sorority thing, this was the closest I get to having to share so much with other women.

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My newest roomie used to live in the Portland area so I went out on the town with her. We mostly walked around the Portland Saturday Market and enjoyed some fresh air and sunshine. And now looking at my photos, I wish I had taken more. ) ;

Saturday
The last final informative sessions I attended were on making a media kit and getting paid vs paying your dues. Even if I looked like a zombie woman, I learned a lot in both sessions. Probably the most important thing I learned is my blog isn’t as “small” as I imagine myself to be. My stats are not the best ever, but they are not the worst either. I’m a lower middle class blog? No, I do well for myself and the more I interact with others and return the love the better I will become. When I think about it, it makes perfect sense. My two favorite brands for a long time have been Under Armour and Reebok. Recently the tides have turned to Reebok. Why? Not because they have created far better products or content. It’s because their social media presence and interaction is SO MUCH better than UA. At least from my perspective. And the bloggers I love? I don’t always read their posts, but love their interaction. Hmmm time to take my own cues…

At the end of the night, I was super sore, super tired and super ready to crash. Yet, I prettied myself up and went down to the “farewell” reception. They served food and gave a speech about a supplement company. I spent the night catching up with people one last time or for the first time. During the night they had a dance off with Chef Jason Roberts to try and win one of three FitBits. I figured “Why not” and kicked off my heels and went for it. I even pulled my friend Bonnie up on the little platform stage! People were taking pictures, but I hadn’t seen many posted. It was not enough to win, but I still had a great time.

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Two people did post video on Instagram. I don’t think there is a way to embed, so check out the links HERE and HERE.

All good things come to an end though, and when I finished dancing I couldn’t find my ROJ necklace. I freaked out and was two steps away from tears when I finally found it. Go ahead and laugh, but I had two charms on my cord. The ROJ charm and a new FitBloggin charm. The ROJ charm managed to get caught in my hair while dancing! The FitBloggin charm was heavy enough in the front to make it hang normally though. OY what a dork moment.

It was hard to shake the sad feeling though, so I wondered upstairs to the fancy rooftop bar for the view…

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…but all the rich people made the sad feeling worse so I went to my room instead. Other roomies were there soon enough and we all packed for the trip home the next day. We went to sleep again around 100 AM.

Sunday

Finally a day of slight sleeping in! We woke up and went to the fun run at 700 AM. Who would have thought 7 would be a nice break from 6? Breakfast wasn’t until after the event, so I went ahead and met up with people to walk. Only I met up with the wrong group ad instead of walking 1 mile in order to safely catch my train for my flight. I met up with the 5K walkers. Eiip.

The walk around Portland was beautiful and the company was lovely. Without knowing it, I made the right “wrong” choice.

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After the walk I had a VERY quick bite to eat, then made my way to the train stop. The airport was very efficient though, so no troubles bubbles. I flew Southwest home and LOVED it. They are by far my favorite airline. Two FREE checked bags and wonderful staff. I was even able to eat their in flight snacks!

There isn’t really too much to talk about for the trip home. I spent the day flying and making my way back into another time zone. I made it home and crashed out. It was a long and wonderful trip. It’s been great seeing everyone’s photos and videos and I know even more will show up in the next few weeks. Please consider joining in 2014. I promise you won’t regret it at all!

PS. I can’t believe I forgot to share pictures of the room we stayed in! Here is the room, as well as the view from the room.

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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.

THURSDAY

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.

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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.

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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?

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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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FRIDAY

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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

How to Find Me at FitBloggin

Ready for ANOTHER FitBloggin post? I just finished my chat with my fellow discussion leaders a few minutes ago (even if you’ll read this Wednesday or later) and I am hyped up on the FitBloggin juice!  I figured now is as good of time as any to give you the 411 on what I am planning to do with my time in Portland. With lots of pictures borrowed from various websites ( ;

Thursday

I will depart Cleveland in the morning via United Airlines, land in Seattle, then move down to the Portland area arriving around 130PM. Coincidentally Alicia will be on the same flight(s). I’ll check into The Nines hotel and make sure there are keys enough for all my roomies. Alicia, Michelle and Amy. Do you see this room? OMG I DIE!

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After checking in I will book-it down the street to Firebrand Sports for an exclusive FitBloggin Pyrolates class.

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What in the world is Pyrolates? Well, from the Fireband website:

Lagree Fitness has come to Portland! At Firebrand Sports™, we call it Pyrolates™ and it is an addictive, total body, shirt-drenching, muscle-shaking 50-minute high energy, small group class incorporating a new form of fitness: innovative, results-driven Pilates-based intense circuit training on the state-of-the art Megaformer that jump starts metabolism and re-programs body composition. Pyrolates™ will not only change the way you workout – it will change your body!

I’m super psyched and will probably hurt myself in ways I never knew were possible! After the class I’ll head back down to the hotel for the social hour and name tag making session. This might be a good time to look for my lovely face or if you get real desperate hit me up on Twitter. I’m attached to my phone like it’s a life-source and we can track each other down.

Friday

Rise and Shine, it’s time for a 6AM bootcamp class! To be honest, this might not happen, but I really hope it does. 6AM is sooo early though! Then again with the time zone difference that’s like 9AM for me, right? Then I’ll eat some breakfast. yum yum

800-900 small group discussion on Getting Back from Gaining Back – Getting Past the Shame of Regain and Moving Forward from a Place of Enough. I think this small group discussion is something I NEED in my life right now. I gained back 30 pounds from my smallest point and I have been hard core struggling with losing it and the shame of “letting it happen”. I’ll more than likely be at the talk.

930-1030 is ZUMBA! Since I’m getting my own pair of official ZUMBA pants, how can I pass up this opportunity?

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1100-1200 the ONLY session you need to know about is happening! MY session. Small Group Discussion: Tackling the Taboo of Therapy – The importance of mental and emotional health led by Christine Assaf and Julie Curtis. Also helping to lead the discussion are Cynthia and Alicia. 

Lunch and an athletic fashion show, which I just learned Alicia will be helping to model! Lucky lady!

130-330 and then 400-600 is up in the air, a few different sessions to attend, nothing I have my heart set on at the moment.

700 Ignite Fitness and Keynote time! Yippie!

Saturday

6am: Time for SweatPink YOGA!

800-900 JumpSport trampoline fitness class

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930-1030 Reebok’s CrossFit/WOD. I’ve never done CrossFit so this would be the perfect time to check it out, of course if I’m still standing. Yikes, have you SEEN this schedule so far?

1045-115 Free time to EXPLORE. Where should I explore? I know locally there is Nike and Columbia. Apparently, there is something called the Portland Saturday Market and I might find some unique treasures? Or several buddies are going to Voodoo Doughnut, I may stop by to look, but not taste. Any other ideas?

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130-330 back to business with How to Create a Media Kit that Showcases Your Brand and Gets Companies Knocking on Your Door.

400-600 A set of times where I don’t know WHAT to do! I want to go to all of these presentations! Ugg! I did go to a SEO lecture last year, so maybe I could skip it this time around? I could go to part of the first one, then part of the photography one too? I just don’t know. Thank goodness for LiveBloggin!

  • Getting Paid vs. Paying Blogger Dues
  • How to Improve Your Blog Through SEO
  • Get Down to Business: Photography for Blogging: Tech, Art, and Heart
  • Get Down to Business: Google Analytics: Moving Beyond Page views

700: Very sad, but pretty goodbye reception

Sunday

700AM (yippie not 6am!) Official FitBloggin 1 mile, 5K or 10K run/walk! This was SO MUCH fun last year and afterward I was given my favorite ever Reebok shirt. So super comfy and soft and fits so so well. This year I want to try for the 10K, but I don’t know if I will be able to after kicking my own butt all weekend. Better stick with the 5K so I can get to the airport in time.

1035 Goodbye Portland, I hardly knew you, hello Southwest Airlines and your BEAUTIFUL 2 bags fly free policy!  I am gonna be the SWAG queen!

Not always mentioned directly, but I’m sure they’ll be around during the breaks and at the EXPO the following FitBloggin Sponsors I can’t wait to see again or for the first time!

Sadly I will miss the following companies I had the great pleasure of seeing at FitBloggin 2012, but who seem to not be a part of this year’s fun:

  • Eggland’s Best (my co-speakers and I were just talking about how we LIVED on their eggs last year)
  • McCormick I went on their special offsite tour and only fell more in love with the brand
  • DetermiNation I loved filling out their signs last year and talking with the booth ladies
  • Unilever and the #Good2Know campaign
  • Pure Canadian Maple Syrup (it was soooo good)

Oh and now that I know I’ll have my kit, I’ll be bringing lots of good Aquaphor samples to the conference. Look for me in my official jacket! It should be similar to this picture I swiped from EBAY (shhh)

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OK who is gonna come find me? What are you excited about attending while at FitBloggin?