Fitbloggin has always been the one conference that stole my heart. This year’s event was no different.
I arrived in Denver Colorado late Thursday night and quite anxious. You would think I was used to this but this was my fourth year in a row attending and I was worried. My usual crew of amazing girls weren’t able to attend this year. I was nervous and unsure of my ability to function without them. Although I knew a lot of the attendees I knew I’d have to dig deep step way out of my comfort zone of friends and meet new people.
I’m so glad I did.
I missed all of Thursday’s activities because of my late flight into Denver but Friday morning I woke up ready to go. I’d be leading the Zumba class for the first time ever and I was nervous as heck. I was listening to the playlist over and over on the flight and I could barely eat breakfast because I was already full with butterflies. The minute I arrived to Breakfast I heard my name “Nellie!” Everyone in the room greeted me with so much love, at that moment, every single piece of anxiety floated away. This was my tribe. They had my back.
When I got up on that stage and looked down at my incredibly beautiful friends—I had a feeling that I would be just fine. I asked a few of my fellow ZIN Zumba Instructors (Tasha, Margo & Diana) to join the party and just like that we were off!
The energy of the room was OFF the chain. Everyone caught on to the moves so quickly and my guest instructors were PHENOMENAL. Such a great time. Plus we did all the selfies. Of course. Teaching this class will be something that I won’t ever forget. Whether I’m teaching or it’s Sue and Sam teaching, the Annual Zumba fest is a staple and a great moment every single year.
Afterwards, it was time for sessions! I attended Emily’s personal branding session that helped us work through what we want to do beyond our blogs and then it was time for Lunch and the Soybu Fashion Show. The designs are SO great! You all know my obsession with workout attire and trust me the clothes are gorgeous—and affordable!
Later that afternoon I attended a session on Food Photography with my sister from another mister Brandi Koskie and Kacy Meinecke. Brandi prepared a fresh guacamole for us (no onions!) and while she did that she showed all of the action shots that can be taken to really tell a great story for a recipe. She took lots of chopping shots, pouring, mashing and etc. She also showed us how to plate and shared with us different tips and tricks to make your recipe stand out from the others including:
- Use a burlap or pretty cloth if your counter isn’t the best looking
- Go to hobby lobby or one of those stores and buy contrasting colors of bowls and plates
- All white plates are fine too
- Always check your backgrounds and hands for any unsightly features
- Use all areas in your house with the best natural light for shots (including your doorway!)
After that I went upstairs, changed and came downstairs because I’d be in my first ever flash mob. Margo organized a super secret hysterically adorkable flash mob that came to fruition during the IGNITE presentation. It was everything I thought it would be, full of uncontrollable giggles and belly laughs. The actual IGNITE presentation was also amazing and just as inspiring and tear jerking as it is every single year.
After the IGNITE presentation I walked up on a group of my favorite fitness bloggers who happened to be having a deep conversation on our goals and what is holding us back from achieving them. This was a completely off script fitbloggin meeting of the minds.
Led by Kelly from No Thanks To Cake, we talked and talked about what is bothering us, the mess that is going on in our lives. I cried with strangers. People who I have never met before, their story affected me SO much. I didn’t share much except the deep fears of my marathon training but still I identified with everyone in the room. It was soul filling part of Fitbloggin that I had become all too familiar with. I went to bed with my heart full and ready for day two.
Stay tuned for Part Two, Day 2 of Fitbloggin 2015. So much fun left including my second gig as a speaker at Fitbloggin, A Gourmet Avocado lunch prepared by a Top Chef Master, Sponsor fun, Exploring Denver and an EPIC lip Sync battle that yours truly participated in!
Have you ever participated in a Flash Mob? What is your favorite food photography tip?