When I applied and was accepted as a speaker for the third year in a row for Fitbloggin 2016, I didn’t hesitate to put in on my calendar. It was quite natural, this would be my 5th Fitbloggin in a row. I’ve taken a local train to Baltimore, (even when I really didn’t want to go), my first west coast trip to Portland, a sweltering trip to Savannah, and last year a mountainous trip to the beautiful city of Denver.
Hearing that the conference was going to be in Indianapolis was a bit jarring because I didn’t know anything about Indy, but yet, I signed up because why not–if I’ve learned anything at all in the past few years, is that quite amazing things magically happen when you step out of your comfort zone.
This year would be different as the conference was sold to another company. I didn’t know what I was getting into but I held a strong faith because I went for the people, not one particular person–but rather what the community represented. I’ve said in all my recaps that when I go to Fitbloggin it is all about that deep connection to other bloggers in my space.
Happy to say that happened again, except in a completely unexpected way.
I arrived in Indy late Thursday night so I missed all the activities. On Friday morning I went down to the conference area with my roommate Angela from WeBeatFat (You guys should follow her because she is super famous and a serious runner). I was, like everyone else, shocked to see that there wasn’t a hot breakfast. We had been so spoiled at all previous conferences that seeing a yogurt bar only was a bit stunning. I started to get a bit nervous. The amount of people gathered was less than half of the usual crowd. I expected that much, so I wasn’t surprised. However, no bacon? So weird!
There was a great opening session as well as a wonderful panel. I was super engaged with both, and that says a lot considering that I am easily distracted. There were a lot of real life tidbits and strategies that addressed inclusion in the fitness community.
We had a pretty great workout by the people behind the app Sworkit. We were lunging, jump squatting, planking–you name it. It didn’t seem SO hard but then again, I was so sore the next day. Afterwards, we went to lunch, but I’m saving the food we ate for the individual Indy post I have coming up.
— Nellie ✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿🇯🇲🗽 (@BklynActiveMama) July 22, 2016
Next it was time for my session! How To Be A Consistent Blogger Forever. I shared my strategies on how I create content and make sure my content calendar is full of ideas. You can download the presentation here (keep in mind the presentation is in KEYNOTE format). The slides are pretty vague because we had an in class workshop but if you guys want me to do a live webinar/google chat/youtube live about this let me know in the comments and I’ll set one up!
Next we had a super helpful SEO session by Jessica Woodbury and just like that it was expo time! I really had a good time–there were lots of strong brands present like Lifetime Fitness (which just opened up their first gym in NYC!), Kroger and so many more. There were lots of yummy snacks too.
I slept all the way in, went down to starbucks and grabbed breakfast because I knew I’d be dancing later and a yogurt simply wasn’t going to cut it! One of my favorite parts of Fitbloggin are the small group discussions. Both sessions were great: One about being a slower runner taught by Jill and another on Minorities and Fitness by my new friend Shera Strange. I loved them both, I learned a lot and hopefully Shera will be guest blogging here soon because she has a TON of good stuff to share with you all.
My girl Margo led Zumba this year and it was quite perfect. I had SUCH a good time. Fitbloggin sparked my fire for Zumba, so anytime that I dance at this conference it is something incredibly special. We danced and ended with a soul train line to Can’t Stop The Feeling. It was magical. Not gonna lie.
After lunch I attended a really good session that focused on taking risks and simply just asking for what you want–at least that is what I got out of it! We had two more sessions after that one on pitching (awesome!!) and another on the emotional connection to wellness which I found super inspiring.
Sunday morning I got up with the group and although I didn’t run, I walked 2 miles around Indy, in the heat, and it was the perfect way to end my trip.
It was not like the other Fitbloggins’. With that said–I had a great time. I have ALWAYS been of the attitude to make lemonade out of lemons (Beyonce style). Some people are so weird with change, they see it, and they run screaming from it because it doesn’t fit their comfort zones. Yes, we didn’t have food–it raised the cost of the trip by a bit more than I thought. Despite all of that, the sessions were great, I got a ton out of ALL of them, and the workouts left me good, sweaty and tired.
PLUS I got to know new people (and old people!) on new intimate levels. We spent so much time laughing and giggling and getting to really know one another. Not like surface level but like REALLY talking about life stuff. I got so much support and pats on the back for starting to blog full time. These girls made me laugh to tears, many, many times.
It’s super easy to slam a conference that you didn’t even attend. There were lots of comments like “I’m glad I didn’t go” and “So happy I made the right decision” but like…how? If you weren’t there, how on earth can you be happy you didn’t attend something you didn’t experience? If I had to do it all over again, I WOULD. Honestly, I don’t regret a thing–except the bacon. I was really hoping for bacon. 🙂
I am so happy for the new connections, both with brands and people. Thank you Fitbloggin for scratching my itch, yet again.
For more on the Fitbloggin 2016 Check Out Angela’s Post: The Great Things About Fitbloggin 2016
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