A mere eleven days after coming home from Italy, I was back on an airplane to Baltimore to go to a blogging conference called FitBloggin. It’s billed “For bloggers interested in fitness, wellness, good food and a healthy lifestyle. Two days of education, networking, friendship and fun.”
Which sounded reasonable. And I was chomping at the bit to meet my friend, Caroline, in the real life. We’ve been super good interweb pals who’d never met in person.
Hanging out with Caroline was awesome. Of course, it’s really nice to just have a go-to-gal when you’re trying to socialize with 300 strangers, but I think we would have had a grand time even if had just been us. We stayed up too late chattering into the night and we needled each other into getting up and doing all of the workouts offered.
Speaking of the workouts…
They were my favorite thing about the conference. We completed a yoga class, a Crossfit workout, and a crazy aerobics class on the first day. Then an intense boot camp, a trampoline class, and a Zumba class on the second day. The final day was just a 5k.
I don’t have enough hours in the day to do so much working out in my regular life, so this was a really neat opportunity.
Plus, I learned in a totally non-snarky environment that Zumba is not for me.
The 5k was especially awesome, because I ran it with a cool lady named Michelle aka The Running Jewess, who made me go just a little bit faster than I would normally be inclined to. Which is just the right sort of running partner, really. Full of the love-loathe. AND! She’s local (at Stanford) and also going to be running the upcoming half marathon in San Jose, too, so hopefully I will see her there.
Like at ALT Summit, there was a sort of inner-sanctum of bloggers who seemed to largely know one another already and who did the presentations for most of the sessions. I knew of some of these folks, but not many. And I was surprised to learn that the majority of the bloggers were weight-loss oriented. If I had to guess, I’d characterize the attendees as 75% weight-loss and 25% fitness focused (although the two are not entirely distinct, of course). And of those weight-loss types, maybe at least half of them were big losers — people who already had lost 100+ pounds or who were working on losing that much or more.
So there was a lot of emotion and sharing and story telling wrapped up in the experience of having lost or having to lose so much weight, and in a place surrounded by others in the same sort of situation, emotions were running high and there was much love and bonding.
For me, it felt a little like I was watching a really interesting tv show. They were all compelling stories, but I couldn’t completely identify with them. My weight hasn’t really ruined my feelings of self worth and I haven’t gone through some process of learning to accept me for me. I’m pretty sure that I’ve been awesome since forever.
I was also not using social media in the same way that most folks there seemed to be. They’d meet with their eyeballs and then turn around, walk away and then tweet to each other how nice it was to have met. We were also strongly encouraged to “talk” to the sponsors via Twitter and Instagram, pretty much constantly. Which is just a really different sort of blogging approach than I have… my philosophy is definitely geared more towards minimal followers and free stuff!
The sneakers I got, though, were pretty nice. So, uh… thanks, @Reebok?
Overall, it great to have a venue to meet up with Caroline and very cool that we had all these workouts to do together. And I definitely liked lots of new people. I didn’t get as much out of the sessions as many other people did, but my general impression is still a good one.
Next year’s FitBloggin is taking place in Portland, which is WAY more convenient for me than Baltimore was, so the temptation to go again is there. No promises yet, but we’ll see!
Anyway, a few more pictures…