Featers at FitBloggin’ 2012
By Sara Hopson
Shannon and I are back from our weekend spent in Baltimore at FitBloggin’ …back with a renewed sense of purpose. Feeling inspired. Feeling (pleasantly) overwhelmed, by the amount of stories and struggles and success that we experienced over the weekend. I felt like a sponge, happy to absorb all the knowledge and sharing that was going on around us at every turn.
A few moments stuck out that I wanted to record for our own sake and for those of you who weren’t able to attend. The good news is… next year’s conference is in Portland, OR (tentatively) June 27-29. I’d suggest marking your calendar, like, now :)
This conference was different from others we’ve attended in its use of discussion rooms instead of traditional panels. The format was a smashing success as far as I could tell: a few of them veered more toward emotional storytelling and catharsis, while others (including my own) were more a sharing of knowledge and perspectives on blogging and various topics related to it. It was nice to have the option to attend more presentation-oriented sessions and then sit in on really genuine, free-flowing discussions. I think it gave the conference a more close-knit feeling. People were connecting on a personal level far more than I’ve experienced before. Love was in the air!
Within minutes of sitting down to breakfast Friday morning, we met Kate and Stephanie of Bulu Box (check it out), and had a great convo about how cool & encouraging it is to see the emergence of this community that’s so passionate about health. Nice start to the day and the conference!
Here are some other gems we took away from the weekend…
During the “Self-Acceptance and Weight Loss” discussion room:
Amy was right up our alley with her presentation, “Build Your Brand”. If you missed it, you should Tweet at her to get copies of the worksheets - so helpful.
Build your brand at 3:45. You ARE a brand. A hands-on workshop #fitbloggin.— Amy (@FatGirlsCanRun) September 21, 2012
Kara kind of blew us all away with her inspiring story…
Behind the scenes as Roni and the FitBloggin’ team arrange us for a group photo:
My discussion room was last in the lineup and our group had a good talk about how to incorporate vision into our blogs, and what our go-forward plans will be from the conference: what we learned, what we still need help with, and what we’re excited about.
Please, do have a look at the Google spreadsheet “action plan”, where we’ll add in some of the attendee’s plans and what they’d like some help or advice on. If you have experience in any of those areas, reach out & offer to help! This community grows stronger when the ties within it are stronger. Also, download the worksheet I put together for the discussion here.
Here are some soundbites from these awesome bloggers…
- From 300 Pounds and Running: “Men don’t talk about weight loss. They never talk about ‘Man, there’s a jelly roll here and I can’t do nothing about it.’”
"I wanted to be different, and the way I did it was blogging."
- Kelly from No Thanks to Cake: "You don’t always realize that the honesty you reveal and the truth that you share is the same challenges that everyone shares"
- Tim of Midpack Runner: ”It was a little too schizoprhenic to blog about running, bocking, and these other things I was doing. You realize there’s no specific audience for your blog…so I said what do I care the most about sharing with people…and that became about running.”
”Build your brand now and you’re able to leverage that [when transitioning out of your job]”
- Amy of Fat Girls Can Run: "The blending of the personal and professional life…that’s a personal choice. You either keep it separate, never use your last name, never mention your location, where you work…or you can blend the two and really make it about whole life."
"If you’re concerned about your boss finding something that you wrote, don’t write it."
The 10-4-1: for every 25 pieces of socmed content you produce, 10 should promote other people’s content, 4 should promote your content, and 1 should sell yourself.
- And from the Renaissance Woman, The Get Fit Diva: “I definitely look at my audience, where they’re coming from, which posts are popular, and I keep writing about those topics.”
"I’m definitely always hyper aware of what my content is. It’s not just helping me, it can help other people as well."
Head on over to the #fitbloggin Twitter stream for a LOT more great content, pics, and fond memories. Thanks to Roni & the whole FitBloggin’ team for a wonderful weekend, and for bringing us all together in such exciting and unique ways! Looking forward to next year!
Highlights: A couple DailyFeaters head to the Fitness & Health Bloggers Conference
By Sara Hopson, Manager of Community Engagement
My teammate Monique and I spent June 22-24 in Aurora, Colorado at the gorgeous University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus for the Fitness and Health Bloggers Conference, where we were a participating partner. We had an awesome weekend, full to the brim: learning about the latest fitness and health research, trying new workouts with the rest of the attendees, and getting to know what some really enthusiastic and inspiring bloggers are up to all around the country. Elle Potter and Allan Wright did some fantastic work organizing the weekend’s events, sponsors, and speakers. Thanks guys!
Not surprisingly, we exercised three times in 24 hours, and all three were totally new workouts for me. Julie (from A Better Life with Burgers) and I sweated it out during Tabata Boot Camp, and a big group of us enjoyed Zumba together on Saturday evening.
As a sort of fitness novice of late — having only begun working out seriously a year ago, after five years of inactivity following high school — I was pleased to feel so welcome and comfortable around this group of registered dietitians, certified personal trainers, wellness coaches, yogis, and marathon runners. Everyone was, above all else, super enthusiastic.
(L-R) Ted Vickey (who I learned day 1 hails from the same TINY town in PA as I do) & AdamBordes from ACE Fitness presented on how to use the Internet to grow your fitness business. Their special guest was Shanti, of YouTube fame for her video blogs about her weight loss journey. Very moving stuff.
On Saturday morning, we attended the optional yoga class led by the wonderful Clare. She made us all fall in love with the mantra from Meditations from the Mat: “Show up, burn brightly, live passionately holding nothing back. When the work is done, step back, and let go.”
One of the four cohort breakout sessions was a cooking demo led by the Anschutz Wellness Center’s Chef Paolo Neville, who creates and prepares the meals served in its Bistro Ellaia. Get the recipe for the meal we saw prepared and tried here (it’s grilled chicken with red lentils and a curry yogurt sauce, with a fennel watermelon salad. Yum!).
(L-R) The four cohort breakout sessions had us in small groups, venturing to different corners of the Wellness Center and the library, to learn about all kinds of things that are happening at the University of Colorado’s Medical Campus.
We visited the grocery lab, provided by King Sooper, to learn about the research they’ll do there, including educating people about the relatively new NuVal system, which was created with the intention of helping people comparison shop more knowledgably. The bloggers in attendance (including Tamara, Carissa, Sandra, and Andrew, among others I’m sure I’ve left out) had some pretty spot-on tips for making it and the grocery lab even better.
We watched Chef Paolo’s cooking demo, referenced earlier,
and learned how Dr. Iñigo San Millán and his team use individual assessment on athletes to learn their fitness level through lactate levels in the bloodstream during exercise. I have to admit - I thought it’d be over my head at first, but he did a great job of explaining it in terms that all of us could understand… and it was really neat to see this assessment happen right in front of us.
(L-R) Monique loved the Anschutz Center’s green roof, where they grow herbs and produce for the center… and help insulate the building by growing native grasses and plants that don’t require much water. That’s called xeriscaping! (Thanks for the lesson, Monique!)
The Anschutz Wellness Center is just gorgeous. State-of-the-art fitness facilities (including killer locker rooms), a metabolic kitchen, and beautiful details like the mod entryway made it a pleasure to spend the weekend here.
Choose Cherries provided us with a scrumptious breakfast Saturday, and snacks all weekend. We had big helpings of oatmeal, yogurt, fresh fruit, nuts, and a delish smoothie featuring tart cherry juice, which is uber-good for you.
We were also thrilled to meet the ladies from FitApproach, even getting to take home a #SweatPink swag bag (which I love!), a couple sweet TechnoGym representatives, including one who flew in straight from Italy, and Boston’s own Kristen Mercier! Angela, from DErunnerNIAL, won the $50 SpaFinder gift card during the tradeshow, which I’m sure she’ll use to relieve some of that marathon runner stress she’s built up — totally deserving!
Overall, the weekend renewed our hope in good food, good friends, and good being done all around us. Plus, we did a ton of feats… all of which I promptly checked in upon returning home ;) We’re excited to begin to work with so many of the talented, generous, and world-changing thought leaders we met, and bring their awesomeness right to your DailyFeats experience — stay tuned for great partnerships to come!
2nd Annual Fitness & Health Bloggers Conference
The fittest state in the country will be hosting the Fitness & Health Bloggers Conference June 22-24, 2012. Denver’s Colorado Center for Health and Wellness, a state-of-the-art building slated for completion in April, will welcome up to 200 fitness bloggers from all around the country to partake in a (very healthy) smorgasbord of expert speakers, fitness activities, and hands-on “cohort breakout sessions” in labs which include cooking demonstrations, exercise research, and an actual grocery store research study that examines shopping habits and how to improve them.
Allan Wright, who organizes the conference, says this one is “100% different” from most blogger conferences because it’s not focused exclusively on bloggers talking about blogging, but gives bloggers unique opportunities to learn from and interact with the very experts in the field they have a passion for writing about. In addition, there will be a half-day session where bloggers will learn more about blogging.
In its second year, the conference is pleased to partner with the Colorado Center for Health and Wellness, which will be housed in a new Anschutz Building for Health and Wellness starting next year. The building, named for donor Phil Anschutz, reflects the lifestyle its inhabitants preach: upon entrance, instead of finding an elevator, visitors are invited to take the stairs. A running track on the second floor is glass-enclosed, so you can immediately see people in the Center taking positive action in their daily routines. This frame of mind appealed to Wright, who held the conference in his hometown of Boulder last year.
The roster doesn’t disappoint either. James Hill, Google’s top search result for “weight loss expert”, is the executive director of the center and will be giving one of the most buzzed-about talks of the conference. Dr. Inigo San Milan, who advises exercise programs for professional bike-racing teams, will deliver a review of the current state of exercise research.