Saturday, July 25, 2015

Five Ways My Head Exploded at #BlogFest / IDEA World & Sweat Pink #Giveaway

Last week was a pretty exciting week for me. I passed the NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) CPT (certified personal trainer) exam on Monday morning and then on Wednesday I left for California to attend the BlogFest conference and IDEA World fitness convention in Los Angeles. I had an amazing time, met so many great people, ate a lot of food, and worked out a lot!
Quick beach trip with an old (I mean, young) friend before heading over to the conference.
Blogfest is a fitness blogger conference hosted by Sweat Pink nestled inside the much larger IDEA World Fitness convention in Los Angeles. We had two days of blogging related seminars with Sweat Pink, followed by two days of fitness sessions in the largest fitness convention, IDEA World.

I'm official! (I know my Twitter name is weird, but you should still follow me there.)
I've been home for a week and I really struggled at first to write a recap post. I started and stopped writing several times, deleted posts and started over more than once. I think it took me this long to write my recap because I couldn't possibly share all the information I picked up over the course of the conference. I decided to share the things that surprised me the most (aka made my head explode) plus I have an awesome Sweat Pink gear giveaway at the end!

Five Ways My Head Exploded at BlogFest / IDEA World

#1. Why not me?

My biggest takeaway from the conference "Why not me?" I can dream whatever I want and follow those dreams. If all these people could do it, why couldn't I? As a whole, they aren't any better or smarter than me. Whatever I work towards I can accomplish. I know I probably didn't need to spend a couple hundred dollars on a conference pass and a couple hundred more to travel to L.A. to come to that conclusion, but hey, I'm thick headed. It's so simple. My eyes were really opened to the possibilities.

#2. I like meeting new people! Really! Me!

I probably have mentioned before that I am an introvert by nature and one might wonder why an introvert would go off to a fitness convention by herself knowing such a trip would, in fact, require meeting and talking to people that I don't know. Don't I know I usually hate that? Turns out I love people who are just like me! It is easy to talk to fellow fitness bloggers because we already have so much in common and we all spend way too much time online writing about fitness! And besides, I already knew so many of these people in the online world, many have been my online blog and social media friends for years. It felt more like reconnecting with old friends than making new ones. And I did make so many new friends. People I genuinely like. Weird, I know.

All my new (and old) blogging friends!
#3. I was inspired mostly by the stories behind the presenters.

The blogging sessions were fun and engaging. I was inspired just as much (if not more so) by the successes and back stories of the people on the stage as I was with their blogging advice. I walked away with a renewed motivation towards blogging. Just sitting in a room with all these people who have the same passions as me was pretty darn inspiring in itself. I have so many new apps to try out, many books to read, and they may even have convinced me to jump on the Periscope wagon (but maybe not). I was thrilled to hear Gabrielle Reece and Natalie Jill speak and hear their stories, plus the chance to work out with Gabby!

My brush with celebrity: Natalie Jill and Gabrielle Reece. Look how little I look (I'm 5'8)!
#4. I have so much to learn

After Blogfest was over I was really excited about my IDEA World sessions because these were the sessions targeted at the fitness industry as a whole. Since I just passed my NASM exam the Monday before the trip, I changed all my sessions at the last minute from things like celebrity workouts and social media related topics to sessions on corrective exercises and program design. I really hoped to get some additional education from these sessions as everything I have learned so far has been from NASM. I felt like that college intern just trying to soak up all the information around me. Except for one dud of a session that caused me to miss the Jillian Michaels workout (sad face), overall the sessions were interesting and informative. I listened to a talk from Todd Durkin on exploding your sales, which was cool in itself since I had been following him online for a couple of years. Jason Karp did a runner's clinic which I really enjoyed. I worked with him a few years ago to review one of his books when I was still operating under the Running for Dummies blog. I walked away with the reminder that my certification is just the spark, the very beginning of this journey, I still have so so much more to learn and experience.

IDEA World presenters Jason Karp and Todd Durkin. How did Jason go from wearing a suit to running clothes? He stripped, of course. 
#5 The Hardest Part: What's Next?

I came home last Sunday and ate a cheeseburger with my husband as soon as I got off the plane. That's what most people do when they leave a fitness convention, right? I got up at 4am to catch a flight home that morning and I was starving once I got off the plane in DFW.

I spent the last week processing the vast amount of information. I felt excited, motivated and mostly terrified. Since I just passed the NASM exam, it is time to consider my next steps. What exactly do I want to do with it? Attending the conference just days after I passed the exam was such great timing. Here I was this newly certified trainer surrounded by thousands of people who were living and breathing my dream. From the Sweat Pink fitness blogger ladies (and guy, yes, there was one) to the big name fitness celebrities, I was surrounded by people who were making fitness their livelihood in some way. I still haven't been able to wrap my head around this completely. Any reader advice for moving forward as a newly certified CPT?

I'll leave you with a shout out to some of my blog friends and a Sweat Pink giveaway! I hope to see you next year at BlogFest 2016!

Blogger Shout Outs:

I couldn't possibly name every blogger I enjoyed meeting at BlogFest because I would bore you to death with the never-ending list. Seriously, everyone was just so great, but I have to give a shout out to the people who made it really special for me.

Alyse and Jamie from Fit Approach. Thanks to Alyse and Jamie for everything they do for the Sweat Pink community. It must be a massive undertaking to put on a blog conference of this caliber and I appreciate all their hard work. They built this amazing community that I am grateful to be a part of.

Ariana from Evolution by Ariana. Ariana was my roommate and I really enjoyed getting to know her. She was a great roommate, a sweet person and was patient with me as I picked her brain a bit about her personal training business. Ariana is really smart and a good trainer who shared some really good ideas with me. I was really worried about rooming with someone I didn't know (you know, the introvert thing), but my fears were unfounded because I couldn't have picked a better roommate if I had selected one myself! (You still owe me those hip exercises Ariana. ha!)

Ariana giving her lightening round speech at BlogFest
Christiana from Spilling Coffee and Dropping Things. Christiana was my BlogFest buddy. They paired first time BlogFest attendees (me!) with people who had attend before (her!) and I got lucky they matched up me and Christiana. She was fun and engaging and oh so sweet. She really cares about people and it is shows. I was glad to have someone so friendly and nice to help show me the ropes of the conference.

Me and Christiana from Spilling Coffee and Dropping Things.
I also really enjoyed meeting Jill Conyers, Tiffany Henness from Thoroughly Thriving and Cynthia Steele from You Signed Up for What?! in real real life (IRL as the kids say). These are such authentic, inspiring, real women who share their fitness lives via their blogs and social media. It was such a pleasure to finally meet them all in person after all these years together in the blogging world.

Memorable Quotes:

"You don't have energy, you generate it." @BrendonBurchard at the IDEA World opening session.
"Why fit in when you should stand out?" @Kwidrick at BlogFest.
"'Impossible' is only in the dictionary of fools." @Arobles125 at the IDEA World opening session.
"The difference between who you are and who you want to be is what you do." at the IDEA World opening session.
"Things don't just happen, you must MAKE THEM HAPPEN!" @nataliejillfit at BlogFest.

The Giveaway!

Couldn't make it to BlogFest this year? Just really love pink? Who wants to win a Sweat Pink Prize package? Prize includes a sweat pink bag (I sweat Pink so hard), a sweat pink trucker hat and pink shoelaces!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Contest runs 7/25/15-8/2/15
No purchase necessary.
Winner will be randomly selected via Rafflecopter
Entries on Rafflecopter will be verified. Entries not completed will be disqualified. (i.e. don't say you did it if you didn't.)
Open to US residents 18 years of age or older.
Must have a shipping address in the US.
Winner will notified via email and will have 48 business hours to claim prize.
If original winner does not claim prize within 48 business hours an alternate winner will be selected
Prize will be shipped directly from Running with Ollie in Texas. Please allow 30 days from contest end for delivery of prize.

Certified a week ago, already named the NASM trainer of the year...or they let me stand in front of this poster at the fitness Expo. You decide.

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  1. You are so sweet! You were an awesome roomie yourself and I am always happy to talk all things fitness and bizness ;)

    I'm so excited for you! I totally love your first takeaway - "why not me?" Carry that with you and you will no doubt be successful! I'm looking forward to watching you thrive as a personal trainer!

  2. Not entering because I just won a Sweat Pink package, but I wanted to say it was so fun to finally meet you. And very ironic that your first takeaway was Why Not Me, because that is what Jillian Michaels spoke about at last year's Blogfest!

    1. ha! I didn't know that! I thanks! great to meet you too!

  3. Great recap Lea. My Head Exploded.... that is perfect for Blogfest! It was so wonderful to get to meet you in person. You have a genuineness about you that makes people immediately comfortable being around you. As if they have known you for years. I'm optimistic that our paths will cross again IRL.

    Now, where do I begin? A new personal trainer EEK! And with all I learned at Blogfest!

    1. thanks Jill, that means a lot to me...and CONGRATS on passing your NASM test too! We definitely have to stay in touch on our next steps!

  4. Great inspirational quotes here!

  5. I have not attended one of those conferences yet but it is something I want to do some day. The prize pack looks great and fun. I'd love to win it!

  6. I was so so so sad to miss this this year.
    you ?? :-)

  7. It was so great to meet you in person! I can't wait to see what you do with your NASM cert! After IDEA World, I have a bunch of new ideas for what to do with mine :)

  8. NO I have never been to one of those conferences... But it does seem enjoyable..

  9. Just at the disney expo- great motivation

  10. never been but sounds amazing!! :)

  11. When I used to food blog I once went to a food fest conference, but it was in the same town as my best friend lived so I didn't get the full experience.


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