FitBloggin 2014 Part 1

I have avoided writing this post for nearly a week now.  Not because I don’t want to write it, but because I KNOW I can’t do it justice.  This was my first FitBloggin.  Every year I’ve wanted to go and every year something has gotten in the way.  Until this year.  Everything lined up, I was granted a spot as a LiveBlogger.

I was really excited about this and then the closer it come to being a reality, I gradually got more and more nervous! I’ve never live-blogged anything before! I don’t even plan out my posts! I am a spur-of-the-moment person, for sure! I am very happy it didn’t dawn on me, the intensity of the session I was blogging before hand or I may have had a nervous breakdown! I didn’t have that realization until I got in the room and began setting up.  After I got into the meat of the session and then the next morning, finishing up and getting my links together, I realized how much FUN I was having! I WAS IN MY ELEMENT!! I am so grateful for the opportunity as it got me out of my comfort zone in more than one way.

Avocado Collage

It got me to a place where I knew NO ONE.  I don’t do well in crowds, I thought.  I also don’t do well around strangers, I thought.  Guess what? I’m still alive so I suppose I did OK, right? At the beginning of this session, I realized I needed to sit at the “front of the class” in order to miss nothing.  This is also not usual for me.  I am a “back of the class” sitter.  Again, it didn’t kill me.  Whew!

Another way this got me out of my comfort zone was driving 800-ish miles.  While I wasn’t alone, I was “in charge”.  I prefer to be a passenger.  Also, even though I’m a control freak, I prefer to not be ‘in charge’.  Contradiction in terms? Yeah, therapy is needed.  HA!

When I arrived in Savannah Thursday, the first order of business was TEA! The very first person I met was Sarah.  I was late so she was standing on the sidewalk looking for me.  She met me with the warmest hug! It was fabulous! The tea was delicious, the conversations were fantastic and I wouldn’t have wanted to begin my weekend any other way!

Tea CollageAfter tea, we made our way back to the hotel.  It was pretty AND they had a Starbucks on the ground floor.  Perfect, yes? I didn’t photograph our room in order to maintain the privacy of my room mates (who were fantastic, by the way!) but I did get pictures all around the lobby.

Hotel Collage

Roof Collage

The actual sessions and the expo were wonderful.  I didn’t partake in any sessions that didn’t offer something I needed.  The first session I attended was “Blogging Over 40” led by Gail.  I was introduced to some bloggers I didn’t know and we had a great discussion about how we need to embrace our experience!

The second session I attended was “How to Organize Community Wellness Programs” led by Val.  In the beginning, I thought this was over my head.  It was actually on the way home, my passengers were sleeping, it was about 6 AM Sunday morning and I was reflecting on the conference and I was bombarded with thoughts and ideas for how I can help MY community! I am so excited for what I have in my head.  Now I just need to get the nerve to execute these plans.

There was also “Use Your Words to Change Your Life”, led by Alexandra.  This was a great session that taught us to realize what the triggers are and how to change our responses to those triggers to have a more positive attitude.

I had to miss a selfie with Mickey Mouse in order to get set up for my LiveBlog with the California Avocado Commission, which was next on my schedule! It was an informative session that discussed the health benefits of avocados, as well as teaching a new method for removing the skin and some photography tips. The winner of the recipe contest was also announced and we were given the opportunity to sample the recipe.  It was delicious! Alyssa did a great job on that recipe.  There were 2 runner’s up, Kelly and Kia.

I also attended “How to Build a Respected Blog” presented by ESPN Blogger Stephania Bell, PT, OCS, CSCS. She shared some great resources for fact checking.  That is definitely needed in this field!

Saturday morning, I didn’t attend any sessions as I used this time to tweak and upload my LiveBlog.

I was able to make it to Katy Widrick’s session on Media Kits.  I was very grateful I made this one because my brain has made a really big deal out of a media kit the whole time I’ve been blogging.  After the session, I couldn’t believe how simple it is! I will be making one of them ASAP!

This would actually be my last session of the conference.  I had plans to go have dinner with my mother and son who were driving into town for the afternoon.  I was very torn but I’m happy with my decision.

I’m going to leave off here.  I have MUCH more to say than I anticipated! I’m going to talk about the wonderful people I met and the in between times Tuesday.  Be sure and come back!

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