Ready for more stories from the Fitbloggin conference in Portland? I got lots more to share, and today, I’m going to focus on exercise, because I took a couple classes that were truly one-of-a-kind experiences. At the end of my last post, I showed pictures from a run I took around downtown Portland, and that run was the only exercise I did solo.
The morning after the run I got up at the crack of dawn for a 6am boot camp class. We met in a big room inside the hotel, and after a quick warm-up, all of us (about 40-50 people total) headed outside, and did a bulk of the workout in Pioneer Square, a big plaza across the street.
The plaza was pretty empty at 6am, so we had a ton of space. The class was led by Erin Kreitz Shirey, a trainer who writes at Dig Deep, Play Hard. Erin is a dynamo of a woman – full of energy and passion and… currently pregnant! She led us through all sorts of excruciating exercises: squats, planks, push-ups, burpees, mountain climbers, frog jumps, and a lot of running up and down stairs.
It was towards the end of the class that things got really interesting. KGW, the NBC affiliate in Portland, has a news studio in Pioneer Square, with a big window that looks out onto the plaza, Rockefeller Center style.
They saw what we were doing out on the plaza, and came out to investigate. Minutes later, we all ended up on TV! You know how there’s a short local news segment at the end of every half-hour during the “Today” show? They shot one of those segments live, with us working out in the background. Pretty cool. Our class was finishing up as the segment ended, and anchor Russ Lewis invited whoever was interested inside for a tour of the studio. Yes, please!
Although I work in television, I don’t know much about the news business, and I loved hearing Russ talk about his job – how he’s editing and tweaking copy up until seconds before he delivers it on-air, and how the camera is robotic and operated remotely by a guy in the main newsroom 10 blocks away. Russ is very likeable, and took photos with everyone that wanted one…
…and let me and Martinus, a new friend who blogs at 300 Pounds and Running, sit at the desk.
Reporter Ashley Korslien took a picture with us in front of the green screen that’s used to do the weather.
And you can see how, on TV, the green is replaced with weather charts.
Where did Martinus go?
Russ and Ashley were very gracious and spent around 20 minutes with us, which was very cool, especially since the whole thing was so impromptu. Just goes to show ya: fun things happen when you commit to working out!
Fitbloggin had an expo area in one of the lobbies, where a bunch of companies and brands set up booths with information, free samples, and fun swag. I came home with a lot more stuff than I arrived with: towels, water bottles, flash drives, and more. Reebok was very generous, and gave everyone, when they arrived, a gym bag and a pair of $110 Crossfit Nano shoes.
How did they know I love red shoes?
Another vendor that was set up in the expo area was Total Gym Direct, which had two of their latest home gyms, the Total Gym XLS, set up for us to try. The XLS is a cool piece of equipment that can be used for all sorts of exercises that can target pretty much any muscle group in your body. I’m always down for trying something new, and Elizabeth, a trainer who works with Total Gym Direct, guided me through a couple exercises that you can do with the XLS. I have trouble motivating myself to do pull-ups, so I asked Elizabeth to show how the XLS can be used for pull-ups, and she ended up showing me about 5 variations.
Buy a Total Gym XLS and you’ll be using the same piece of equipment that Chuck Norris, Christie Brinkley, Olivia Newton-John and Steve Guttenberg use to work out!
On Saturday, I started my day with another workout I’ve never done before: a JumpSport Fitness class, aka trampoline class! A hotel ballroom was filled with dozens of personal trampolines, and for an hour, we jumped and jumped and jumped, and also did, off the trampoline, all sorts of squats and kicks, planks and lunges. A guy named Jeff, who seemed to have boundless energy, led the class, and I was soaked with sweat and completely exhausted afterward. It was fun, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I had to take a breather before getting on with my day:
The class was structured so we were working out with a partner, with one of us always on the trampoline, and the other alongside, doing non-trampoline exercises. My partner was Paola, a new friend who, as it turns out, lives about a 1/4 mile from me in Los Angeles. Small world!
Paola was just one of a bunch of new friends I made at Fitbloggin. I met a ton of people total – look at all the business cards I collected! I also passed out a ton of my own business cards, too.
I also accumulated room keys. I got two when I checked in, and I locked myself out twice in a span of 48 hours (sad but true), which brings the total to four!
In my next post, I’ll share some more pictures with Fitbloggin friends, and talk more about the sessions, discussions, and workshops I attended. Plus, I reach a very exciting milestone with my next post – come back to see what it is!
Keep it up, David!