I’m a little bummed that this is my last Fitbloggin recap post. I had a great time in Portland attending this conference, and I’ve been able to relive all the memories while putting together these posts. But I suppose, moving forward, I’ll have these posts to relive those memories… so it’s time well spent!
Before I dive into Fitbloggin for the last time, I’m really geeked about something else. It’s a big day for Keep It Up, David – so big that I created a graphic especially for the occasion! Break out the champagne, because this is my…
SEVEN HUNDRED POSTS of adventures, creativity, emotions, and pride. SEVEN HUNDRED POSTS of encouragement, struggles and successes. SEVEN HUNDRED POSTS of reminding myself that I’m worth it, and that I should keep it up.
Man oh man! I didn’t have any goals or expectations when I started this blog in the fall of 2010, but if I knew back then that I’d still be going strong 700 posts later, fueled and supported by an amazing group of readers, I’d be floored. Just floored. Big thanks to everyone that swings by, and keeps coming back, just to check in with what’s going on in my little corner of the world.
Let’s dive back into Fitbloggin, shall we?
Need to catch up? In my first recap, I shared how I almost missed my flight and posted photos of Portland, the host city. Then, in the second recap, I focused on exercise, including some one-of-a-kind experiences.
I’ve written about the exercise classes and the expo area full of brands and sponsors, but I haven’t talked much about the conference itself. There were two jam-packed days filled with discussions, workshops, and presentations, and I tried to go to as much as possible. I learned a lot about how to improve my blog, so much so that I started to feel completely overwhelmed and downright stupid for not learning this stuff earlier. This classic moment from “The Simpsons” popped into my brain on more than one occasion:
The exciting thing is that it gives me something to work on, with the end result being a stronger, better, more customizable website, and those are all good things. Plus, everyone was so helpful, and I have a couple places to turn for help when I get stuck. And I will get stuck, no doubt about it!
I went to workshops focused on the business of blogging, too. I met and heard from a slew of people who make their living from their blogs, and they had a lot to share. I took copious notes during workshops about writing pitches and creating a media kit – two strong components that I’ll need if I chose to monetize this blog (which, for the record, isn’t on my to-do list, but who knows what the future will bring?).
In addition, I went to a number of small group discussions that focused on emotional health. Losing weight isn’t easy, and hearing people talk openly, in a safe, supportive environment, about what trips them up and how they overcome it is powerful stuff. Everyone that attended Fitbloggin are more or less in the same boat: we’re all people dedicated to improving our lives, while sharing our efforts along the way. Get enough of us in one room, and it’s hard not to be inspired. It’s a ridiculously encouraging environment.
Perhaps the most exciting thing for me was that I got to meet, in person, a bunch of people that I’ve followed, through Twitter or their blogs, for years. It was so cool to walk up to someone that I’ve never actually met, and start talking to them like I’ve known them forever, without any weirdness whatsoever. I got a bunch of pictures, too! This post would run forever if I included them all, but here are a handful. These people are some of my favorite bloggers, and if they aren’t yours already, maybe they will be soon!
All in all there were a few hundred attendees, but only about a dozen or so men. When I first started blogging, back in the day, I started seeking out men who were writing about the same sort of things that I was, and I quickly found Alan at sweatinguntilhappy.com. He’s lost 140 or so pounds, and I finally got to shake his hand.
Skinny Emmie was someone else that I started reading and following right away – she’s lost around 115 pounds and 65 inches around her body! Emmie also produced the first-ever Fitbloggin fashion show, and it was a resounding success – well done, Emmie!
And meeting Mel, from The Daily Mel, was a very special treat, because she actually lives in southern California, about an hour from me, and even though we’ve followed each other for a couple years, it took a conference 800 miles away for us to finally connect in person.
I loved hanging out with Susan, aka Foodie McBody (her website is here), who has a great laugh and is really a joy to be around.
I also made a bunch of new friends, too, that I hit it off with right away. One of them was Leah Segedie, whom you may know as BookieBoo. It turns out Leah lives about 1/2 hour from me. We’re already talking about finding time to hang out, and I hope that happens soon!
I hit it off right away with Sue O’Lear, who runs a website called Mrs. Fatass, because we’re both alums of the University of Michigan, and we have a similar, slightly wicked sense of humor. She spilled a drink on my shoe, and she can expect an invoice in the mail soon. I’m kidding. Or am I?
Another new friend, Sarah, is endlessly inspiring. She’s lost 200 pounds and kept it off for 8 years, and you can follow her on Twitter here. I love this picture, because Sarah’s taking a picture with her phone at the same time I’m taking one with mine, and we’re each looking at a different phone.
I’m getting a little sad that the weekend has come and gone, and instead of dwelling on that, I thought I’d end this post, and my Fitbloggin recaps, with a few fun pictures of me and some local wildlife. These furry friends were hanging out right across the street from the hotel, and I couldn’t resist taking photos!
And, of course… BEAVER:
I think more of my posts should end with a beaver shot. Perhaps that should be my goal for the next 700 posts?
Next year’s Fitbloggin will be in either Austin or Nashville… and I plan on attending! See you there! And, until then…
…Keep it up, David!