Every year, bloggers from far and wide gather for a few days of education, camaraderie, and connection at the Fitbloggin’ conference. It was my third year going, after attending in Portland and Denver. This time around, it was in Indianapolis, which meant I could finally cross “canoodling with a statue of four-term mayor William H Hudnut III” off my bucket list.
This year’s Fitbloggin’ marked the start of a new chapter for the conference. Zephyr Adventures organized and ran the conference for the first time, and it was a smaller, more intimate affair, with fewer attendees and sessions.
This was my first time visiting Indy since I was a kid, when we would come to visit family friends that lived in the suburbs, and I really loved the city. The conference was based at a Marriott smack in the center of everything, and I looked up and counted the floors as I was first arriving, because that’s what I always do since I began stair racing.
18 stories! (They say it’s 19, because there’s no 13th floor.) I climbed the stairs on my first night, with my pal Tracy. It was an impromptu climb, because there was a huge crowd at the elevators.
Tracy got off on 12, but I went to the 18th floor.
I’ve begun the habit of asking for the highest room possible at hotels, partly because I love stairs, and partly because I love views. (That’s how I got on the top floor of a hotel in Laughlin, Nevada.) I walked into my 18th-floor room at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown, threw open the curtains, and… I had a view of another Marriott!
If only I was across the hall, I could’ve been looking at the state capital building, which was practically within throwing distance!
Back to the conference. The most exciting thing for me was that I was speaking at two events this year. Months and months ago, I proposed a session called “Pulling Yourself Back on the Weight Loss Wagon,” and it was selected to be on the agenda. I led a group discussion, where participants could exchange ideas, suggestions, and insight regarding busting through plateaus and dealing with issues that derail you from your weight loss efforts. It was a well-attended session, and I got lots of positive feedback.
Then, a week ago, I was asked to moderate a panel after someone else pulled out. It was called “How to Influence Your Community to Achieve Health & Fitness,” and I only had a few days to read up on the panelists and put together a game plan. Luckily, the panelists were awesome: blogger Martinus Evans, registered dietician Dawn Jackson Blatner (who won Season 1 of “My Diet is Better Than Yours” on ABC), and gym owner Tyler Miller, who’s also a strength and conditioning coach for a bunch of Purdue sports teams, and a former college athlete himself.
We had a great crowd for the panel, and all three panelists had lots of great things to say about how to effectively communicate empowering messages. I wish I could’ve taken notes, but I was busy asking questions and interacting with them!
I attended many other sessions, too, including a presentation by keynote speaker Lisa Delaney, author of Secrets of a Former Fat Girl, and a spontaneous session about YouTube and Snapchat, two social platforms I haven’t really embraced very much. And Elizabeth Bain gets bonus points. Her flight to Indy was cancelled, but she led her session on contract law for bloggers anyway, via Skype.
The only big bummer was that after the first day, my foot started hurting. Some old injury was flaring up, due to overuse. I’ve bitched and moaned about it on this blog before. There were a bunch of cool, new workout classes and experiences at Fitbloggin’, and I couldn’t do any on the second or third day. (I did do one on the first day, and I’ll talk about it in an upcoming post.)
My foot didn’t stop me from having fun, though. It was great to see old friends and meet new ones, at the conference and socially as well. The best non-conference event was when Margo, Jennifer and I went to see a drag show at Zonie’s Closet on Friday night.
We saw Sizzlin’ Sandra, Cody Christine, and Alana Steele (although I’m guessing on the spelling of all three), from seats right next to the stage.
And there you have it, folks. Another Fitbloggin’ has come and gone. Even with my foot on the fritz, I kept active and ate well, and really enjoyed checking out Indianapolis.
Keep it up, David!