It’s Monday and I’m still tired and sore.
But heading down to Los Angeles for IDEA World Fitness Blogfest 2016 was so worth it.
In case you want to just skip to the good parts, here are the highlights:
- Meeting Ariana, Beth, Megan, Susie, Jessica, Lea, Christiana, Ashley, Ivanna, Carleeh, Stephanie, Kelli, Teresa, and Jamie and Alyse (as well as many other fabulous bloggers) in real life and getting to hang out with them for the entire weekend
- A sweaty group run through downtown LA
- All the free food, swag and snacks we got – seriously, I’ve never been so spoiled at a conference. Sweat Pink and all the sponsors truly outdid themselves! Buffet breakfast and lunches, all the protein bars, yogurt, hummus and veggies we could possibly eat, and lots of take home goodies
- Watching 90-year-old Elaine Lalanne (Jack Lalanne’s wife) take on Tony Horton in a push-up competition
- Hearing Amy Van Dyken‘s story – it was truly inspirational and she’s a very funny lady
- Getting my butt kicked (and slapped by Susie during a plank exercise where we had to partner up and try to push the other person off balance) in bloggers-only a workout with Gunnar Peterson
- Late night Whole Foods dinner runs, business chats and celebrity spotting with Ariana
- Getting yelled at by Jillian Michaels during her BodyShed workout
- Doing a combo workout of Insanity/P90X/Turbo Kick/Cize and Country Heat (I couldn’t take that one seriously) with the Sweat Pink crew
- Checking out all the latest, greatest and weirdest in fitness and health at the expo (LOL at that car-buffer massage thing)
- Hearing and being inspired by lectures from David Katz, John Berardi and Yoni Freedhoff at the nutrition and behaviour change summit (these people are smart and get it – follow them if you aren’t already!)
- Did I mention all the free food and swag?
On Thursday and Friday, we sat in on a series of blogger-focused lectures and workshops, which included sessions about how to use SnapChat, how to collect/use emails, content marketing, iPhone food photography, blogger round tables and peer reviews.
My favourite (and most useful to me) sessions were the keynote by Jenna Wolfe (she had some great, inspiring advice) and the food photography one, as they both had some fantastic take-away tips (I’m already implementing Brooke’s Instagram tips – rule of thirds, Ludwig filter, and bump up the contrast, brightness and highlights so your stir fry doesn’t look like it belongs in a 1970s edition of Good Housekeeping Magazine). The other sessions were stuff I already knew or weren’t applicable to my blog or personal training business.
In and amongst those sessions were sponsored breakfasts, snacks and lunches, which were all delicious and had veggie and dairy-free options available. We also had an endless supply sparkling water, hummus, veggies, yogurt and protein bars during the sessions, which was awesome. Big thanks to Silk and MorningStar Farms (that had stuff I could eat!), as well as Pure Protein, Siggis, and Vital Proteins (which I’m sure were delicious but I couldn’t have) and other brands who made sure we were well fed during Blogfest.
As for stuff I didn’t enjoy or thought could have been done better…. honestly, I have nothing to complain about. I’ve never been so spoiled at a conference. Sure, we had “tweet breaks” which were pretty much commercial breaks where brands would talk about their products and how to work with them, but we got free food and stuff in return. It’s all part of the business. The meals, sessions, swag, networking events, workouts and get-togethers were all great. Well done, Sweat Pink!
IDEA World sessions
Since we only got to attend IDEA World of Saturday and Sunday, I missed out on some of the sessions I really wanted to go to, which were held on Thursday and Friday. I attended a functional core matrix workshop by Dr. Mike Bracko (a Canadian!) that covered the best exercises to do to prevent back injuries, and a few lectures for the nutrition and behaviour change summit that I gleaned lots of interesting information from and that I found crossed over quite a bit into the realm of change management (my day job). You better believe I’ll be blogging about a few topics covered in those sessions over the coming weeks!
The rest of my sessions were workouts, including a class with Jillian Michaels (who is tiny in person and cusses like a sailor, just like I imagined she would) and an exclusive class for just us Sweat Pink girls showcasing several Beachbody workouts. I did this class right after Jillian’s BodyShred, so I was done and could barely make it through the P90X and Insanity portion of the workout. Luckily, we cooled down with something called Country Heat and PiYo, which was awesome and hilarious at the same time.
Aside from making new connections with my favourite bloggers and health and wellness brands and companies, I left the weekend feeling inspired (as I had hoped I would) to put more effort back into my blog and what I’m trying to do with my writing and personal training business – to remember my “why” and to stop waiting for the “right time” to do things. Yes, it’s a bit of a struggle right now with general busyness and balancing family time and work time; but I truly do feel fulfilled when I can write something – whether that’s a blog, article for a magazine or training program – and help someone change their lives for the better.
What’s the best/most inspiring conference or talk you’ve been to? For bloggers who attended, what was your favourite part/lecture/workshop? Least favourite? What was one main takeaway for you from the weekend?