Yup. That’s me up there. Never in a million years did I think I would be writing a blog post about a Fitness/Blogging conference that I organized and hosted. It’s been 5 years since starting this blog to help me stay accountable on my umpteen attempt to lose weight and now I’m hosting and planning conferences?
I’ve asked this question before but who am I?
I’m writing this after quite possible the most stressful, overwhelming, wonderful, exciting, unbelievable weekend of my life. The marathon last year didn’t even come close to this and that still has me in tears every time I think about it.
I briefly told you why a FItBloggin conference seemed like the next natural step so instead of rehashing any of that or my history I’m gonna just recap the last few days.
Friday I was FREAKING OUT. Thankfully the husband took off work to help me get everything organized for the big weekend. He took the little guy to school while I put the finishing touches on all the swag bags and packed them to be moved to the hotel.
We were actually able to fit everything in our two cars. Thank the LORD we decided on a wagon after having the little guy. Without it we would have had to make about 5 trips in the Civic and my old car, the Accent. –Ok, so I have a thing for little cars. I could never own an SVU and the wagon was really pushing it for me. I can’t wait to trade it in for a zippy hybrid.
Anyway, we were actually early as set up couldn’t begin until almost 1PM so we went for lunch at the Austin grill and I ate way too many chips & salsa, a HUGE veggie burrito, all my rice and most of the husbands fries. Was I stress eating? YES! But I also knew I wouldn’t be eating for at least another 8 hours so I decided to go a little overboard. Yes. I DECIDED. I didn’t break my diet or feel guilty about it at all! This mindset is getting easier and easier.
Once I got to the hotel I met up with Dawn and Allison from The Wellington Group. I cannot say enough good things about these two. They helped me through the whole conference organizing process. I shutter to think what it would have been without them.
We soon took our assessments of the current situation, got the registration table organized, made plans for all the nitty gritty details and started to set up. Did everything go exactly according to plan?
Nope. Not at all. First we realized we never received the Men’s t-shirts that we were giving away (I still have to take care of that.. ugh.) We discovered typos in the agenda. A few missing name tags. A couple of broken bowls. I could go on and on. The point is… things happened and we dealt with them and moved on. I wouldn’t think conference planning would make a good metaphor for life but it does. Not everything will always go as planned. How you deal with problems matters more than the problems themselves. That’s my new philosophy. :)
Before I knew it… people were arriving to register! This made it really really real!
Then it was POM-tini time.
POM was very supportive of this conference from day one. They were our first signed sponsor and you guys have seen how they treat bloggers. I love POM Wonderful. I really do and they did NOT pay me to say that. I swear! ;)
In the middle of the POM party a familiar face came to visit. . .
I really wanted him to be a part of this event. I want him to see what his Mommy does because I don’t think he does or will ever realize how much he has changed my life in so many ways (yes there are tears now running down my face. You KNOW I’m a sap, let’s move on… ;)
After the amazing reception…
…we packed everything up to get ready for the next morning. I finally grabbed a bite to eat with my Mom, my 2 best friends and Ester. It was nice to sit and chill with old and new friends. It definitely kept me distracted so I didn’t freak out, that’s for sure.
The next morning started early. 6:30 I helped everyone get ready for the FitBloggin’ Run/Walk that New Balance hosted. I couldn’t run with everyone but I got them organized and out the door on time.
Here’s the group of runners…
Soon it was time for breakfast. We had the best Oatmeal bar provided by Quaker.
I said it then and I’ll say it again.. Oatmeal ALWAYS tastes better when someone else makes it. I topped mine with a little brown sugar, cinnamon and craisins. SO YUMMY!
In a flash it was time to get the festivities under way. I wasn’t nervous. I was numb. Seriously. I barely have a recollection of being on stage. When I looked out into the crowd I got the sinking feeling that everyone was expecting something and I had nothing. NOTHING! lol I was too worried about keeping us on task and on schedule.
Before I knew it we were grabbing lunch. I tried my best to offer a healthy options. I made the decision not to offer any soda and I kept the desserts light and mostly fruit based. No one seemed to complain so I’m assuming I made good choices. :)
After lunch we gathered for a group photo and then it was back to sessions.
I unfortunately, didn’t have time to sit through the wonderful presentations. My job was to keep everything running smoothly and to my surprise… it was! Sure there were little things that needed some attention. A slow internet connection, schedule mistakes, a crazy guy wanting to poll our attendees about Obama but you’ll have this. All in all I’d say it was smooth sailing.
By the afternoon I was spent. I think it was about 3PM when I hit a wall. Thankfully I had the BEST volunteers to pick up the slack. Here are a few of us…
Missing are my 2 best friends that were manning the sessions and Dawn of the Wellington group.
The day ended with a Dave Grotto‘s Keynote address and a reception sponsored by Jell-O where we provided some sushi and a place for some post conference decompression. I know I needed it.
Once it was all said and done I think I was too exhausted to even grasp what I just accomplished. I successfully planned, organized and hosted the first ever FitBloggin’ conference.
I think I’m still in shock. I really am and all the twitter chatter about FitBloggin’11 isn’t helping! lol
I am in the process of gathering recaps of the conference from other bloggers. There are a some links in the comments on this post but keep an eye out on the FitBloggin’ blog this week for the complete list and the Fitbloggin’ Fan page and the FitBloggin’ Flickr Collection for more pictures.
Ok, I think that’s all I got in me today. I’m actually going to try to post on GreenLiteBites tonight. I had fun cooking today after WAY too many days of eating out. It felt good to make all my own meals and keep my food journal after all this craziness! I’m actually looking forward to a week of normalcy.
All Pictures courtesy of carriedphotography. Did you really think I had time to take photos too! ;)
Oh! and before I go have to say this one more time…
I MUST thank the Wellington group, the volunteers, and the speakers. I appreciate all the Thank You’s but FitBloggin would and could NOT have happened without them. Please pass on the appreciation. They all did a STELLAR job!