Last week I attended the 2014 IDEA Fit and Blogfest Conference in Anaheim. A few of my blogger friends have already written up some great recaps of the events, I’ll link to a few of them as I go on.
Blogfest was produced by the amazing ladies at Sweat Pink and was a nicely integrated program with the whole of IDEAFit.
Jamie from SweatPink wrote an epic recap – you can read a bit about each of the sessions on her blog with some pictures. (always so fun to see a picture of myself in there)
I readily admitted that I went into the event mostly excited to see my blogger friends – especially Debbie, Melissa, Jill and Jamie who were all part of my Ragnar team just a few months ago. Debbie wrote a great recap of some of the fun at IDEAFit – read it on Live from LaQuinta. Check out the pictures of our test ride on the Real Ryder cycles – super fun and a great upper body workout.
My friend Shannon from Badass Fitness – has also written a few posts about the weekend – you can start with this one IDEAWorld Expo Fitness and Foodie Finds
I met some amazing new friends – Brittany from My Own Balance, Amelia from LiveTravelEatAndRun, Natalie from HelloDayBlog, Alicia from NeverEverBeenSkinny, Kasey from PowerCakes, Chrissy from Snacking in Sneakers, and Erin from DigDeepPlayHard to name a few. Go check out their blogs – they are inspiring.
You can click on the pictures below for larger images – but these are a few of the great panels – including Cassey from Blogilates, Shauna Harrison on an Under Armour panel, Rita Barry from Blog Genie (who has done amazing work for me in the past and I was so excited to meet her) and Kelly, Tracy, Whitney and Jamie (best moderator ever) talking about working with brands.
The highlight of the event was the Keynote Speaker – Jillian Michaels. I’ve been a big fan of Jillian’s for a long time and I was so happy to listen to her talk.
Yep – I was sitting right in the front row
She talked about similar topics as she does on her podcast. But, in person it was a whole new level of inspiration. All of the people in the room felt it too. Every single person who asked a question started out with a qualifier by saying that her talk had really changed their minds about her. The general consensus of her tv persona being so different than reality. Especially when it came to the person/trainer you see on the Biggest Loser – she knew it was a game show and she was trying her hardest to get contestants to make a big breakthrough in a short time. When she acknowledged that typically with clients, this was a process that would take 6 months, she converted many opinions in the room.
Then, she went on to talk about parenting and healthy eating in her kids (as prompted by a question from the audience – my friend Jill). A quote stayed with me: “Educate your kids about their health and empower them to understand how their decisions affect their health”. Perfect. Empowerment to me means don’t be the food police – but model healthy habits and encourage them to understand their own health.
And another quotable moment: “When you’re strong physically, it translates to every facet of your life”. Amen.
We all agreed that Jillian was the subject of many a #girlcrush in the room. Her sense of humor is perfect, too. She tells a great story. (Which reminds me – if you don’t already listen to her podcast, she has a great story on the episode published just this week) #fangirl.
The other inspiring takeaway from the conference was meeting and chatting with Kasey from PowerCakes. Kasey’s philosophy is to “Be True to You” and she works tirelessly to inspire young girls to have Body Peace – she has a book coming out next month and I can’t wait to read it. Having a teenage daughter and being around so many teenage girls, I know the importance of a healthy body image. I could have chatted with Kasey for hours and hours. As it was, we just took a selfie with the two Melissa’s.
I think the best thing to walk away with from a fitness blogger conference is inspiration. And it’s inspiration to do things OFF of my blog. Yes, I can share stories and motivation here, but it’s the things I want to do off the blog that I keep thinking about. One is definitely to continue my role in the Healthy Ever After program at my son’s old school and see how I can help it grow. And I’m really inspired by Kasey’s Body Peace movement and want to explore spreading that message locally.
I know there’s more – but overall it was amazing – with plenty of photo opps! And you’d think that we just sat around in presentations all day, but we didn’t. There were plenty of workouts, although I’m still not at 100% with my foot, so I only did Piyo with Chalene Johnson (which was killer). But, I’ll get to all that in another post.
Kelly Olexa, CEO of Fitfluential and Tasha from HipHealthyChick.
I finally met Jill Conyers! And we didn’t have coffee, but we did get to hang out – she’s as wonderful in person as she is on her blog.
Some silliness at the entrance to the Expo – with Melissa, Erin, Shannon and Jill
And then we decided to do the ALS Ice Bucket challenge – Augie Nieto and his wife were at the opening ceremony of the convention and inspired our freezing dip.
So happy to meet Tiffany – Running Hutch – the leader of RunThisYear!
More pictures – with Jessica, Jamie, Melissa and Alyse
And a final selfie with Pavement Runner, Melissa and Becky from Sweat Pink
(hee hee, I’m just now seeing goofy Jamie in the background).
Go read some of the other recaps and you’ll get the idea of the awesomness that was Blog Fest and IDEA Fit.