Got a huge booster shot of motivation this past weekend at the second annual Fitbloggin' conference in beautiful-as-always Baltimore. I went last year -- its inaugural year -- and this year had twice the awesome, nearly three times the attendees and, as always, no trans fats.
I caught up with:
- Fellow Fitbloggin' veterans Karla from Fitness magazine and the Healthful Bites blog and Andrea from the blog AJ Loves to Lose and chatted their ears off.
- I also caught up again IRL (in real life) with Melissa and finally met her fitness video compadre Leslie. The three of us go back (at least through the mail and Internet) five years when I reviewed fitness videos for my former newspaper column.
- Carla (aka MizFit) and I reconnected from last year and I got to meet the Amazing Dietgirl Shauna, who jetted in from Scotland. Both of them do the Two Fit Chicks and a Microphone podcast, and I walk with them regularly -- me on the track and them in my ears. Shauna and I were among the dozens burning up the floor in Friday's Zumba class.
- And of course Roni -- we shared a bazillion e-mails with me proofreading her cookbook, the Fitbloggin website and the signs and brochures. (Typos were my biggest fear at the conference.) Last year's conference was great and you outdid yourself this year -- all while taking care of the Little Bean. (Ryan was a great sticker concierge.)
Finally met in real life:
- Kia (Bodhi Bear) and Greta (Middle-Aged Jock), who cheered me on through the Mamavation campaign a few months back. You know the phrase "fast friends"? Definitely applies here in more ways than one.
- Susan, from the blog Food Food Body Body. My grand scheme for a slumber party didn't pan out but you definitely threw an impressive wine and cheese party in your room. I've never seen so many people crammed into a hotel room before. And your one-woman show bringing your blog to life was truly moving.
- Julie, Queen of the Chubby Mommy Running Club. Read the blog, bought the T-shirt, finally met JulieJulie! She was our "cruise director" for the Saturday night Post-Rapture Celebration Dinner in Fells Point. And she had the cutest shoes of anyone. Lots of great dinner chatting.
I also met some new pals:
- Jodi from the blog Just a Bit Wicked and I walked Friday's 5K and on the way back got a wee bit discombobulated. 5K? 8K? 10K? You be the judge.
- Kerri from Kat's Adventures in Dietland, who was my paparazzo on Sunday morning when I spied KC from KC and the Sunshine Band standing right behind her.
- Annelies, the online community manager at Attune Foods, who hung out at the pool with me while others went night swimming. We discussed social media, journalism and myriad other things while making sure everyone's cameras, phones and wallets were safe.
- And Kenlie, from All the Weigh, who just Wednesday was merely "that woman who was on the Today show." As I watched that segment I checked out her blog and saw that she'd be at Fitbloggin'. "I've gotta meet her and say hi," I thought. The next day we were both on a SuperShuttle from the airport, probably boring everyone else on that van to death with bloggy stories. After we offloaded the baggage at the hotel, we headed out for lunch where we proceeded to talk and talk and talk and talk. What a rock star you are!
And I didn't get to meet:
Lynn, from Lynn's Weigh -- boo! We really were looking forward to meeting and being roommates at Fitbloggin. We've kept in touch ever since I interviewed her for my former newspaper weight-loss blog back in 2006. But car woes kept her from Baltimore and we both were bummed. Next year for sure!
And now for photos:
This year's room view. Last year I had a lovely view of a parking garage.
Dr. Fitness and the Fat Guy closed the conference on Saturday afternoon, which was a real treat because their podcasts have carried me through many a power walk. You've got to load up your iPod with their show!
Kia won some Babybel cheese during the Laughing Cow discussion. She wanted me to snap this photo of her first-ever Babybels.
Saturday night it was time for some Fells Point fun. That's Melissa and Lisa of The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans whooping it up with Christy and Ben in the background.
But no, the partying wasn't over. There was a wine and cheese party, where I wandered up for a bit, said hi and left before I dissolved into a puddle of sweat. That's Kenlie and me mugging for the camera, and yes, I was sweaty.
My OMG moment came Sunday morning, when I spied THE KC (Harry Wayne Casey) of KC and the Sunshine Band in the hotel lobby. (Crap -- did I have to be in my workout clothes?) The young'uns didn't have a clue who he was but if you're over 40, he's a big freakin' deal. As he said during a concert after a Marlins game, "If you don't know who I am, I was your mom's Justin Timberlake." The band can still shake-shake-shake its booty.
(Do I sound old?)
The weekend began and ended with a whole lot of love.
And now, we dance!