Have you ever been so nervous that your butt cheeks sweat? Well, that was me this weekend! My cousin, Jenny, and I attended Fitbloggin'- a conference for bloggers that blog about food, health, and fitness- in Baltimore. I can't say that I've been to any conferences in my lifetime, but I can say that to me, this event was top notch. It was so well organized, full of positivity, and it was like Christmas... We got "swag bags" full of free stuff. Yeah, I said free... as in free sneakers, free workout shirts, free, free, free. Be jealous.
Apparently, there is an entire world involving blogging that I had no clue about. I mean, I know that people blog, but there are people that do this for real. For real, for real! As in they have hundreds of thousands of followers, make mad money, and this is their life.
Friday night started with a cocktail hour sponsored by Pom. Jenny and I put on our Sunday's best and headed to the reception area. We started talking with some of the attendees and realized that we were so far out of our league. Some of these people have been spotlighted in Self, interned at Fitness magazine, have written several books, you name it, they had done it! The vast majority of the bloggers knew one another or of each other. So what did Jenny and I do? We enjoyed the reception and then headed straight to the hotel business office to check out some of these blogs. HA! Nothing like doing your homework a little late!
The next morning, we started off the day by running a 5k. Um hellllooooo- you heard that right. I woke up at the crack of dawn when I could have blissfully slept in without my children interrupting my sleep, and I chose to run! Who is this lady and what happened to Shelley!?! After the run and a yummy breakfast by Quaker, LA Boxing opened up the conference. I was so freaking nervous. I had to go on stage and talk about my experience with blogging, social media, and LA Boxing. I was quite the professional... The i.d. around my neck even said "Speaker!"
Keith and John from LA Boxing and Big Method did most of the talking and carried most of the weight... but my blog, before and afters, and a video of my transformation were shown on the big screen... and I had to answer a few questions. I can't tell you how calm I felt after it was over!!!
The rest of the day, we spent in sessions learning more about this whole blogging world. The sessions were uber informative and interesting. Soooo, what did I take away from this conference?
* Hi- I'm Shelley. I have a small, hometown blog, and I'm happy with that. I love my handful of readers, and I do this for fun. I write as an outlet at night, to fill my time, and to inspire others. If my blog readership grows, I'll be over the moon. If it doesn't, then I guess it's not meant to be. Would I love to eventually make money off of this blog? Fo' Sure... I'm not going to lie- twenty bucks a month would send me over the moon... That's spending money, a manicure, or two kids' admission to Pump It Up! However, I am Shelley- mommy to Chris and Addie. While I love blogging, I don't want it to become a job. I do it for fun, I don't want to spend time away from the kids, and I don't foresee me as the go-getter that is going to try and grow this blog. I have a free background and this is as good as it gets. One of my good friends gave me the best advice for this weekend- "Just be Shelley." Well, this is me- take me or leave me. I hope you take me... I have some exciting things in the future coming your way... hint: Free stuff.:)
* It's not high school- why did I make it that way? During the whole conference, I was nervous. I was afraid that I didn't fit in, and I was so shy. And guess who that hurt? Me! Every single blogger that attended this conference was down to earth, friendly as can be, and a real person. Not one person thought they were better than someone else. More than anything, this conference and the people that attended inspired me. They empowered me to want to be a better person, have more confidence, and to just get over myself and my own issues.:)
* It's o.k. to put yourself out there! At the conference, for some reason, I felt comfortable talking to the Weight Watchers representatives. I'm not sure if it's because they were super friendly, or because I feel like I've probably paid their salary with as much money I have given to Weight Watchers over the years... but after introducing myself and speaking with them, opportunities and doors are now opening... More on that later.:) And then, on the way to the car after the conference, I met the blogger that runs www.yumyucky.com. You would have thought I met Justin Timberlake or something- Inside I was so excited and my heart was fluttering. I stepped out of my comfort zone and talked to her... and guess what- She was the nicest, real person ever. She even chatted about how she was just ready to get home, lay on the couch, and be with her kids. Loved her!
* Bloggers are a family, and I want to be a part of it. I may be a distant cousin or something, but now I feel like I belong. I got home and had a comment from workout mommy (www.workoutmommy.com)... How cool is that!?! All weekend long, I wanted to go up to her. She had her baby with her, and I kept thinking to myself- she is so me... I was too shy... and then I got home to see that she commented me. Dreamy.
* Roni, please start planning now for Fitbloggin' 2011. I will be there with bells on. I will put myself out there, and I won't let my insecurities get in the way. Thanks so much for including me in this conference. You and your staff rock. Oh, and can you please invite Dave Grotto again? I could look at him... I mean listen to him all day.:)