Zumba Convention 2014 {Day 3} Kass Martin, Hip Hop Turn Up, Burlesque, and Theme Party

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Saturday of Zumba Convention 2014 was the last big day with lots of fun on the agenda and 3 big sessions:

  • 9:30am – 11:00am Master Class with Kass Martin
  • lunch in the hotel room
  • 1:00pm – 3:00pm Hip-Hop Turn Up with Gina Grant and Dahrio Wonder
  • 4:00pm – 6:00pm Burlesque with Gina Grant
  • 7:30pm dinner at Roy’s
  • 9:00pm – until Theme Party – Celebrate Your Culture

Zumba Convention 2014 {Day 3} Kass Martin, Hip Hop Turn Up, Burlesque, and Theme Party

I kicked off the day with a lively master class with Kass Martin. Everyone always raves about Kass, but sadly, this was my first Kass experience. I can see why everyone loves her so much. Kass put all of her energy into that master class, and for Day 3 of Zumba Convention, that is a lot! You could tell she wasn’t holding back on us, and I had a flippin blast! It didn’t even feel like it was the morning. It felt like I was out at night partying at a club!

Zumba Convention 2014 {Day 3} Kass Martin, Hip Hop Turn Up, Burlesque, and Theme Party

Kass had some cute choreo, but mostly I was paying a lot of attention to her teaching style. It probably stems from my old skating days, but I really love training and practicing being a Zumba instructor. I’m always looking for ways to improve my teaching, and one thing I love to analyze is how a great instructor, like Kass, teaches their class. I loved watching Kass in action to see how she not only danced and cued but how she engaged the class and interacted with the room. She was amazing!

Zumba Convention 2014 {Day 3} Kass Martin, Hip Hop Turn Up, Burlesque, and Theme Party

Zumba Convention 2014 {Day 3} Kass Martin, Hip Hop Turn Up, Burlesque, and Theme Party

{Sign around Zumba Convention 2014}

Zumba Convention 2014 {Day 3} Kass Martin, Hip Hop Turn Up, Burlesque, and Theme Party

After a quick lunch back at the hotel room, I headed back to the Hyatt for Hip-Hop Turn Up with Gina Grant and Dahrio Wonder. Gina is one of my favorite ZESs. We even traveled to Virginia once to see Gina and Tanya for their Gin and Tonic Tour a couple years ago.

I’ve done the hip hop session at Convention twice in the past: once with Michael and George and once with Michael and Eric (who stepped in for George when there was a minor snafu with George’s travel). I was sad to see that Michael and George weren’t teaching the hip hop session, but glad that there was still a hip hop session at all and that it was with one of my faves.

Gina and Dahrio did a great job with the session. We did a Groove Section where we learned a mini routine and then broke down 3 hip hop inspired songs. After the breakdowns, we put it all together for a master class. It was fun! I think hip hop can sometimes be intimidating for people, but Gina and Dahrio made the class really simple with easy-to-follow moves that still made you feel like you were a hip hop rock star.

Zumba Convention 2014 {Day 3} Kass Martin, Hip Hop Turn Up, Burlesque, and Theme Party

We even had a special guest…

Zumba Convention 2014 {Day 3} Kass Martin, Hip Hop Turn Up, Burlesque, and Theme Party

Beto!

PS I must have picked the popular sessions or something because almost all of my sessions were in this same room. Do you recognize it from the other photos? Anywho, I just thought it was kind of funny because Zumba Convention actually spans 3 hotels AND the Convention Center, so there are plenty of rooms for all the sessions. I just kept ending up here! Hey, I’m not complaining. This room was my favorite because it had the awesome stage and all the fantastic lighting!

Zumba Convention 2014 {Day 3} Kass Martin, Hip Hop Turn Up, Burlesque, and Theme Party

After the hip hop session, I swung by the Zumbawear store to look “just one more time”. Dangerous last words, I know.

Zumba Convention 2014 {Day 3} Kass Martin, Hip Hop Turn Up, Burlesque, and Theme Party

The store was pretty cleared out, and I was sticking to my guns to not shop as much this year. I did find one other cute top for $20 that I decided to bring home.

Zumba Convention 2014 {Day 3} Kass Martin, Hip Hop Turn Up, Burlesque, and Theme Party

Next up – it was time for Burlesque with Gina Grant, Melissa Chiz, and Betsy Dopico!

Zumba Convention 2014 {Day 3} Kass Martin, Hip Hop Turn Up, Burlesque, and Theme Party

I did Burlesque last year and really enjoyed it, so I was looking forward to another round. We went over some Burlesque basics, broke down 3 songs (one led by each presenter), and then put everything together in a master class. I really love the girly feel of this session. There were some super-cute moves from this session that I hope to put into some new choreo for my classes.

Zumba Convention 2014 {Day 3} Kass Martin, Hip Hop Turn Up, Burlesque, and Theme Party

I went out with some friends for dinner at one of my favorite restaurants – Roy’s! More on that next time.

As for the Theme Party this year, the theme was Celebrate Your Culture. I kept my outfit simple, but I couldn’t wait to see what everyone else was wearing. Some people really go all out, and I love to see all the costumes! I posted a couple more photos over on my Facebook page (click). You do not want to miss the tribal-looking crew!

Check out my other Zumba Convention 2014 Posts:

Thanks for reading! Next time – dinner at Roy’s!

Zumba Convention 2014 {Day 2} Bollywood Obsession, Rockettes, Queen of Pop, and Fitness Concert

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Zumba Convention 2014 was off to a great start with one day down and three to go!

Zumba Convention {Day 2} Bollywood Obsession, Rockettes, Queen of Pop, and Fitness Concert

On the agenda for Friday:

  • Coffee
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • 9:30 – 11:30am Bollywood Obsession with Sucheta Pal
  • Lunch
  • Shopping
  • 1:30 – 3:00pm Rockettes Tested Prevention with Passion with Elaine Winslow and Bailey
  • 4:30 – 6:30pm A Tribute to the Queen of Pop with Steve Boedt
  • Dinner at the pool
  • Fitness Concert with Wisin!

Don’t let the long breaks in between the sessions fool you. I’m always surprised at how little time I feel that I have at convention. It seems like I’m always running around from one place to the next. This may be because I usually stay at the Hilton and most of my classes always seem to end up being at the Hyatt. The “white mile” isn’t really a full mile, though it’s closer to it than you may think. It can take awhile to make it from one side of convention to the other, not to mention factoring in time to eat, change, shower…whatever you’re trying to take care of in between sessions. Phew! But, this is still my favorite event of the year. Though it’s quite busy, it’s all for a great purpose since you get to dance, laugh, learn, smile, and dance some more!

Zumba Convention {Day 2} Bollywood Obsession, Rockettes, Queen of Pop, and Fitness Concert

I love to fuel up at the Hilton’s breakfast bar. They switch out a couple different things on the bar every day, but I’m thankful for healthy staples like steel cut oats and fresh fruit. On Friday of Zumba Convention, they also had a yummy spinach frittata.

Zumba Convention {Day 2} Bollywood Obsession, Rockettes, Queen of Pop, and Fitness Concert

Lucky for me, my first session was at the Hilton, so I didn’t have far to go. The lines were crazy long, though!

Zumba Convention {Day 2} Bollywood Obsession, Rockettes, Queen of Pop, and Fitness Concert

My first session of the day was Bollywood Obsession.

Zumba Convention {Day 2} Bollywood Obsession, Rockettes, Queen of Pop, and Fitness Concert

This is another one of my all-time faves. This was actually my fourth year in a row attending a Bollywood session, though this year was with a new presenter, Sucheta Pal. Sucheta was a bundle of energy and led a great session. In the past, the Bollywood session also included a bhangra breakdown, but this one was all Bollywood.

Zumba Convention {Day 2} Bollywood Obsession, Rockettes, Queen of Pop, and Fitness Concert

Sucheta did a master class, mini history session, and choreo breakdown. The songs were super fun, though I’ll have to adapt them a little for class back home. My favorite was London Thumakda, which she taught with cute and memorable names for the moves. Sucheta also creatively turned the choreo breakdown into an ice breaker game where you paired up with another person in the room. The moves were great (fun and playful), we just try to limit the number of move groups to an average of 3-4 per song and do things symmetrical. I kind of liked seeing all the different moves for me as a participant. Instructor-me also liked all the moves so I have more ideas for future songs in case I ever try to choreograph another Bollywood song.

I once watched an Indian wedding dance video to choreograph Desi Girl so the moves stayed true to the Bollywood style, and it took forever! I loved that project, though, and would enjoy trying my hand at a couple more.

Zumba Convention {Day 2} Bollywood Obsession, Rockettes, Queen of Pop, and Fitness Concert

I had half a turkey wrap and some chips back at the hotel before hitting up the Zumbawear store on my way to my next session. Would you believe I had to wait to get in and to pay? I got what I went in there for (gold shoes!), but it made me late for my next session. This year, the discount store was combined with the regular store. I wish they would separate them because I think combining them made the lines extra long. I love seeing all the new gear every convention. This year, since I’ve purchased a lot of The Chic Life apparel, I decided to dial back on the Zumbawear shopping.

Zumba Convention {Day 2} Bollywood Obsession, Rockettes, Queen of Pop, and Fitness Concert

I was really looking forward to my middle session: Rockettes Tested Prevention with Passion. As someone who has experienced injuries in the past, I can tell you one thing: being on the bench sucks. Injuries are no fun.

Zumba Convention {Day 2} Bollywood Obsession, Rockettes, Queen of Pop, and Fitness Concert

Elaine Winslow, Health Athletic Trainer and Director of Wellness for the Rockettes, and current-Rockette Bailey led us in a session talking about common injuries and how to prevent them with strengthening exercises. We also covered some easy warm up moves (like Elaine’s 5 minute, do-anywhere warm-up) you can do before teaching your Zumba classes.

Zumba Convention {Day 2} Bollywood Obsession, Rockettes, Queen of Pop, and Fitness Concert

I was really impressed with how detailed-oriented this session was. Elaine had some volunteers come up to the front of the room to show some strengthening moves and walked them through how to successfully complete the moves. It was all about the detail. From far away, it may look like the volunteer was barely moving, but Elaine talked them through small yet challenging things like keeping their abs engaged while slowly lifting their free leg. The precision of movement reminded me of my old ice skating days and made me want to train. Elaine – want to come to North Carolina?

Zumba Convention {Day 2} Bollywood Obsession, Rockettes, Queen of Pop, and Fitness Concert

Maybe I just liked this session because I had a spotlight moment? Towards the end, Elaine went over proprioception (which we actually discussed during POUND training!) and then we did Exercise 12: Balance Exercise. Elaine asked the whole room to stand up and participate in this one. The exercise was simple: choose your strongest ankle, stand on the respective foot, lift the other foot and close your eyes. Balance on one foot for as long as possible. If your lifted foot touches the ground, quietly sit down.

I stood on my left foot, lifted my right foot, and closed my eyes. I had been standing at the back of the room so I could easily move around and stand up to see the demos, etc. so I had plenty of room in the back. I was a little wobbly here and there but stayed strong for a long time. Elaine encouraged the room, saying, “Stay with me…just a little longer…stay with me…” Finally, she said, “Okay, look up.” I was surprised to see almost everyone in the room sitting down. Elaine counted those of us still standing and I was one of five. Woohoo! Thank you strong ankle and years of balancing on one foot and thin blades from figure skating!

Zumba Convention {Day 2} Bollywood Obsession, Rockettes, Queen of Pop, and Fitness Concert

{Me and Bailey}

Zumba Convention {Day 2} Bollywood Obsession, Rockettes, Queen of Pop, and Fitness Concert

{Me and Elaine}

Thank you Elaine and Bailey for the very informative session! Looks like you guys may offer Rockettes fitness classes to the public? Maybe I’ll come work out with you guys if I’m in the area! Till then, I have some great warm-ups and exercises to practice!

Zumba Convention {Day 2} Bollywood Obsession, Rockettes, Queen of Pop, and Fitness Concert

With only one and a half hours in between my second and third sessions of the day, I decided to stay at the Hyatt.

Zumba Convention {Day 2} Bollywood Obsession, Rockettes, Queen of Pop, and Fitness Concert

I had another tribute session to do – A Tribute to the Queen of Pop with Steve Boedt. This session was very similar to the King of Pop session, except this one had even less presentation. It was like a giant Madonna dance party. Oh yea! Similar to yesterday, Steve had some unique mixes and even pulled some songs from concert performances. My favorite song was a remix of Like a Prayer. I had a great time getting lost in the music and dance moves. Can I do this every week?

Zumba Convention {Day 2} Bollywood Obsession, Rockettes, Queen of Pop, and Fitness Concert

After dinner at the pool, we headed to the Fitness Concert. I was feeling the burn from day one, but I really wanted to attend the Fitness Concert because one of my favorite Reggaeton artists was performing – Wisin! As it turns out, I was the major fan-girl of my group of friends. Of the (seven-ish?) songs Wisin performed, I’d choreographed three with one on my to-do list. What can I say? I love his music!

Zumba Convention {Day 2} Bollywood Obsession, Rockettes, Queen of Pop, and Fitness Concert

I had planned to leave before the rest of the crowd to avoid the traffic, but we got caught up with the music and fun of the concert. Next thing I know, I’m leaving the Convention Center with thousands of fellow Zumba instructors. The crowd was amped up and so happy. This is one of the things I really love about Zumba. Look at all those smiles! Few workouts leave people feeling this energized!

Zumba Convention {Day 2} Bollywood Obsession, Rockettes, Queen of Pop, and Fitness Concert

I noticed Gina Grant liked my Fitness Concert photo before calling it quits for the day. Woohoo!

With day two down, I still had two more days of Zumba-liciousness ahead!

Next up – Zumba Convention {Day 3}.

Click here to check out my other Zumba Road Trip posts:

Thanks for stopping by!

FitBloggin 2014 – Around Savannah, GA

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When I attend conferences, I almost always try to maximize my free time on the last day. Most conferences end in the morning leaving the rest of the day with plenty of time for more adventures. Since I drove to Savannah, this was especially easy to do for FitBloggin. And I’m so glad I decided to stay in town after the conference ended. I got to spend some time with some great bloggers.

FitBloggin 2014 - Around Savannah, GA

There was one shop I definitely wanted to hit up before leaving town – The Savannah Bee Company. I headed there with Shannyn, Kyra, Martinus, and Nikki. We wanted to do a mead tasting, but sadly, they weren’t able to do one until 12:30pm since it was a Sunday.

FitBloggin 2014 - Around Savannah, GA

Luckily, there were plenty of other things to check out in the shop. The Savannah Bee Company not only has a wide variety of honey flavors, but they have other treats, from lotions to honey-roasted coffee.

FitBloggin 2014 - Around Savannah, GA

They have a great sample bar at the front where you can taste the honeys the shop offers. I was surprised at how much the honeys differed in taste. The tupelo and winter white were my standout favorites, so I brought a bottle of each home to enjoy later.

FitBloggin 2014 - Around Savannah, GA

I also tried the honey comb, which was really good. It’s sweet, warm, and chewy. I’ve always wanted to try honey comb straight up, so this was a real treat for me! There was also bread, apples, and cheese in case you wanted to make a savory-sweet sample.

FitBloggin 2014 - Around Savannah, GA

Our next stop was a cupcake shop just down the block, Sweet Carolina Cupcakes.

FitBloggin 2014 - Around Savannah, GA

I hadn’t planned to eat any cupcakes since we hadn’t had lunch yet, and I was still hoping to score some macarons. But, when Martinus kindly offered for each of us to share a bite of his red velvet cupcake, I couldn’t resist. It was delicious, and the frosting was nice and buttery. Thank you, Martinus!

FitBloggin 2014 - Around Savannah, GA

{Blogger shenanigans}

One of my favorite things about attending conferences is how you’re around people who are just as weird as you are. Every group has their quirks, and I love the blogger ones. We totally get taking lots of photos of food, photos of people taking photos of food, selfless galore, and other randomness. I love hanging out with fellow bloggers!

FitBloggin 2014 - Around Savannah, GA

After a couple more photo ops, Martinus and Nikki headed back to the hotel to catch a tour. I wish I’d had more time in Savannah to participate in one of the many historic tours they offered. Guess I’ll just have to go back soon!

FitBloggin 2014 - Around Savannah, GA

Kyra, Shannyn, and I had worked up an appetite, so we headed back towards the river to grab lunch. En route, we learned that the macaron shop was closed on Sunday. That was a bummer, but I was happy to at least have some delicious honey to enjoy at home later. Plus, I had one more stop I really wanted to make, and I had a good feeling they’d be open.

FitBloggin 2014 - Around Savannah, GA

We hit up the Chart House, which was located in a beautiful stone building right on River Street. We had a great view of the bridge and passing boats. The weather was warm, but we opted to eat out. With the breeze, it was really lovely.

FitBloggin 2014 - Around Savannah, GA

FitBloggin 2014 - Around Savannah, GA

I was torn between two very different options for my lunch order – a salad or the short ribs. I’ve been on a short rib kick lately, so I figured what the heck, why not get those today. They were a little tougher than I wanted, but the flavor was delicious. It was a heavy choice for lunch outside, but it’s what I was feeling.

FitBloggin 2014 - Around Savannah, GA

{Shannyn, Me, Kyra}

FitBloggin 2014 - Around Savannah, GA

For our last shop stop, we visited River Street Sweets. I really wanted to pick up some pralines for hubby, and I scored one pound to take home. The shop had chocolate and original flavors, but I opted for 100% original.

FitBloggin 2014 - Around Savannah, GA

I had to be out of the parking deck of the hotel by 3pm, and the girls had flights to catch, but we had about another hour to spend around town. So, we opted to check out some of squares in town.

FitBloggin 2014 - Around Savannah, GA

We took a leisurely walk through the squares, marveling at the giant, arching trees with their sweeping branches covered in moss.

FitBloggin 2014 - Around Savannah, GA

There were historic monuments throughout. You could spend a long time wandering around, checking out all the sites and reading all the plaques. It’s a nice setup.

FitBloggin 2014 - Around Savannah, GA

FitBloggin 2014 - Around Savannah, GA

FitBloggin 2014 - Around Savannah, GA

{Up}

FitBloggin 2014 - Around Savannah, GA

We made it to the location of Forrest Gump’s bench, which has since been moved to a museum, before turning back towards the hotel. Our afternoon walking around Savannah was the perfect end to a beautiful weekend. Thank you Shannyn, Kyra, Martinus, and Nikki for helping me end the conference on a sweet note! Let’s get cupcakes in Denver, too!

I felt ready to head home but also like I wanted the FitBloggin fun to continue. I’d met so many great people throughout the weekend, and I look forward to keeping up with them over social media and potentially to even seeing them in person! As you may have read on other FitBloggin posts, the event was really great for a blogger recharge. I spent the drive home feeling really appreciative for the opportunity to participate in such a wonderful event. I was also really inspired by so many of the other bloggers who attended. I could spend all year hearing their stories about their healthy living journeys.

With my batteries feeling super-charged, I also brainstormed how I could apply the inspiration and learnings of the weekend to make both my blog and life better. I must say, I’m especially inspired to start blogging about healthy living again. That used to be a big focus here on The Chic Life, and I’ve dialed back in recent years. Well, I’m ready to bring that back to the blog with renewed energy. I also want to do more posts to give back and share some of the things Ive learned over the years to help my fellow bloggers as others have helped me. So, long story short (TL;DR) stay tuned for some posts on health & wellness and some tutorials coming up!

Thank you to Roni and everyone who helped make FitBloggin another success! I met so many great people over the weekend, and I wish I had gotten more photos with all of them. To those I met, please know I really enjoyed meeting and chatting with you, even if only for a short time. Hope to see everyone in Denver in 2015!

***

Here are my other FitBloggin 2014 recap posts:

***

Thanks for stopping by!

FitBloggin 2014 – My Day 3 and 4 Recap

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Saturday was a big day for me. At 4pm, I would tackle one of my big goals head on – speaking at a conference. I really wanted to sleep in to be well-rested, but after hanging out with Katy and Kat the day before, I decided to attend their morning fitness session.

FitBloggin 2014 - My Day 3 and 4 Recap

They took turns leading 30 minutes of a work out (Pi-Yo for Katy and Insanity for Kat) and being each other’s modifier when they weren’t lead. I’ve done yoga before, and I even do (and sometimes teach) a weekly toning class in a format proprietary to my dance fitness company, so the pi-yo was right up my alley. I really liked how it was low-impact. We did lots of toning and a bonus of stretching. I could probably use more of both in my life. The Insanity class was super fun and very jumpy. My knee sometimes bothers me if I push it too far, so I don’t think I could do Insanity on a regular basis. But, I can see how it works so well for many people. That class is no joke!

Katy and Kat did a great job. They were in full control of the class and really kept us motivated for the full hour. I really appreciated how they offered modifier moves for everything, and I found myself jumping in and out of the high and low versions throughout the session. I had to hold back just a little for the next session.

FitBloggin 2014 - My Day 3 and 4 Recap

{Me, Katy, Kat}

FitBloggin 2014 - My Day 3 and 4 Recap

Only 30 minutes later, it was time for more fitness. You guys knew I wouldn’t miss the Zumba class! Sue and Sam led a super-fun 80s-themed class along with a couple other guest instructors. We shook our booties to our favorite, upbeat 80s songs and got a good sweat worked up in the process. It was a blast!

FitBloggin 2014 - My Day 3 and 4 Recap

{Me, Sam, Sue, Gail}

I’ve been twitter friends with Sue for a couple years now, so it was really great to meet her in person finally!

FitBloggin 2014 - My Day 3 and 4 Recap

After lunch, I attended Katy’s session on media kits. Not only did she do fabulous with her pi-yo session, but she rocked out her speaking presentation, too! She talked about the important components of media kits and even showed us good and bad examples as she went. She had the room captivated, and I think she really inspired many (including me!) to plan to put together a media kit for themselves after FitBloggin.

You can read more about Katy’s media kit presentation on her Live Blog by clicking here.

FitBloggin 2014 - My Day 3 and 4 Recap

{Photo courtesy of Katherine and Jennifer of It Sux To Be Fat}

At 4pm, it was my turn to present. I was super nervous. I mean, I have stage fright! But, for some reason, I was feeling pretty good about leading my session. Maybe it’s all the experience leading Zumba classes or perhaps my recent work experience has helped me. I don’t know, but I’m thankful!

I presented Intro to HTML and CSS for Bloggers. My subject matter was a bit dry, but I tried posting photos of Bailey and even asked for volunteers for an activity to engage the room. One of the session attendees, Kyra, actually recognized Bailey, and we realized later we were already twitter friends. And the volunteers did a great job with the activity. I took an HTML link element and broke it up, printed over seven pieces of paper. The volunteers put the papers in order wonderfully. Woohoo! For that, they got a photo of the success kid.

I’m very thankful for a great group of session attendees who were so fun to chat code with. Thank you to everyone who attended!

Katherine and Jennifer did a great job capturing the Live Blog for my session, which you can click here to read. Thank you, ladies!

If you’re interested in seeing my presentation, leave me a comment below with your email address or email me, and I’ll share the link. It’s in a Google Doc, so it’s easy to share.

FitBloggin 2014 - My Day 3 and 4 Recap

I joined some blog friends for dinner at B&D Burgers. I got the Wormsloe, which was soooo good. It was topped with ooey-gooey melted pimento cheese and a crispy fried green tomato (plus the usual fixins). I would love to get this again soon. B&D, do you deliver to NC? I also had a side of sweet potato fries, which they brought out a couple minutes after the burger so the burger didn’t get cold.

FitBloggin 2014 - My Day 3 and 4 Recap

{Photo courtesy of Nathan MacDonald – from left to right: Kyra, Jill, Kelly, Megan, Nathan, me}

We had a fun group at dinner. We went around the table and each shared what we do for our “real jobs”. It was really cool to see how diverse the jobs were and hear about some veeery interesting work experiences. Thanks to Nathan’s Instagram photo, we learned that we have a mutual friend in common – someone I went to college with. Small world!

FitBloggin 2014 - My Day 3 and 4 Recap

After dinner, we headed back for dessert and the speaker panel. And after the panel, we enjoyed some dancing and had more chances to catch up with more blog friends – old and new.

FitBloggin 2014 - My Day 3 and 4 Recap

All the runners of FitBloggin were really excited to see Jeff Galloway at the conference.

FitBloggin 2014 - My Day 3 and 4 Recap

On Sunday morning, Jeff and his wife led a group on a walk-run interval 10k. It was such a cool opportunity to do an interval run with Jeff, I actually considered it for a half-second. But, the farthest I’ve ever run is a 5k, so I quickly decided that was a bad idea. I didn’t want to get stranded on the big bridge over the river!

FitBloggin 2014 - My Day 3 and 4 Recap

I opted to do the one mile walk with some fellow bloggers and Tina of Run Disney.

FitBloggin 2014 - My Day 3 and 4 Recap

We went for a walk down by the river.

FitBloggin 2014 - My Day 3 and 4 Recap

We made it to the waving girl statue of Florence Martus who is said to have welcomed over 50,000 ships to Savannah with a wave of her handkerchief (or lantern at night).

FitBloggin 2014 - My Day 3 and 4 Recap

FitBloggin 2014 - My Day 3 and 4 Recap

After some photos with the statue, we headed back for breakfast.

FitBloggin 2014 - My Day 3 and 4 Recap

I really enjoyed the walk for some fresh air, beautiful scenery, and the chance to chat with a couple more bloggers, Kris and Stephanie, that I hadn’t yet met.

FitBloggin 2014 - My Day 3 and 4 Recap

After the walk it was time for breakfast, chatting with blog friends, packing, and saying goodbye. Well, not quite yet, at least.

I went out with a few bloggers to explore Savannah before leaving town. More on that next time!

***

Catching up? Here are my other recaps:

Thanks for stopping by!

FitBloggin 2014 – My Day 2 Recap

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On Friday, I was still feeling the nerves from my “adventures” the day before, but I was also really excited to dive into the first full day of the conference. Here’s FitBloggin 2014 – My Day 2 Recap…

FitBloggin 2014 - My Day 2 Recap

FitBloggin 2014 - My Day 2 Recap

The breakfast buffet had all my favorites – oatmeal (with a nice selection of toppings), eggs, fresh fruit, and bacon. Yum!

FitBloggin 2014 - My Day 2 Recap

Thanks to sponsors like Ninja Kitchen, there were lots of healthy and tasty snacks around for most of the day. The Ninja Kitchen was my favorite because they kept putting out new flavors of delicious smoothies throughout the weekend. Smoothies are always a good idea, and I enjoyed some of their unique flavor combinations, like the yellow one that had turmeric in it.

***

For my first session of the conference, I went to Valerie’s small group discussion on How to Organize Community Wellness Programs. Valerie talked about her experience planning events, including what worked for her and didn’t. She led the conversation in a really open and friendly way, encouraging open dialog in the room while also shared some of her personal tips. As the session went on, others in the room shared their experiences, too, making for a great conversation. There were so many people in the room who had organized events like a 5k (or longer) race or charity fundraiser. It was inspiring to hear everyone’s stories about the good they were doing for their respective communities. It made me wonder if there’s more I could do for mine.

Click here to read the Live Blog from Valerie’s presentation.

After this session, I went quickly to the front desk of the Hyatt to see if my wallet had arrived to put an end to my worries still stemming from the day before. Hubby said the package would be there by noon according to USPS, so I was hoping it had arrived early since it was a bit before 11am. I was so worried that the darn thing got lost in the mail or something. Luckily, they found the package just fine. I was just so relieved that the madness of the missing wallet was over. Now, it was time to engage in the conference and prepare (calm my nerves and finish my slides) for my upcoming presentation on Saturday. Eep!

FitBloggin 2014 - My Day 2 Recap

Since I keep toying with the idea of making videos, I went to Dre’s presentation on mobile video.

FitBloggin 2014 - My Day 2 Recap

Dre was like a magician and kept pulling out new tools and supplies throughout his presentation. It was really cool to see how much you could do with mobile video if you had the right tools for the job. Dre talked about getting a tripod, using a bluetooth remote to start and stop the camera, using a microphone, and even passed on suggestions for affordable lighting options. He talked about which tools to use and the best ways to use them. And he even helped troubleshoot for some of the session attendees. Dre put an Amazon list of his equipment recommendations on his blog. The session did leave me wanting to create some videos for guys, but I’m still on the fence.

I actually have recorded a couple videos (dance fitness choreography, shoe reviews, etc.) to share with you guys, but I’ve been way too nervous to actually upload them to The Chic Life’s YouTube account. I don’t really like the way I look or sound on video. And once the video camera (or iPhone camera) is on and recording, it’s like I forget how to talk or act. I’m basically like this. But, maybe one day I’ll work past all that. I mean, if I look at my old food photos from years ago, they’re awful. Maybe that’s just the way things go and you just need to start somewhere and learn and improve over time?

Click here to read the Live Blog from Dre’s presentation on mobile video.

FitBloggin 2014 - My Day 2 Recap

The lunch spread was wonderful. The buffet started with quinoa and pasta salads. There was also fresh fruit…

FitBloggin 2014 - My Day 2 Recap

…and a ton of salad toppings.

FitBloggin 2014 - My Day 2 Recap

And we also got to build our own sandwiches. And there were Mrs Vickie’s chips at the end with my favorite flavor – salt and vinegar.

FitBloggin 2014 - My Day 2 Recap

The whole group ate together in one of the larger rooms where we saw a presentation from Disney with a special guest…

FitBloggin 2014 - My Day 2 Recap

Mickey! As you can tell from all the cameras going up, we were pretty excited. We learned about Disney’s training camps for kids and about some of their Run Disney events.

FitBloggin 2014 - My Day 2 Recap

I think most of us know about the princess races, but did you know they have a Run Disney Star Wars Weekend event now? That’s right. It could be enough to convince my husband to start running. Maybe. Just maybe. (Too bad it’s sold out already!)

FitBloggin 2014 - My Day 2 Recap

In the afternoon, I went to ESPN blogger Stephania’s session on How to Build a Respected Blog. Her presentation validated a lot of what I’ve been thinking about lately. I used to love to blog about health, nutrition, and wellness, but I’ve dialed back in recent years. My fear was that I wasn’t qualified to talk about these subjects. Stephania pointed out that you can share your personal story and cite resources for information outside of your knowledge/expertise. This is something I’ve been doing to a small extent with some of my recipe posts (like this almond butter smoothie recipe), but I’m hoping to apply it to some more healthy living posts going forward. Stephania also suggested interviewing people who are experts in a given area, which is another wonderful idea.

You can read more about Stephania’s session on the Live Blog about it by clicking here.

FitBloggin 2014 - My Day 2 Recap

{Photo courtesy of Katrina Elle}

After the sessions, I met up with Katy and also got to meet Katrina and Brendon for some afternoon practice and fun randomness, including dancing, headstands, and handstands. As you can see from the photo, we had a good time. These are some fun peeps! I wish they all lived closer! #headsdownforwhat

FitBloggin 2014 - My Day 2 Recap

When I went back up to my room to change, I heard a loud horn coming from outside. A giant ship was passing under the bridge and coming down the river. It probably doesn’t look like much from the photo, but the ship seemed gigantic, like it took over the whole river.

FitBloggin 2014 - My Day 2 Recap

Later, I headed downstairs for the Friday night festivities. Katy was rocking her new Live Chic tank.

FitBloggin 2014 - My Day 2 Recap

And another ship passed behind us while we were at…

FitBloggin 2014 - My Day 2 Recap

Ignite Fitness. If you don’t know what Ignite is, you can watch this video to learn more. It’s basically a short presentation where you get a limited amount of time to cover each slide. There were informative presentations, but I liked the deep, personal stories the most. Alan’s in particular stood out to me because it was so inspiring.

FitBloggin 2014 - My Day 2 Recap

And what night wouldn’t be complete without a dance flash mob. Oh yea!

***

Next up – FitBloggin 2014 – My Day 3 Recap.

In case you missed it – here’s FitBloggin 2014 – My Day 1 Recap.

Thanks for stopping by!

FitBloggin 2014 – My Day 1 Recap

FitBloggin2014-Day1-3348.jpg

Hi friends! I’m back from FitBloggin and feeling great! I finally downloaded my photos yesterday and can you believe I took over 300 photos just on my DSLR? I have more on my iPhone, too. I was going to try to narrow down all the photos to give you one big FitBloggin recap post, but most of you know that I really like to try to share my experiences through my photos. So, I don’t want to trim them down too much. I’ll follow my normal recap style and do a day-by-day breakdown.

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{Photo by Carrie D Photography}

So, without further adieu, here’s FitBloggin 2014 – my day 1 recap…

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I’ve been wanting to attend FitBloggin since the very first one debuted five years ago, but it never quite worked out schedule-wise. So, I was really pumped when I heard that the 2014 conference would be a pretty short road trip away in Savannah, GA. Also, I pitched a couple ideas for speaker presentations, and Roni picked one of them for me to do! Not only was I going to hit up a conference I’ve wanted to attend for (literally) years now, but I was going to be reaching one of my big goals I’ve set in recent years – speak at a conference.

On Thursday, I took a couple work phone conferences from my house before hitting the road. Things started out so smoothly and my timing was perfect. Everything was great until I managed to make it one and a half hours away to a Starbucks in Columbia, SC for a quick pit stop. As I stood in line to order, I reached into my purse to grab my wallet only to realize it wasn’t there. Major fail! I called my husband in a panic, and he ended up saving the day in a big way. He called the hotel and managed to convince them to let me check in without an ID or credit card. And he overnighted my wallet to the hotel. My other saving grace? The fact that I’d listened to the advice I’ve always heard over the years – if you’re traveling take out cash just in case. I was also lucky I had my cash in a separate wallet. I didn’t have enough to make it through the weekend, but I did have enough to get gas to get to Savannah and buy some food. Phew!

FitBloggin at the Hyatt Savannah, GA

I very carefully finished my drive to Savannah and was so relieved when I checked in smoothly and swiftly. The Hyatt Regency Savannah had their stuff together and greeted me with smiles, fully prepared to check me in with everything ready. Thank you, Hyatt! I headed upstairs to my room and put my bags down, feeling like a huge weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. I was so happy to just be in the room and able to enjoy a beautiful view of the river.

FitBloggin 2014 - Day 1 Recap by thechiclife.com

I tried to put my wallet situation out of my head and headed downstairs for registration and to meet the fabulous Roni for the first time. I also saw Martinus who was trying out the one-size-fits-all tanks from our swag bags. It was time to put the wallet mess behind me and get into conference mode.

FitBloggin 2014 - Day 1 Recap by thechiclife.com

Some of the conference vendors, like California Avocado, were out and chatting up the attendees.

FitBloggin 2014 - Day 1 Recap by thechiclife.com

I met Kimba who was also a FitBloggin newbie.

Alan of Sweating Until Happy

I also finally got to meet Alan, a longtime twitter friend, in person.

FitBloggin 2014 - Day 1 Recap by thechiclife.com

We had some yummy snacks – warm tortilla chips with California avocado red, white, and blueberry salsa and balsamic almonds.

FitBloggin 2014 - Day 1 Recap by thechiclife.com

And Alan led us in some fun ice breakers. I haven’t been to a conference before that did ice breakers, but especially appreciated them as a first timer to FitBloggin. Going into the conference, I only knew one person pretty well who would be attending. I won’t lie – I’m an introvert at heart and kind of shy. I was worried no one would want to talk to me and I’d spend the weekend alone. But, thanks to Thursday night I met some great people at the ice breaker that I ended up chatting with all weekend. Success!

One of the even cooler moments for me was post-conference editing these photos. When I took the photos from the ice breaker, I didn’t know anyone in the shot. I was just trying to capture the moment. Later, as I edited them, I realized that I had met and had great conversations, or enjoyed meals, with most of the people in the photos.

FitBloggin 2014 - Day 1 Recap by thechiclife.com

After the ice breakers, much of the group headed off for some ghost tours. I wanted to participate, but the tickets for this sold out super fast.

FitBloggin 2014 - Day 1 Recap by thechiclife.com

So, I headed back to my room to check out our swag bags.

FitBloggin 2014 - Day 1 Recap by thechiclife.com

My friend Katy came by to hang out and catch up for a bit. I hadn’t seen Katy in person in years, so it was great to catch up with her. Also, I got some of the Live Chic tank tops and t-shirts printed to give out at the conference and Katy got one of the first ones.

FitBloggin 2014 - Day 1 Recap by thechiclife.com

I decided to reserve my cash (just in case) and ordered room service for dinner. After the drama with the wallet, I needed some time to rest and re-charge. I had the crab cake with arugula, feta, and fresh fruit. I tried to tell myself to stop worrying about the wallet. At this point, it was out of my control and hopefully on the way. I went to bed thinking positive thoughts for FitBloggin day 2 and feeling grateful for all of hubby’s help and support.

Next time – FitBloggin 2014 – My Day 2 Recap!

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