Fitness and Health Bloggers Conference 2011 (#FHBC11) Recap

As you may or may not know I was in beautiful Boulder, Colorado this past weekend for the Fitness and Health Bloggers Conference 2011 and all I can come up with in all my great vocabulary is:  WOW!  Your first thought/question is most likely:  Why WOW?  Tell me more about this conference as I want to be amazed as well.

Let’s start out with the fact that the conference took place in Boulder, Colorado.  Home of the athlete.  If I am not mistaken I believe this is/was considered the healthiest city in the United States.  I could not find data to back this up, but I did find data that said that Denver was #5 (click HERE) but I would be hard pressed to believe that Boulder is not in the Top 50 (according to this data.)  The weather is perfect with temps barely touching 80* in the morning and no humidity.  The sun rises at 5:15am so you can be out and about and done training by 7:30am and still have 1.5 hours to get to work.  The sun sets around 9pm so that means that if you get out of work at 6pm you still have three hours of daylight to work with.  This city is conducive the living a healthy lifestyle.

If the weather wasn’t enough to convince you to go and live a healthy lifestyle (or at least visit) let’s discuss the food.  It was incredible.  Now we were fed two meals at the conference, but I did eat out a couple of times and it was so hard to pick because it seemed that one restaurant was more healthy then the next.  For example. on Thursday night I got to Boulder and went to Pearl Street (downtown Boulder) and walked around looking for a restaurant and saw this as the top item on a board outside a restaurant:  WARM QUINOA SALAD.  My vegetarian ears perked right up, but alas I walked by and went to an Italian restaurant because they had a vegetable stuffed manicotti.

The conference itself was a wealth of knowledge, but before that I want to point out how well organized it was.  The sessions were ~45 minutes in length so that means you did not have an opportunity to get bored.  I find that if a presentation is an hour or longer I tend to daydream and think of the one million other things I would rather be doing.  At 45 minutes the presentations were perfectly timed, but it was the presenters that made the time go by fast.  We heard from presenters on branding yourself, becoming a brand ambassador, working with PR Firms, publishers versus self-publishing, social media, dietary myths, the Presidential Challenge (join my group under CTER by signing up HERE), search engine optimization and much more.

We also had the opportunity to eat.  As part of the conference we went to Whole Foods Boulder where we were treated to a vegan meal.  Now I will tell you that I was nervous about the meal at Whole Foods because I did not want to have to pick off meat from my plate and thought it would just be a salad and I would have to order something else (or go back to my hotel room and eat there since I had a full kitchen and had gone grocery shopping.)  After the sous chef was introduced, she began to rattle off the menu and this is what was being served:  Broiled Sweet Potatoes, Flatbread Pizza with hummus base and vegetables on top, Tofu Wrapped Spring Rolls (wrapped in Bok Choy), Polenta Topped with Tempeh and for dessert a walnut mousee.  I looked around and said…’this is all vegan’ and beamed with a smile like the sun because I was going to be able to eat all of it, which I did…..twice!

So, now you know what made the conference great but wait there is more….and this is what made it outstandingly awesomely incredibly phenomenal.  It was the people.  I cannot begin to describe everybody there but let me say the following people I have tweeted with, followed their blog or just met at the conference and each person was genuine and down to earth and I was thrilled about that:

Kris of the blog Kris M Beal or on Twitter @krazy_kris.  Suzanne of the blog Workout Nirvana or on Twitter @workoutnirvana.  Anne of the blog fANNEtastic Food or on Twitter @fannetasticfood.  Theodora of Losing Weight In The City or on Twitter @tblanchfield.  Ryan of No More Bacon or on Twitter @nomorebacon and so many many more that I will run out of room in this post if I keep listing them.  If you want to see the attendees and what they are saying then go to twitter and search the hashtag #FHBC11 and you will the conversations.

And I have saved the best for last.  I will always affectionately refer to this group as the ‘Back of the Class’ Group.  Maybe the Sweathogs is a better term to use because we would have been considered the group of students that were always causing trouble.  Yes, this was the group that included the great SUAR, the awesome MissZippy, the fabulous Run With Jill and the awesome Clair.

Now why would I come up with this definition for us?  Well as you know Beth has a propensity to discuss her flatulence on her blog and let’s just say she is genuine, I’m a 5 year old in a 37 year old body and I laugh at these things.

That doesn’t say enough then how about this tweet that I received during the middle of the conference from Krazy_Kris:

kris 7.10 crop normal Fitness and Health Bloggers Conference 2011 (#FHBC11) RecapKrazy_KrisJun 26, 12:17pm via HootSuite

@CookTrainEatRce Watcha giggling about? **curious stares** #FHBC11

I was laughing so hard that I began to sweat in the conference and had to take deep breathes from hyperventilating.  So what was I laughing about?  Click HERE to find out.  Then after reading that go to the right hand side and read the other posts.  Be sure to visit Amanda’s blog as well for her take on the conference by clicking HERE.

Speaking of laughing until you sweat….during our 7am yoga class after months of talking about letting one fly in the middle of class I started to feel the bubble building and thought to myself:  I am going to let it go and then laugh so hard they are going to ask me to leave the room.  It was at this exact moment that the ending scene from Scarface when Tony Montana starts shooting the machine gun took place.  I did not know if it was a dream or real until I realized that it was not me but instead Clair that had decided to play GI Joe in the middle of yoga class.  At this point I am in a downward dog position with my head buried and laughing so hard that again I cannot breathe.  I look up and stare at Beth who is laughing so hard herself and mouths to Clair:  Did You Just Do That?  Then the laughter started up again and I have to tell you my core has never been more sore without doing one single crunch.

When the weekend was drawing to a close I was happy to be going home to see my wife, whom I missed, but I was saddened by the fact that the 4 friends I had made this weekend were departing to head to different points of the country.  The thing about this group though is that I know we will all get together again and hang out because it was that much fun.  I mean from sharing meals and wine to laughter and learning it felt like I had graduated high school with them and this was our reunion.  There were no awkward pauses when we first met.  There was never any dead silence as we were always chatting and laughing.  I cannot wait to see Beth again in December at the Rock N Roll Las Vegas Marathon, and hopefully we can arrange time for the Sweathogs to get back together again before next years conference (oh by the way they announced the dates are June 22-24 and you can register HERE.)

Lastly, I am going to leave you with pics from the conference that I borrowed from Beth, Amanda, Clair and some other bloggers at the conference because I did not take any for I was laughing too hard.

 

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  • http://fannetasticfood.com Anne P

    Great meeting you this weekend! Keep rocking the “I PEE on my bike!” shirt, hahah.

  • http://www.workoutnirvana.com Suzanne @WorkoutNirvana

    Oh I am laughing right now, your post is so funny and insightful. Yes, I was siting next to Kris when she tweeted that hilarious comment about having *curious stares.* Loved tweeting with you about peeing on your bike… I only figured out the t-shirt you were wearing when I saw the promotion by …. oh I can’t remember their name now :). Anyway, LOVED meeting you Jason – you’re super down to earth and funny, and hey, you’re in Texas! I’ve added you to my Texas friends list for the next time I’m in town :)

  • http://runninghood-amanda.blogspot.com amanda@runninghood

    Ahh, this sounds like so much fun. I am thinking that something like this would really be fun to go to. 1. I love learning and learning about what I’m involved with at the time…teaching, blogging, writing, etc. Conferences are so fun! 2. It would be so fun to meet up with some of my favorite bloggers.

    Your yoga story made me laugh. I am also a 5 year old at heart and farting is almost always funny to me. I’m always laughing with my kids at the stuff that some parents might label as “inappropriate” but dang potty humor is funny! farting in yoga class is the best! WEll, when it is someone else. Thanks for the recap Jason. I’m also interested in hearing more about wordpress vs. blogger and some of the things you guys learned there besides how cool Boulder is, how much BEth really farts, and the awesome food. Sounds like such a great great experience. Loved your write up!!!
    And btw, I still plan on posting some of those recipes you made for me….I just have to get inspired to cook something new…I’m REALLY lame when it comes to cooking…but thinking that quinoa recipe is going to happen soon.

  • http://www.shutupandrun.net Shut Up and Run

    Okay so you know I ate up every word of this post because it made me relive the awesome weekend. I am dying laughing at GI Joe Clair. And so many other moments, too many to count. Sweathogs is a great label for us for sure. And if you had let out a huge fart in yoga I have no clue what i would have done. That would have been the end of me for sure. I just wish you had been on our bike ride yesterday. I cannot even begin to explain. Let’s just say 19miles in three hours if that tells you anything.

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  • http://www.krismbeal.com Kris @Krazy_Kris

    LMAO! You. Are. A. Giggler. LOVE IT! SOOOO great to meet you and so great to exchange tweets throughout the meeting (yes – I love being a part of scandadlous in appropriate laughter). So THAT’s what you were giggling about in yoga? I could not figure it out – but I KNEW it must have been fabulous.

    THANK YOU SO MUCH for your uber kind shout out – such a treat – to meet and connect with old and new friends – and thank you for not laughing at me at the running clinic – although… I laugh at me most of the time, so it would have been ok – ha!

    Hugs and Happy Trails (you run, I wog) until we meet again. oooooo

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  • http://www.runwithjill.blogspot.com Jill

    Par for the course, I am last to bet my reflections of the weekend posted. Guess being flat on my back with an ice pack underneath has left me in a coma or something. Maybe it’s the muscle relaxer.

    Still feel awful about Sunday and leaving you bakery-less; but that just means you gotta come back and bring Karen and we’ll hit up the mountains big time.

    I’m a bit overwhelmed at what I need to do with my blog….I wish you were here pow-wowing with me cuz then you could strangle me much easier than reaching through the computer when I have a thousand questions to ask! :)

    Excellent weekend…aside from my back.

  • http://leanbodypilates.blogspot.com Jenn @ Lean Body Pilates

    This post makes me so bummed out that I didn’t get to spend more time with you. You are a riot… I always love a good fart story! See you next year…

  • http://www.itsjustonefootinfrontoftheother.blogspot.com Shelly

    First I need to get the “I’m so jealous” comment out of the way.

    Now, WOW is right. How great to get to share and learn with a wonderful group of people.

    I have so much to learn including how to get work done (and hold downward dog) while I’m giggling my head off!

  • http://misszippy1.blogspot.com misszippy1

    Welcome Back Kotter it is! What a great weekend. It was such a treat to spend time with you, Beth, Clair, Jill and all the rest of the amazing bloggers out there. Nice write-up and so glad you gave shout-outs to some of those superstars like Krazy Kris! I’m already planning a return next year–and we WILL do a run together then!

  • http://50after40.blogspot.com jim

    That looked like an awesome weekend and so cool getting to know fellow bloggers … I’m envious!

  • http://www.bigtrain.com Jim Wendt

    Thanks for stopping by the Big Train table. Glad to be able to co-sponsor the event. Nice to meet everyone. Cheers! Jim.

  • http://www.ownyourbackbone.blogspot.com Clair Norman

    Loved the recap. Remember I am however GI Jane. My daughter (Jane) loves the Yoga fart story and had repeated it often. The conference recap was awesome. Amazing experience. Get SUAR to tell you about the Moutain Biking excursion. Best of luck and can’t wait to stay in touch.

  • http://tridiesel.blogspot.com BDD

    Oh wow, I want to do one of those!!! Looks and sounds like so much fun

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  • http://www.therunninggreengirl.com The Green Girl

    That sounded like so much fun!

  • http://www.facebook.com/wholefoodsboulder Whole Foods Market of Boulder

    Great recap Jason! We’re glad you enjoyed the meal on Friday night as much as we did serving it. Cheers! -Ryan @ WFM

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