Okey-dokey-artichokies, the following days in the blogosphere will contain lots of FITBLOGGIN. And? The same holds true here. But instead of writing a recap today, I invited my new friend Sean of LearnFitness (@LearnFitness on Twitter and Learn Fitness on Facebook) to write about his experience. Not only was it his first Fitbloggin, you may notice by my words that Sean? Is a dude. And it was so awesome to have lots more of those attending this year. Sean has been blogging since the late nineties, he’s got a beautiful wife and two (now fully potty trained) children, is a tech geek, and HAS LOST 198 POUNDS.
Without further adieu . . .
My biggest personal goal for my first Fitbloggin was to actively participate in all events and sessions and meet as many people as possible. I wanted to make the most of my time in Baltimore both mentally and physically. I wasn’t going to Fitbloggin to build my brand or schmooze a sponsor, I was there to meet my community of dysfunctional yet honest bloggers I’d grown to love and become a part of.
When I was preparing for the conference I noticed that on the first full day of the conference a ZUMBA session scheduled. Now I know what you’re thinking, MrsFatass loves her some ZUMBA. But I was a ZUMBA virgin who wasn’t quite as enraptured with the whole idea of shaking my male change maker in front of a room of beautiful women (you all know you are).
So needless to say I was on the fence about this session and figured I’d play it safe and see how I felt after the 5k that morning. But, in steps the amazing Roni and her email o fear. It seems that ZUMBA is quite popular with the ladies, who’d a thunk, and that space was limited. Well, she certainly put the unintentional fear of Zuma into me and forced my hand to decide. Was I gonna step up and get jiggy or get cold feet?
Before I answer let me tell folks that don’t know me, I’ve never taken an aerobics class, as in like never ever taken a class. Spin class I can handle … *high five the spinning MrsFatass* … but the last time I’d danced to more than a 4-5 minute slow song at a holiday party was my wedding 8 years ago.
But I came to this conference to really live it, not let it pass me by. I wasn’t gonna let a little video game sounding dance movement get the best of me so I signed right up!
Leading up to the actual ZUMBA session I was seriously having my doubts, I won’t lie. But you know what happened? My Fitbloggin peeps happened. Every single person who I talked to about ZUMBA, whether they’d never met me or have been reading me for years, either high-fived me, congratulated me, or gave me some other support for giving it a go.
I can’t put into words (very well) how that felt but the fact that these people not only thought it was cool that a guy was doing ZUMBA but were frigging excited about it. Tell me another conference where you’d get that kinda support?
Anyhow, can you imagine what I was thinking when I walked in the room? Where can I hide? Where’s the best place to ZUMB’it without EMBARASSING’it … the back of that room was looking awfully safe.
But you know what, MrsFatass was having none of that. Front and center was all she’d accept … did I mention yet how awesome MrsFatass is? No, well let me toss a tangent in here for a second.
You see, I’d never met Sue until this conference … as in never ever emailed, never ever been phone screened, never ever SMS’d or DM’d … we’d only exchanged 140 character snippets. But she and I hit it off right away and an awesome new friendship developed. Turns out we both attended University of Michigan (Go Blue) at the same time but never met, she used to live in Chicago (where I now live), and she speaks her mind in a truly unapologetic honest and down to earth way (what I’ve always strived to do).
Back from the tangent now, the artist known as
265 and falling, Blog of Steve, Running on Awesome and I were at the front of the ZUMBA crew “representing” with The Mrs (can I call her that?). And in steps the ZUMBA MACHINE, aka our instructor.
Now I call her this in the most amazingly supportive way, seriously I do. She was fit, tone, and scared the bejeezus out of me. When we got going, within the first 30 seconds I thought I’d made a mistake … no, at that moment in time I was certain I had.
I can’t shake like that. Guys don’t shake or jiggle or pump like that. So you know what I did? No, I didn’t wimp out, I didn’t exit stage left. I instead stepped up and ZUMBA’d it.
Mind you I was still 2 left feet, missing moves, going the wrong way and all kinds of fail but I didn’t care … you know what, no one cared. We were all in it together, every laughing, panting, tripping, sweating, and jiggling second of it … we were just doing it the best we could and smiling the whole way.
Seriously, I can’t wait until Charlie posts her video, we were a room of smiling people who were butchering some ZUMBA moves but loving it the whole time. Well some people nailed it, ya all know who you are *cough MrsFatass cough* … the rest of us not so much.
It was only later in the conference after talking to people about ZUMBA that I learned about how broad the class offering was for ZUMBA and how inclusive it was designed to be. It’s not about doing the moves perfectly or never missing a beat, it’s about having fun, smiling, supporting each other, and just moving it to get fit and healthy.
To me that ZUMBA session is the perfect corny metaphor for this past weekend.
None of us have the same style or approach to blogging, none of us write perfectly, and none of us are 100% consistent.
We all try to have fun on our blogging journeys despite the mistakes and road bumps we might encounter.
We try to smile and joke when possible, we support each other when we’re down, we high-five when we’re up, we try to keep it real and honest, and most of all we all try to keep it moving forward improving ourselves better one experience at a time.
ZUMBA to me was not just a great success, it was an experience that exemplified what the Fitbloggin experience is all about, the people.
ASIDE: I’ll be honest, I didn’t start this post with that ending in mind. MrsFatass’s shoes are hard to fill but I do know this, I enjoyed ZUMBA and even more than that I enjoyed Fitbloggin. I’ve gained so much from the support and friendships that Fitbloggin helped foster and look forward to the coming months and years of blogging and at seeing how this community evolves.