August 22, 2012 by readytogetsweaty
Well hello there friends!
I feel like I’ve been so disconnected from the blogging world even though I just spent three whole days at a conference about it. Let’s just say my body is still recovering from all my workouts and my brain is still trying hard to wrap itself around EVERYTHING! I’ve really put a lot of thought into how I was going to break down my recaps of the conference. I learned a lot about myself this past weekend (blog and non-blog related) and I want to be sure I capture it all.
So let’s just jump right in…
Even before the scheduled conference began I attended a few mini-mingles. Heather (Running with Sass) and did an amazing job organizing some BONUS fitness and food activities for this year’s attendees, both old and new.
J.P. Licks Mini Mingle – Thursday
On Thursday night I attended the J.P. Licks mini-mingle, hosted by Alicia (The Wannabe Foodie) with a few local ladies (score!) and some conference attendees who had arrived early. I was SO nervous driving to the hotel that I arrived 40 minutes early – nerd alert ;) Anyway, once enough people arrived in the hotel lobby I gathered enough courage to walk on over to the group. Alicia was the first one to introduce herself and as I put out my hand to say “Hi I’m Rachael” she beat me and said “Hi Rachael, so great to meet you.” I mean really? She knew who I was…little old me! I instantly smiled and felt at ease. I’m sure Alicia has no idea, but she really helped set the mood of the whole conference for me. At that point I knew everything was going to be OKAY. So, THANK YOU, Alicia :)
And now back to the ice cream…
We all took the shuttle over to Harvard Square where we stood in line.
Now I’d only been there once before and knew exactly what I wanted, however, they were all out of my favorite (if you can call having something once a favorite) dairy-free ice cream, so I settled on the dairy-free flavor orange coconut. It was an ahhmazing combination and I would definitely get it again.
As we all sat down and inhaled enjoyed our ice cream I got to know more about a few gals; Heather, Becki, Chelsea, Meg, Alicia, Julie, and Danielle. Many of them were also attending the Conditioning Class in the AM and the Whole Foods lunch, so it was really great to know I’d see some familiar faces in the AM.
Once we finished with our ice cream we walked back to the hotel, which was probably about a good two mile walk – a perfect after treat exercise. On the way back I chatted with Kristin (FoodFash). We talked about our jobs, life, and of course blogging. Kristin asked me what my blog was about and that’s when the mind went blank. I really had no idea what to say (LESSON 1), more on this in the Recap of #HLS12 Lessons Learned. Once we got back to the hotel I drove Becki home, love how bloggers make quick fast friends :), and got myself ready to only head back in 7 hours later!
Conditioning Class – Friday
So after about 5 hours of sleep, I made the trip back to Cambridge to meet up with my girls (yes, it only took 3 hours bonding over ice cream for them to be my girls) and Kristen from Be Fit with Kristen who was giving a FREE private Group Training and Conditioning class reserved for #HLS12 attendees. Let’s just say FREE and FITNESS go hand in hand in my book! As soon Kristen introduced herself I knew she looked familiar. After racking my brain, I finally figured it out. Kristen attended the Blogger Brunch hosted by Samantha back in March. Small world, huh?!
I never did share a group photo from the brunch, sorry about that. Here is one borrowed from Samantha’s Facebook page. Thanks, Sam!
After we were all gathered in the lobby Kristen lead the way to a nearby park. This park was SO cool and boy did we have fun playing after working out (more on that in a bit).
I didn’t really know what to expect for the next hour as I’ve never took a conditioning class before. Kristen started us off with a few stretching exercises and TONS, TONS, TONS, TONS (I could go on forever) of squats and lunges. Kristen wrote about part of the workout on her blog (check it out here) and let’s just say I was shocked to see we did ALONE 160 squats. I now know why my legs still hurt 4 days later. Overall, the workout was great. I especially liked using the stretching bands with a partner. About ½ way through I got light headed and had to sit down for a bit, but made the most of it by taking pictures of the girls working hard.
Oh and we had some spectators, who miraculously disappeared after I shot this picture. I mean if you are going to stare at us working out, I am going to snap a pic :) Totally normal, right?!
After drinking some water (with Nuun – thank goodness I keep this in my gym bag!) I jumped right back in as Kristen had us doing glutes and abs.
I really enjoyed mixing things up a bit and getting right back down to the basics. I’ll definitely be taking another class with Kristen in the near future – so glad she’s local. Thanks, Kristen, for kicking my butt on a Friday at 8am :).
Whole Foods – Friday
Where else would you bring a bunch of healthy living bloggers for lunch?
Around 11:30am a bunch of us gathered in the lobby and started the walk to Whole Foods for lunch. Even though I have the advantage of living close by to a Whole Foods, I was still excited for lunch.
After we all filled our recyclable containers, snapped pictures of our food and picked seats, it was time to eat!
After stuffing our faces lunch it was time to meet with Emma, a Whole Body representative. I was pretty excited about for this presentation after Kristen’s e-mail earlier in the week. Emma spoke about healthy skin care products and how to detoxify our body starting with our largest organ, our skin. I really learned a lot and while I still have to go through all of products I have here at home (another post), I’m really looking forward to switching out a few things she mentioned (foundations, lotion, deodorant). Oh and how nice of Whole Foods to fill a goodie bag for us :)
Greatist – Friday
After lunch we all headed back to officially kick off the conference. After registering I picked up my swag bag, free Reebok shoes (yes, I said free)
and headed on over to Derek’s talk.
Derek, the founder and CEO of Greatist, started Greatist about a year ago. He spoke about why he started the site, how it has grown over the past few months (he now gets OVER one million unique hits per month – I can’t even count that high – okay maybe I can, but still that is amazing), and their overall mission / vision for the website. LESSON 2 comes from Derek’s talk – be authentic (again, more about that later). He was so great answering questions and being completely honest with us. I could say so much more about him, but I’ll save that for Saturday’s recap :).
After Derek’s talk it was time to check-in and get ready for the walking tour of Boston. Even though I live about 50 minutes west of the city, I was still pretty excited about getting together with some friends (at this point we were now friends, only took about 6 hours of hanging out) and walking around Boston. The 4 mile walk was perfect and I loved getting to know some other bloggers along the way; Stellina (so excited to finally meet her!), Melanie, and Erin.
My camera’s not connecting to my computer properly so I can’t upload the swag bag pics or my walking tour pics yet. I’ll add those in the next recap.
And there you have it, all of that even before the start of the conference! I’m just tired recapping it all. Can’t wait to share more with you.
Have a great day!
Xo – Rachael
P.S. Thanks to all the girls who let me borrow/steal their photos :). Feel free to do the same!