It’s been a busy few months filled with travels and takeaways that I’m looking forward to sharing with you today! Last we left off, we chatted about my overall experience with attending the IDEA World Fitness Convention this year. It was a wonderful few days for many different reasons, and I was so happy to also be a part of the SHINE events that felt like a sub-conference.
My days were long, but they were jam-packed with educational sessions, workouts, networking opportunities, time with friends, and loops through an expo hall full of the latest and greatest health and fitness finds!
I’ve attended this conference three years so far, and I always leave my time at IDEA on fire. If you were to ask me what I learned from it all, there’s so much that I could share with you. For the sake of staying on course, I turned my biggest takeaways from this year’s events into bullet points!
- Stand in your strengths.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in trying to do everything and cover a large variety of topics on social media or several different focuses on one online space. I’ve definitely been there! One of the biggest things that I took home from an inspirational talk with Emma Barry (Les Mills superstar) is that you should be living in your strength eighty percent of the time. Get rid of what you’re not good at and focus on what you are.
- Don’t turn away from the stuff you find easy.
This is another one from Emma. It seems like such an easy concept, right? It’s too bad I haven’t thought this way while searching how I could get back into the teaching side of fitness again. I’ve really been missing coaching clients and working with people on the inside of the gym (I’ve been busy managing the front side), and I’m currently in the midst of seeing what makes the most sense for me to slowly get back into.
As a former professional dancer, barre workouts have always been something that I gravitate towards and feel comfortable with both taking and teaching. I was obsessed with a type of workout called Fitness Pilates that I took 2-3 times per week while living in Michigan, and I love any type of dance fitness concept where I feel like I’m toning my muscles and breaking a sweat!
I couldn’t stop thinking about this throughout the weekend, and I’ve been researching a lot of different options that I could possibly pursue to get back at it. Just sharing this with you is terrifying, but it also makes me hold myself accountable to following through with it. Stay tuned!
- There are a few surprising factors that affect your nutrition.
One of my favorite parts of the conference was a nutritional talk over lunch with John Berardi, Co-Founder of Precision Nutrition.
I could have spent several more hours listening to him talk and hearing his answers to our questions, and the biggest thing that I learned was that your eating habits and overall nutrition level could be greatly affected by your sleep and stress levels. We all know that we thrive on getting enough shuteye and keeping stress to a minimum, but knowing that these factors subconsciously release different hormones in our body that ultimately affect our eating habits blew my mind.
As it turns out, high-stress situations make our bodies crave more sugary, high-fat foods. Nights without a good amount of sleep lead to days of feeling tired, which causes more caffeine intake and often times can lead to actions like grabbing an extra cup of coffee instead of a healthy snack. Since this talk, I’ve been more conscious of how much sleep I feel like I need and listen to my body if I think I need an earlier bedtime. It’s been a good habit to fall into!
- There are also a list of factors that affect your digestion.
I jotted these down from a course I sat in on about getting better digestion and understanding how certain foods can affect your overall digestive health. Things that impact your digestion includes stress (good or bad), nutrients, medications, sleep, alcohol, sugar, caffeine, activity/fitness, supplements, injury, and illness. Also, your body gives signals when something isn’t quite right with regards to your digestive system. Even things like acne and skin irritations could be signs of your body having a hard time digesting certain foods. Who knew?
- New workouts might surprise you in the best way.
I don’t always know what I’m walking into when I sign up for sessions on a whim or when a new-to-me workout is put onto my schedule. This year I took a POUND fit class that turned out to be such a great time. I thought I would like it, but I totally want to find somewhere to take it now. It’s a total body workout that combines cardio, conditioning, and strength training
with yoga and Pilates-inspired movements. You get a set of lightly weighted Ripstix (drum sticks) and pound them the entire workout while singing and banging your head around to loud music and a live drummer. I couldn’t stop smiling!
I also had way too much fun testing out new fitness equipment at the MEGA Circuit in the main showcase arena. It was a fast-moving circuit-style and everyone was split into groups that rotated around the room every six minutes. Each station featured new training concepts and/or equipment, and it was a neat way to work out and see what’s out there.
- It’s okay to pass on opportunities or gracefully exit when the time is right.
This insight came from a go-getter business owner named Sami Sweeney who opened several Pure Barre studios in Seattle. She shared her highs and lows with the experience and the biggest thing she’s learned from all of it is to be okay with saying “no” if it’s going to affect your overall focus and success. She went from owning six studios and plans to open more to selling two of them and focusing on the growth of four of them instead. She’s been extremely successful and is now adding on an additional business with her husband in the boxing space. It’s very different, but it’s what works for her and makes her happy!
- How do you spend your time and what do you spend your money on?
This subject was brought up in a panel discussion with Sammi, Shauna Harrison, and Charina Lumley and also touched on in a talk with Emma Barry. Are you giving time and thoughtfulness to who you surround yourself with? Are the people you hire, hang out with, and do life with inspiring? Do you continuously lift each other up or are you caught in a cycle of negative talk with “bad apple” personalities? This one really got me thinking and had me thankful for friendships I’ve developed in the blogging world as well as the lifelong friendships I’ve held.
Also, what are you spending your money on? It’s all an investment. If you take a look at your bank statement, are you investing in the future you see yourself living or filling it with distractions? (Whoa.)
- Get clarity, be visionary, and cut distractions!
These truth bombs all came from Vito LaFata, fitness marketing consultant and husband to Anna Renderer who you might know from POPSUGAR. There’s no exaggeration in saying that I took a picture of almost every powerpoint slide he showed during his 45-minute talk, and I could share about twenty inspirational quotes with you.
His biggest lesson was about having the Millionaire Mindset which is defined as a rich way of thinking, being, and believing in oneself. Be a doer, not a dreamer!
- If you miss a session you really want to go to, the content is available for download.
This year was the first year I was able to download documents that the instructors used for slideshows or handouts during the sessions. I really loved this addition to the conference, and all of the documents are available with a quick click right from the app. I browsed the documents of several sessions before deciding which ones I wanted to go to, and I plan to spend more time looking around the app for documents that came included to sessions that I didn’t get to attend. It’s really helpful for informational sessions where you want to take pictures of every slide or frantically scribble notes throughout the class.
- Find friends with similar interests and it makes your time that much better!
I would still plan to attend the IDEA World Fitness Convention with or without friends I knew I would see there, but having some to chat with, bounce ideas off of, and hang out with after hours makes the experience so much more fun! I have met at least a handful of good blogging friends in the fitness space over the years, and I had an absolute blast with Ashley and Giselle this year.
We attended a lot of the same sessions (although we wandered off on our own as well), and we hung out after everything wrapped up each night for dinner and outings. It was really good to hang out with them not only for blog/online business discussions but also about life in general. Both of them are moms to young kiddos (and specifically boys!), and we all enjoyed our time to unwind, to vent, and to simply be ourselves outside of mommy duties for a few days. It’s truly awesome to be surrounded by like-minded people who just get you.
I was also able to meet a few people who I’ve had relationships with via social media. It’s always a treat to meet people you connect with online in person!
And finally, I’ll end with a few extras to wrap up.
- Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself and make new friends.
- Get out of your comfort zone and introduce yourself to new brands. If you’re a blogger or influencer, don’t be afraid to pitch yourself right there. The worst thing that could result is a pass on your offer to collaborate, and you never know what relationships (and work) can build from that short conversation!
- Bring business cards — this is one thing that I forgot this year. I have hundreds of them packed in my closet and realized I didn’t have them with me as soon as I started meeting people. Whoops.
- It’s a good idea to pack a few extra workout outfits to change into between sessions. I ended up having enough breaks to shower in between a few breaks during some of the days, too.
- Don’t overschedule your workouts. You can easily end up working out four or more times per day if you’re not careful! I always try to schedule a good mix of lectures and workouts on my itinerary.
- HAVE FUN and soak it all in!
And with a set of peace signs, I’m going to wrap up my experience at the 2019 IDEA World Fitness Convention.
Thank you so much to SHINE for inviting me to attend the conference, and I sure do hope it will be something that continues for years to come.
Until next time!