I am not one of those people who normally does a lot of “recaps.” I ALWAYS miss something. ALWAYS. I have five hundred pictures in my phone and I only post six. I forget the details. And, honestly, I never really think anyone is THAT interested in what I did while I was at “one of those conferences” and the people who would read such a recap were already there. They know what happened.
I read several recaps of my fellow attendees over the past few weeks. Some made me smile. Some made me say, “How in the world did I miss THAT?” And some made me realize that we were all there at different levels, with different agendas, different expectations and different results.
But I’ve realized over the past month since I’ve been back, there is something I can share. And it’s a little bit more than telling people I met Bob Harper, worked out with Jillian Michaels and did Zumba with Beto Perez. I’ve already told that story. I want to tell this one.
My girl Kasey snapped this AMAZING shot of me while I was giving my Lightning Round talk. The funny thing is most people in my immediate circle had no idea I was going there to speak. I didn’t try to keep it a secret. I’m just not sure I was as confident as I would have like to been about it. I also knew in the back of my mind that, according to the votes, the Blog Fest community didn’t want to hear my presentation. It weighed heavily on me.
My topic was “Tell The Truth and Release The B.E.A.S.T.” and while I won’t review my entire presentation (which I will one day since it went over A LOT better than I thought it would) the VERY first thing I was able to practice at Blog Fest was the “B”
I had something to say. And I had to be o.k. with sharing that and believing that it would touch whosever heart it was supposed to that day. And I believe I did. But I also had to be brave when my forty year old dancing body was put on teams in high intensity workouts with twenty-something year old who do HIIT trainings (while being coached by the Gabby Reece) as a professional sport. 🙂 I had to step past the thoughts of feeling inadequate, being afraid I couldn’t do something, believing I was going to be tired before I even started, anticipating my achilles giving out when I tried to jump or believing Jeannette Jenkins would think I was a total moron for introducing myself and asking her for a picture.
I had to be brave to go to the tables of brands I loved or brands I wanted to know and introduce myself. I had to be brave to ask questions of those who know the business better than me, be willing to accept their advice for what it is and figure out on my own how to weave that into my personal brand. I had to be brave enough to face where I was falling short and not working hard enough and be brave enough to give myself credit for where I was doing well. Believe it or not, that was the hardest part. I had to be brave to not compare myself to any amazing person who was sitting in that room because I was surrounded by people who are where I want to be. And, for me, to find out they were willing to help me as much as I was willing to ask for help was pretty amazing.
And the big thing: I had to be brave to receive the love! I stay to myself a lot when I’m not working and I tend to stay in my space, alone. I was brave enough to embrace being a part of a group, of several groups and feel like we were all there for the good of what it is that we do, which is put into the world to make it better. While it’s true that it seems like we are all doing the same thing, we’re not. It seems like we’re in competition to get more likes and more followers. And we’re not. I found at Blog Fest (and this is my second year attending) that while people are sick of the word “authenticity” it is THE word because what’s happening is people are moving away from posting just for entertainment. We are living out our real lives not just our highlight reels. Those that are inspired by our walk are going to follow us anyway.
Thanks to my roommate Amanda for this awesome photo!
The most tweeted line from my lightning round speech was, “It takes guts to be who you are when people like you for who you’re not.” And I found my space at Blog Fest. Even a month later, I’m still thinking and sorting through what I need to do and making sure my methods are in line with my message. That’s what it was about to me. Hi-Five to my girls Alyse and Jamie from my Sweat Pink Family and Kelli Davis of IDEA for a wonderful event. My heart is still full.
And my goal next year is for Liz and I to switch spots on this picture! 🙂