Waking up Thursday morning, I was incredibly hesitant about what I’d signed up for. Logically, I knew I would learn a lot at the Fitbloggin conference, but in my head… I was so intimidated!
I always grumble when the alarm clock goes off in the 4 o’clock hour, but it’s even more pesky when I have to leave somewhere I don’t want to leave.
There’s the truth. I didn’t want to go. My brother had offered to drive me to Baltimore on Thursday morning, and I was scared to death. Going from my safest place to a place where I knew no one??? Eeks!
Well, I got up, got dressed and piled into Jason’s car with all my gear by 5am. We arrived in Baltimore at 7, about 5 hours before there would be any conference-related activity. After a quick breakfast with my bro, I checked my luggage with the front desk and parked myself at a little hotel coffee shop to do some computer work for a few hours until the other bloggers showed up.
Luckily, I had made plans to meet up with Hilary from the Big Weight when she got into Baltimore, which was in just a few short hours. Nerves, nerves, nerves!
While we had been reading each others’ blogs for months and tweeting and whatnot for a while… I was still nervous, yet so optimistic that we would hit it off! I felt relief once I saw her bright and beautiful face enter the coffee shop at about 9:30!
Within minutes, I felt like I’d known her forever… and it was the most natural of conversations. There is nothing better than connecting with someone in this fashion… As young women who’ve struggled with our weight for years and have taken upon ourselves to build new habits, we had a TON to talk about. We also had the foundation of our blogs to get us started. It’s a strange instant familiarity… I saw someone tweet that they were already “VBFFs” before they had arrived (Virtual BFFs), and I’d say that to be true with me and Hil!
Also, Hilary eased my nerves by giving me the background on a lot of the attendees, which was also super-helpful! She has read bloggers a LOT longer than I have, so she knew a lot of the back stories that she kindly shared with me! As a result of her recommendations and meeting these fantastic men and women, I have so many new blogs to add to my reading!!!
Over the course of the next few days as I review my time at Fitbloggin, you’ll hear a lot about Hilary. You’ll also see her smiling face in a LOT of pictures. You should probably stop by her blog The Big Weight and check her out. She rocks! (Hint: You might remember Hilary as I recently featured her amazing Cowboy Spaghetti recipe!)
Meeting Hilary made it SO much easier to meet other people at Fitbloggin’, and I got more and more comfortable introducing myself. I have no problem speaking in front of a group of 100 people, but when I need to walk up to new people and network… I FREEZE.
What’s funny to me is that you’d think I’d have more confidence to do that now that I’m thinner and more confident in my outward appearance. Nope. It’s almost as though shedding that “shield” of extra weight has left me more exposed… I also think I let myself get psyched out by the “celebrity” status of many of the attendees.
The amazing part about Fitbloggin’ is that by the end of Day One, I was completely comfortable…. and recognized that these are “MY PEOPLE” and many of them would fit well on “my team.” I didn’t completely freeze at the idea of talking to new folks, as everyone was SOOOO approachable.
Well, there were a few celebs that I was shy to say hello to… but I did it! Here’s a few examples:
I’ll save a few of the other meetings for future posts…The big thing is that I don’t want to miss out on opportunities that are this fantastic because I am nervous. I won’t allow it… and the practice this weekend was AWESOME for me!
Do you get nervous about meeting new people? Have you attended a blogging conference and experienced the same thing?