The Scoop: Blogfest and IDEAWorld. Gabby, Jillian, Beto and more!


The powers that be at IDEA have finally released the speaker list and schedule for Blogfest and the IDEA World Fitness Convention, which is July 16-19, 2015 at the Los Angeles Convention Center! Pay attention because you will want to be there after you read this.


You may have heard that Gabrielle Reece will be the keynote speaker for Blogfest 2015, but did you know that she will also be leading a workout? That’s right, Gabby will be teaching the fitness workout she created – HighX!

Laird Hamilton

I never met Gabby Reece, but I did have a chance to meet her hubby Laird Hamilton at a fitness convention a couple years ago.

In addition to High-X, there are several other options for getting your sweat on at Blogfest. Dancer Ian Waite will be teaching his class Dance Yourself Fit. On Friday you can wake up to Kaia Fit with creator Nikki Warren. And while it’s not a workout, you will get a chance to get Up Close and Personal with Zumba creator Beto Perez.

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And if that’s not enough fitness for you, on Saturday and Sunday you will have exclusive access to all of the IDEA World Fitness Convention sessions, including the workouts, which include the Hollywood Trainer Ultimate Mash-up with celebrity trainer Jeanette Jenkins, Bodyshred with Jillian Michaels, Zumba, taught by it’s creator Beto Perez, plus many workshops that will include lectures and workouts. And that’s just Saturday!

Jillian and others

Of course you come to blogging and fitness conventions for more than just workouts. You won’t be disappointed. Blogfest sessions include topics such as: How to Increase Readership and Market Your Message to the Masses; Mindblowing Blog Tips; Busting the Top 5 Nutrition Myths; Build a Following on Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter (three separate sessions); Make a Career Out of Blogging; The Future of Blogging; and SEO Tips and Tricks. Speakers include Katy Widrick, Melissa Burton, RD, Kasey Arena, Amanda Vogel, and many more. Check here for the complete schedule.

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I was fortunate to meet Katy Widrick at Blogfest 2014.

Along with your access to all of the sessions, workouts, and speakers at IDEA World on Saturday and Sunday, all Blogfest attendees also are invited to the opening ceremonies on July 16, which include keynote speaker New York Times best selling author Brendon Burchard, 2015 IDEA Jack LaLanne award recipient Jenna Wolfe, and 2015 IDEA Fitness Inspiration Award winner Anthony Robles. And you won’t want to miss the IDEA World party!

And don’t forget that the IDEA World Fitness and Nutrition Expo runs July 16-18, 11:30 to 6:30. It is one of the largest fitness expos in the world, so come prepared to network, chat, shop, and eat your way through the LA Convention Center expo hall.

Perhaps the best part of Blogfest, and one of the main reasons I will be back, is the opportunity to meet so many of the people whose blogs you have been reading for years. To finally put a voice and a face (beyond a photograph) to these women and men is priceless, and it really is what makes Blogfest such an important event to add to your schedule.

I have a special code that will save you $100 on your registration! Just click here to sign up and use the code BLOG100 at checkout. There are a limited amount of openings, so don’t delay.

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I’ll be there! Will you? What blogger would you especially like to meet?

Inspired: Using the Lessons from IDEA World in the Real World

I was very prolific on my run this morning.

Whether it was the afterglow from Blogfest and the IDEA World Fitness Convention, or because I was on a rare run that didn’t involve a cross country runner or a dog, my mind got into inspiration mode this morning, and I had all these quotable thoughts running through my head for the entire six miles.


Of course I forgot most of them as soon as I stopped running.

As a cross country coach, I am expected to offer inspiring tidbits of information to my team, that will compel them to train harder, run faster, and push through the pain of their efforts to achieve success. I want to motivate them, challenge them, inspire them, to be better runners, better students, and hopefully, eventually, better human beings.

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No pressure.

Truthfully, even after 12 years of coaching this does not come naturally to me. My words flow much better on paper (or on my computer screen) than they ever do coming out of my mouth. So when I get thoughtful, and start writing inspirational speeches in my head (usually on a run), I try to at least jot down some notes when I’m done.

Today’s speech, motivational quotes aside (which I’m sure are not original), involved some of the things that I learned from a few of the speakers at IDEA. Diana Nyad talked about laser sharp focus. Augie Nieto talked about perseverance in the face of overwhelming challenges. Jillian Michaels asked, “Why not me?” Every single one of them talked about failure. Yes, about failure, because the only way to avoid failure is to give up. And the key words, from all three, were “Never Give Up.”

Just in case I was being thick headed instead of inspired by all those outstanding speakers, I was given a little additional kick in the pants reminder by the top that I receive courtesy of Lorna Jane Active at Blogfest.

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Inspired by Augie

Even if you’ve never heard of Augie’s Quest, almost everyone by now has heard of the Ice Bucket Challenge, which is still gaining steam (not the best word in this circumstance), and, according to a news report I just heard moments ago, has raised over $42 million for ALS research.

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Augie Nieto, the founder of Life Fitness, was diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, in 2005. With the support of his wife Lynne, as well as his family and friends, Augie founded Augie’s Quest to raise money to fund research and drug development to find a cure for ALS.

I was excited that Augie and Lynne were able to speak at IDEAWorld. Augie, who has already outlived the life expectancy for this disease, exemplifies perseverance. He still trains several hours a day, is the chairman of the board of the ALS TDI, and just this past July, was able to walk his daughter down the aisle at her wedding. Never give up.

 Inspired by Diana

The quote that I like best about Diana Nyad is from D.L. Stewart of the Dayton Daily News, “The toughest athlete in the world is a 62 year old woman.” Diana told us the story of her journey to complete the 100 mile swim from Cuba to Florida. And it was a journey. She first attempted it when she was not yet 30, and she failed at it. And she gave up for 30 years.

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When she turned 60 years old, she took a look at her life, and asked herself what she was doing with her “one precious life.” She decided to try the Cuba swim again. And she failed. Three times. But this time, she didn’t give up, she persevered, and in 2013, at age 63, she became the first human to swim, without a shark cage, from Cuba to Florida.

As she spoke about laser focus, Diana Nyad referred to a high school teammate, who asked her, “Do you think that Billy Jean (King) worries about the draw? Who she might be playing in the semi-finals?” “No,” she said, “She doesn’t care who the umpire is, who her opponent is, what the weather is. She’s not even playing the ball, she’s playing the fuzz on the ball.”

It is this laser focus that allowed her to forget about the sharks and the jellyfish, the pain in her shoulders, the exhaustion, and simply concentrate on her goal. Never, never give up.

Inspired by Jillian

I’ll be the first to admit that I was not a Jillian Michaels fan before seeing her give the keynote speech at Blogfest.  I assumed the Biggest Loser Jillian was representative of who she really was. Like many trainers, I felt that the extreme measures used by the trainers on the show were not only dangerous, but counterproductive in the long term.

Friends 17One of the things that I admired most about Jillian was she not only admitted her mistakes, she owned them. She admitted that the Biggest Loser was not a slice of reality, not the way a personal trainer should treat their client. It was a game show, with a huge prize on the line, with people that, while their weight problems were very real, also had bought into the concept and the method that was required to win.

Her real ideology is much more holistic, with a focus on balance and with no extreme measures for weight loss. In fact, she stated that, in general a personal training relationship should be long term (at least six months) before using the Biggest Loser type of motivation. And only if a trainer feels that it would be beneficial.

Jillian also acknowledged other mistakes in her career choices, and admitted to several failures. But she said that we should learn from our mistakes, that everyone fails as some point, and those who eventually succeed learn from those failures and use them to guide themselves toward success.

She also addressed the question of why she has been so successful, when there are plenty of other trainers, with more education, experience, and certifications out there. It’s simple, Jillian says. She tells herself, “Why not me?” Believe in yourself, because you deserve success.

I’ll admit that I did a 180 on my opinion of Jillian Michaels. Not only was she honest, she was funny, sometimes crude (which I always appreciate), and very inspiring.

It’s the People: Two more friends from Blogfest

I also want to add two people to my People I Met at Blogfest List. I didn’t really forget them, but apparently, since we didn’t take a selfie together, my brain shut down.

Friends 21Erin, third from the right, is also a member of Team Eleven by Venus. We hung out with a group at lunch and at the IDEA Opening Party.

And Angie! How could I forget her? On Friday, Angie posted on Facebook that she was going to run 15 miles on Saturday (she’s training for the NY Marathon), and did anybody want to run with her. She was planning to run loops, and her pace sounded about right, so I met her on Saturday morning. We ran six miles together, including a tour of Downtown Disney. She continued on (with another friend, yay!), and got in her 15 miles. Unbelievable as this sounds, considering we are both bloggers, we did not take a single picture of our run. I know!

So now I have prepared my inspirational talk for my cross country team, that I will use as we prepare for competition this season. I plan to tell a little bit of Diana’s story, telling them about focusing on their goal. And I’ll ask them, Why not you? You should be the winners at the end of the season. And finally, talk about perseverance, and that the most important thing is that they never, never, never give up.

Did you have an inspiring coach when you were young? Or now, as an adult? Who inspires you do push yourself to your limits. What are your thoughts on Jillian Michaels?

Blogfest: It Starts with the People

It’s Saturday night and I have a date..with my computer. My husband is home patiently taking care of the (pet) family, I am exhausted after three days of exercise classes, sessions, parties (yes, we had those), and just the general feeling of go, go, go that happens during a fitness conference. And a blogging conference too, now that I have experienced one of those.

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It’s hard to decide where to begin! Between the Blogfest conference, which was loaded with informative blogging information, then IDEAWorld, which of course is the ultimate of fitness conventions, I have had so much fun, learning, and social experiences that it’s really hard to choose where to start.

I think, because I left off last week with who I wanted to meet at the conference, I will start with the people that I did meet. Honestly, this was the best part of the whole experience for me!  Plus, since this was a blogging conference there will be tons of recap posts to choose from, so this one will be more personal to my experience.

First of all, from my list of Six Women (and One Man):

Carla! Yay! I finally  got to meet Carla, if only briefly, at our Team Eleven by Venus meet up at the Expo. My first thought (aside from “wow, that’s a beautiful outfit she’s wearing!”) was, “wow, she’s so little!” As an aside, I noticed a lot of the bloggers that I met for the first time were tiny. Not sure why that is, but all 5’8″ of me seemed to tower above most of them.

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Anyway, Carla. She’s beautiful, fun, and I’m just sorry we didn’t have time to spend chatting. I know we’ll have a second chance at it and I can’t wait.

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Kelly. Another brief, how do you do kind of meeting. Kelly was a presenter at Blogfest, so when she was finished with her presentation I dashed up, introduced myself, and managed to get a selfie with her. My eyes look a little crazy in this picture, but, since it’s the only one, I guess I have to post it.

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Katie. Since she is also a member of Team Eleven, I had a little more time with Katy, but she was busy because she presented two sessions at Blogfest, so we didn’t have much chance to chat. Still, I was happy to have a chance to meet her.

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Rita. I almost missed getting a chance to talk to Rita! She also presented, but when she was done, I had to dash off for another meeting, so I didn’t get to meet her. Fortunately, she was at the opening party later in the evening and we had the chance to chat.

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Pavement Runner. As the only man on my “want to meet” list, Pavement Runner occupied a special place. I’m happy to say that I did get to meet him, spend a little time both at Blogfest, and at a group dinner on Friday evening. Still haven’t had a chance to run with him though.

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There were only two women on my list that I didn’t get to meet. Jody did not make it to the event. She lives fairly close, though, in Southern California, so I know we’ll have a chance someday. And sadly, I never caught up with Gigi, who was at the expo while I was there! I tried for over a half hour, but then I had to go to a session, so we never did hook up. But, she too lives in So. Cal, so hopefully someday…

Now for the women that I wanted to meet again.

I had met a few fabulous women bloggers already, both at the 2013 IDEA World Conference, Ragnar, and other events that I wanted to meet again. And I did!

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There was Carrie, Jamie, Jill, and Melissa from my Ragnar team.

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And there were my Sweat Pink friends Jamie, Alyse and Becky.

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And my fellow Inspired Advisors Tiffany, Kasey, Jamie (she’s on all my lists), and Gina. Oddly enough, even though I spent the most time with Tiffany (she’s my IDEA buddy), I apparently didn’t get a picture of the two of us together. She left me a really nice note though.

Friends 28Tiffany was also the first person I saw when I arrived at the Blogfest conference (along with Melissa, Jill, and soon-to-be new friend, Pam). They look like fierce warriors, don’t they?


And, of course, Kelli, who is responsible for putting most of this together.

Friends 25And one half of the Williams sisters, Alexandra (I did see Kymberly, but somehow didn’t get a photo #bloggerfail).

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And finally, there were the women whose blogs that I have followed, who I have felt were my friends, but who I didn’t meet until this weekend.

Pamela. We really hit it off. She was my partner at our boot camp class, and since we both had the same attitude about boot camp, we spent more time taking pictures of each other than actually working out (that’s an exaggeration. Pamela worked hard. I’m the lazy bones).

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I also got to meet Jill, who runs really long distances, writes beautifully, is really tiny, and is not a 20-something, which is somewhat unusual for a blogger.

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I went out to dinner on Saturday night with Pam, Jill, and Sarah, who I was also happy to meet at Blogfest.

Friends 22I also got to meet Shannon (I love this candid profile shot of her..she’s so pretty).

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Friends 3I met Monica at the Sweat Pink Welcome Party.

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A group of us went out to dinner on Friday night with Pavement Runner, Tiffany, Alicia, Christiana, Lindsay, Elyse, and Kayla.

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Then there are the people that I didn’t really “meet,” but managed to get a photo of.

Monica, along with Julie and Gina, did a presentation at Blogfest.

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I met Jarrod (of Subway fame) at the Sweat Pink party.

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I finally got to meet Lorna Jane and get a photo with her at the expo.

Friends 4Jillian Michaels was the keynote speaker. More on this later, but I’ll tell you that prior to seeing her speak, I was not a fan. My opinion has undergone a 180 degree change. She was pretty amazing (and she didn’t yell at us!).

Friends 17I also got to see a friend, Coach Jason, who I met years ago at IHRSA and haven’t seen for a while. He taught a session on running drills (which was very helpful). Coach Jason is actually Jason Karp, PhD., who was the Idea Personal Trainer of the Year a few years ago, and a really knowledgeable and interesting speaker.

Friends 27Blogfest was great. The sessions were informative and fun, the classes were challenging, and Jillian was amazing, but I still have to say that the best part of the whole experience was meeting so many of the people that I’ve been reading and communicating with for so long. Thanks to IDEA for adding Blogfest to the program and for inviting me to participate. I’m already looking forward to next year.

In the coming days I’ll be reporting on more of the events that took place during IDEA World and Blogfest and sharing some of the inspiring lessons that I learned.

Were you at Blogfest? If so, what was your favorite part? Did I get a chance to meet you? Is there a blogger that you would really like to meet?