I’ve been running on fumes and adrenaline for the last two+ weeks nows. My body feels like meh. My brain is on overdrive. And my to-do list can’t stop, won’t stop. I feel like I’ve been swimming in mud….no matter how hard I paddle, I just can’t get to the other side.
But it was worth it. The two, maybe even three week period of failing to catch up and catch my breath, of sacrificing sleep and time with my family, and feeling utterly exhausted every day (can I get a nap, please?), was all totally and completely worth it.
Coming off the heels of our 3rd annual Ideafit BlogFest with Sweat Pink, I realize that an event that is as amazing, inspiring and just plain BIG as BlogFest is can be just like a running an ultra. You have to embrace the highs and manage the lows. You have to sweat, cry, push through before you get to cross the finish line and reap the rewards (like sleeping (and eating) your face off, of course).
And just like finishing an ultra, I’m feeling wiped out, sleep deprived and am running on reserves, while at the same time feeling high on everything I learned, feeling inspired by all of the incredible people I met, and excited for what’s to come.
Whether you’re a regular BlogFest with Sweat Pink attendee, have attended in the past, attended for the first time this year or are thinking about attending, I just want to say THANK YOU. Seriously, I mean that from the bottom of my heart. You all are what make this conference so magical; you all help us realize just what BlogFest can and should be with your energy, your inspiring stories and laughter, your willingness to share, connect and support one another. So thank you.
After all the hard work and planning, I’m happy to say that it was another successful year – from the amazing speakers (um, major girl crush on Jenna Wolfe, amiright?)…
the educational and informative sessions…
to all of the sponsors (hellllooooo amazing swag bags, snacks, meals and beyond!!…
and even the parties!…
And while I will share my learnings and highlights, I’m going to save that for another post … when I have had a little more time (and brain power) to process.
Today, in my exhausted, bleary-eyed, bleary-mind state, I’m going to share a few of my favorite behind the scenes memories from this year’s event (you know…the stuff most of you don’t see or hear about). SECRETS, y’all!
- Oh. The. Schlepping: Schlepping is a regular part of conference’ing for our team. From unpacking boxes, to carrying heavy loads, to trying to figure out how to put together retail racks, banners and even assembling booth furniture. We do all the schlepping. And this year was no exception to the rule. We did all the heavy lifting. Sweating. Schlepping. And then some. But one of my very favorite behind the scenes moments from this year’s schlepfest was our banner. We bought a new banner for the expo this year and it was beautiful…on brand….and full of hashtags…basically everything we’ve ever wanted (ok, slight exaggeration)…Only the actual banner stand seemed to be missing a key piece and every time we’d get it hung up, it would slide right back down. Oh, perfect. Through some miraculous pink duct tape, the grace of god, Sweat Pink shoelaces, team work, sweat and macgyvering, we got the banner to stay upright. Schlep=0, Sweat Pink Team=1.
- Hotel room shenanigans: There are almost too many hotel room shenanigans throughout the course of BlogFest to really write about them all – that’s just what happens when you put 7 girls in a hotel room together for nearly a week. I’ll leave you with a few little gems for your amusement.
- One of the most important rules out of my live a happy life playbook includes: when you’re already in your pajamas and super hangry, always call delivery. After a long first day of the conference, we practically all dove into our pjs and called for some late night delivery. Only when our delivery arrived, we realized that they didn’t include any utensils. Instead of putting clothes back on and wandering down into the hotel to acquire utensils, we resorted to eating with fingers and flatbread instead. 70 messy fingers and a whole lot of napkins later…7 not so hangry ladies! Winning!
- Another rule out of my playbook is that if you’re going to fall off of the bed, do it in slow motion, it’ll hurt a lot less. On our last night in LA, with just enough exhaustion and just enough wine, I completely and totally fell out of bed….only it was as if I was in slow motion. You would have thought that the pace in which I was rolling off the bed, I would’ve caught myself before I actually hit the ground…but nope, I just plopped right onto the floor much to everyone’s (and my own) amusement.
- Another important rule in life is to perfect the art of a french shower. With little time to spare and lots of sweat, we had many creative shower strategies. From the ShowerPill wipe downs, to the feet, pits and face wash, to the lower body shower – we all had different ways to fake the funk (or fake the non funk, to be more accurate). Sometimes you just have to be a little creative if you want to feel clean in a pinch.
- The infamous dump: It’s almost as bad as it sounds. Almost. Let’s just say we had a machine malfunction and had to make an emergency run to the bathroom to dump some suspect looking liquid down the toilet. While we were dumping the mysterious liquid, we were practically bent over in hysterics laughing. The noise. The color. The plop, plop, plopping. The splashing. The evidence on our clothes. And the laughing. All the laughing. We came out of the stall and saw someone from the cleaning staff cracking up. And that made us laugh even harder. And as I stood there with the remnants in a container, a woman coming in to use the restroom took one look at me, threw up her hands and ran away yelling, OMG….And I yelled after her, wait, it’s not what you think……..!!!! I still laugh just thinking about it.
- Feelin’ that Zumba rhythm: Every year I find myself practically hypnotized by the Zumba at IDEAWorld. And this year was no exception to the rule. After about an hour at the World Opening Party, I heard the music, dropped my things, left a group in the middle of a conversation and got my groove thing on. And all I can say is #typical. I don’t know what it is about that zumba…but once it starts, I can’t be stopped.
- BlogFest Keynote girl crushin’, like whoa: Every year, I get a big, giggly girl crush on our BlogFest keynote speakers. And every year, I tell myself to act cool when I’m helping them get set-up or even escorting them out. This year I was so beyond proud of myself for not saying anything awkward…because last year, I told Gabby Reece that I dreamt about paddling into the sunset with her, Laird and her kids in Hawaii. Because, no, that’s not awkward at all. Not at all. Luckily, she’s the nicest person ever and didn’t seem to think anything of it – or maybe was just too kind to let off that she thought I was a total crazy person.
- Philz is everything. When you’re running on fumes and running around like crazy, its important to find little precious moments in the day. For us, those precious moments were found at Philz. On a run early one morning, we spotted a Philz and all but tackled the sandwich board outside – it became a staple for us throughout the weekend. Mint mojito iced coffee, oh how I miss you so!
- When in doubt, dance (er, uh, silly) it out: I’ve learned that the key to success at any conference or tradeshow is to find every opportunity possible to dance it out. When you’ve been on your feet all day, talking to as many people as you possibly can, there’s no better way to shake out the legs and shake out the cobwebs in the brain than a good dance. We found that dancing not only kept us busy while standing in the booth for hours at a time, it was also a great way to stay warm in the conference rooms. Plus, when people spot you, they’re almost immediately drawn to you. Being awkward is often the best way to break the ice…no wonder why I have so many friends (wait, what?).
Needless to say, this year’s BlogFest with Sweat Pink was truly special.
So while I feel like I’m coming down from something intense (helllloooooo conference planning, conference organizing, attending, speaking, expo’ing, connecting, going, going, goiiiinnngggg…..), I also find myself feeling really sad that it’s over.
I know the sleeplessness will pass. I know life will go back to normal again. I know I’ll find time to just be….present….in my own life. I also know that the things in life that aren’t challenging and don’t push you just aren’t worth the time.
You have to climb to the top to see the view, after all.
Stay sweaty my lovely friends!
For some additional IDEAFit BlogFest with Sweat Pink inspiration, read on: