5/24/11

You can make friends with salad

So apparently I didn’t make a big enough production about it, but I went to a little conference this past weekend in Baltimore organized by a pretty awesome lady.

Although I may not have learned a lot like some people did (Clearly I attend too many geeky events), I did take a few things away and I’m not just talking about the copious amounts of swag that I had to smuggle back across the border (minus the kettlebell that I won and was afraid customs might take away from me for obvious reasons).

Photo credit - Carrie D PhotographyI learned a bit about me.

I work in a position that forces me to talk to people. From completing interviews for stories to shaking hands and making conversation at receptions, I have to be social in order to get what I need, promote the organization for which I work and foster relationships within the community.

But in social settings outside of work, I shrink into the background hoping that someone will take pity on me and draw me out.

I learned that I couldn’t do that at fitbloggin’.

I mean, I could have, but I wouldn’t have gotten anything out of it. I find that conferences surrounding social media are only as good as what you put into them and standing on the sidelines watching the world go by is not being an active participant and the focus there was active. A 5k run, kettlebells, zumba, trampolines – it was all there. And if you didn’t want to be in any given session there were booths and conversations in the halls providing tons of interactive opportunities.

And there were firefighters, too!

I learned to ditch my fear.

Years of being invisible taught me to hide and I’ve yet to become comfortable in large social groups. But here I was, surrounded by people of all shapes and sizes, fitness levels and abilities, backgrounds and stories. What did I have to lose? By the end of the conference, I did make an effort to talk people up, not sit at the empty table first and join others in fun. 

I know I talked about facing fear last week, but I need to in a lot of other situations beyond running. I’m constantly afraid of rejection and I need to get over it and improve my self-esteem and self confidence.

Although my effort wasn’t all out, I got out of my comfort zone a bit, interacted with some fabulous people and will make an effort to continue those conversations into the future.

So maybe I didn’t learn anything new about blogging (but blogger’s constant hiccups have taught me that I need to transition to self-hosted a lot quicker than I am) or fitness , but life lessons are just as important.

If you’re shy like me, a conference is where you need to be.

Hopefully I’ll see YOU at fitbloggin’ next year.

5 comments:

Kimberley said...

Oh my goodness! I didn't realize you went to Fitbloggin'. So cool!

Did you meet MizFit, Jacksh*t and Mrs. Fatass and other fabulous bloggers? If you did, I am jealous!!!

Good for you for stepping out of your zone!!! The mouse takes the cheese!

Laura said...

Very cool! I am seriously introverted but am really trying to make an effort.
It ain't easy though.
Go Mouse....

Amy said...

I agree about the Blogger issues.

But I'm lazy.

Like reallllllllly lazy.

Maybe I'll join you if you go again!

marie said...

@Amy - I think I beat you but I'm on the stupid side of the scale. I've been paying for hosting for two years, keep transferring entries and comments but never make the switch.

Dumb, eh?

Angie All The Way said...

I would have felt the same way you did at the conference. That's awesome that you went for it. Did you go all by your onesome? If Cameron still wasn't so little I would have considered going this year so next year is a definite possibility! I've never been to a blogger/social media conference before but have been dying to!

I haven't been able to sign into my blog for a few days now which is supremely pissing me off!

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