Thursday, June 21, 2012

First Day in Denver - FHBC

Howdy from Denver!!!

As many of you know, I was randomly selected after writing this post to win a scholarship to attend the Fitness & Health Bloggers Conference, which officially starts tomorrow. And I'm here! I'm so excited to be participating in such a jam-packed weekend and meeting and learning about all the incredible sponsors.

This morning Terry and I woke up from a very restless night of sleep and opted to continue sleeping for another hour instead of completing the early run we had planned. But by six we were up, making tea (Terry - he makes the best cup of tea), making breakfast (me - I made egg, turkey bacon, cheddar cheese, and whole wheat English muffin sandwiches, and we enjoyed them without photos), and getting ready to head out. I finished my packing and said farewell to el gato before we scooted out the door.

My flight to Denver was fairly uneventful, but I sure love people watching in the airport and on planes. It astonishes me that people who fly Southwest refuse to stand in the correct place while waiting to board. There is a pole with an arrow pointing left that says, "16-20." It stands to reason that a person holding number 18 would stand to the left of that pole and maybe a few steps over. But is that where I found number 18? Nope. She was to the right of the pole. I politely asked, "What number are you?" and when she responded, I stepped slightly in front of her. She wasn't thrilled. I showed her my boarding pass--number 17--and she rolled her eyes and said, "Well, go ahead then." Folks, we have here a case of a line jumper. Classic.

On the plane, my line friend found herself a seat just fine (imagine that) and I chose an aisle seat. Interestingly (or not, depending on your definition of interesting), I rarely choose aisle seats. If I do, it's almost always with the intention of waiting for a bigger guy or elderly lady so that I can offer the seat to him or her and scoot to the middle, since I can make myself comfortable there. I know a lot of people who are incredibly uncomfortable on planes (my father and husband come to mind), but I do okay. So I find that by making this small gesture, the person who scored the aisle is very pleasant to sit next to--and might offer me his or her peanuts.


But today I stuck with the aisle. I suppose I was feeling selfish. When a college-aged guy appeared before me and asked to sit in the middle seat, I didn't offer to take it. I let him in and sat back down, engrossed in my book. And I'll be darned if it didn't bite me in the ass for the rest of the flight.

He wasn't horrible. Just annoying enough to distract me and make me wonder about him. He put both of his elbows up on the armrests, which we all know aren't actually there for your comfort; they serve as a barrier between you and this person you don't know. He rifled through every.single.magazine. in the seat in front of him. He made a few strange grunting sounds, as though he was frustrated or sick or an elk. He asked the flight attendant for lots of water plus a hot coffee, which wouldn't have been weird for anyone else but for some reason he was weird. And, of course, he didn't offer me any peanuts.

But I arrived in Denver without much hassle. Once I stepped off the plane, though, my oh-my-God-I've-never-traveled-by-myself-to-a-place-in-which-I-don't-live anxiety kicked in. I tried to calm myself down, but my nerves were going crazy. Still, I maneuvered myself through the airport, to the Super Shuttle, and to my hotel, where I learned that I had actually booked Friday through Monday, not Thursday through Sunday. Because I'm awesome.

Thankfully the front desk was able to fix the problem and my roommate and I don't have to sleep in the lobby. Hopefully that'll be the biggest problem all weekend!

Not the best view...

I settled in, read for a bit, tried to relax, and finally headed to the hotel gym for a run. I got about a mile in and had to walk for a second time when I realized--Denver. Duh, Julie. Altitude! No wonder I was struggling at my normal pace. After that, I gave myself a break and walked plenty; plus I took advantage of the water fountain a LOT.

Nice little gym

Four miles later, I also completed a light leg workout:

  • 2 x 25 walking lunges
  • 2 x 25 squats
  • 2 x 20 (each leg) pendulum lunges
  • 2 x 25 sumo squats
Fast and efficient. I showered, dressed, and relaxed until Sarah, my roommate for the weekend, arrived. She flew in much earlier than I did and joined several other conference attendees on a hike. Actually, it was the exact same hike I did for BLEND Retreat at Chautauqua Park! They also did yoga immediately after, so Sarah was obviously exhausted. She rallied, though, and we got to chat a bit before the pizza party. Then all the early arrivals (the conference actually starts tomorrow) joined up in the lobby for pizza, which was provided for us by Organic Pizza Company

It was seriously delicious, and they provide vegan options as well. I enjoyed two pieces, but everyone was still hungry after their long days of traveling and/or hiking, so a few of us also grabbed a bit more to eat at Panera Bread down the street. I had half the Mediterranean Veggie sandwich and saved the rest for later. 

I'm very excited for the rest of this conference. It's a packed schedule but should be extremely informative. I'm eager to meet new blogger friends and learn as much as possible so that BLWB can improve!

Note: I have been awarded a scholarship to cover my registration fees for attending this conference. I will be 100% honest about my own opinions regarding Refuel with Chocolate Milk.


  1. I am loving this post because I am literally reading it on a Southwest flight!! I love your travel observations-too funny. Enjoy your retreat!!

    1. Ha! What are the chances?! Have a safe flight!

  2. Julie, it was great to meet you at the pizza party! Looking forward to keeping up with your conference tweets while we enjoy this terrific experience. :)

    1. Great meeting you, too, Shira! Looking forward to the rest of the conference with you!