Last week, I had the opportunity to head into the city and be a part of Fitness Magazine’s Meet & Tweet blogger event! I remember reading a lot about it last year and wishing I had been a part of the fun, so when I heard that they were looking for bloggers to sign up for the event I made sure to get my name in, assuming I wouldn’t be one of the chosen bloggers out of the hundreds that applied. So you can imagine my excitement when I learned that I had been selected to attend!
The event was held at The Mercedes Club, an upscale gym on West 54th Street in midtown Manhattan. Since it started at 9am, I had to take a 6:30ish train into the city to make sure I was there with plenty of time to meet up with some other bloggers and head over from Penn Station. Originally I was dreading the idea of getting up so early and taking NJ Transit during rush hour, but it was a completely uneventful morning – just the way I like it! A few days before the event I connected with Brianna, Toni, and Jen on Twitter and Facebook, and since they were coming either from Long Island or Upstate New York, we decided to meet in Penn Station and head over to the gym together. It’s funny to think how “meeting people on the Internet” was SO dangerous and somewhat taboo only a few years ago, and while it still can be (very) dangerous, I’ve met so many wonderful people and made great connections thanks to the Internet and social media in the last few years!
Once I met up with Brianna, Jen, and Toni, we decided to walk from Penn Station to the gym rather than take the subway since it was a beautiful (albiet a little humid) morning. We made a quick pit-stop at Cafe Olé across the street where a few other bloggers were meeting, and then went right into the event!
Picture courtesy of Brooklyn Active Mama!
As soon as I walked into the Mercedes Club I couldn’t help but be just a bit envious of the gym’s beauty. To be fair, I only belong to a $20/month gym that’s barebones, but it sure would be nice to workout at a location with an awesome facility and beautiful views! But anyway, we checked in, received our schedule for the day, and our name tags that made me feel oh-so-official.
We were able to grab some breakfast (muffins, eggs, Elixir juice), and headed outside to await the event’s speakers. There were a bunch of different speakers, ranging from Sara Lucero, a make-up artist to the stars, to Dr. Jennifer Ashton, to trainer Brett Hoebel, to a pannel of bloggers including the first food blogger I started reading (Smitten Kitchen!), and Rocco DiSpirito.
It was really great to listen to the speakers talk about different topics (health and wellness, beauty, food, blogging, etc.), and I loved that we got to sit outside and enjoy the day while listening. I must admit I was a little sad to hear both Dr. Ashton and Rocco talk about limiting carbs, but as a runner I know I need them. Plus, let’s be honest – bagels are delicious (so delicious, in fact, that I had three in the last 4 days). But other than that, I really appreciated the honest and genuine talks each person (or persons) participated in!
After the awesome speakers, we were given the opportunity to grab some lunch, and check out the vendors. Of course I made a beeline to the Saucony booth, and was thrilled to find out we’d be getting our own pair of Kinvara 4′s! I’d been eyeing these sneakers for awhile, mostly because of their bright and awesome colors, but also because it seemed like everyone who tried them loved them. But I wasn’t in the market for a new pair of running sneakers, so I couldn’t justify buying them… so thanks to Saucony I didn’t have to!
I enjoyed stopping by the Reebok booth as well, because I got a chance to look at their sneakers, enter a raffle, and take a sweet picture. I’ve been eyeing the Reebok sneakers for cross-training for what feels like years, but never bit the bullet and bought a pair. Most of the time I do my cross-training in my living room sans-shoes, so I just didn’t see the need for them. I was obviously thrilled when I found out we’d also be receiving a pair of their sneakers! We were encouraged to write something fun on a whiteboard and take a picture, so naturally I went with something about food (cupcakes specifically).
My final stop was another favorite – Smart Balance! My parents have been buying their butter for years, and I’ve tried their peanut butter and love it. So when I saw they had chocolate peanut butter balls, you better believe I snatched one right up (of course as soon as someone started talking to me… so classy). We were given a free jar of peanut butter if we balanced on a bosu ball at their booth. Everyone was doing fun poses, and I was trying to come up with something neat – and then I got on the ball. I could barely stand, let alone maneuver to strike a pose! So after catching my balance, I just stood there and smiled. Better than nothing, right?
While I didn’t take pictures of the other booths, they were equally entertaining. I really loved the Marmot table, since Paige, a professional climber, was there telling us about her year long, world-wide climbing adventure! While I’ve never climbed before, her trip sounded amazing and an once in a lifetime opportunity, all while raising money for a good cause. Really inspiring!
The day finished up with group exercise – either a run with Saucony, a cardio dance class with Athleta, or yoga with Reebok. While I was tempted to sign up for the yoga, I ultimately went for the run, and had a blast running with Dorothy of Mile-Posts and other runner-focused bloggers. I didn’t talk much on the run because I was too busy taking in running on the West Side Highway (city running is my absolute favorite), but I enjoyed it!
After the run I was nice and sweaty, so Brianna and I tried to cool off, and then headed back to Penn Station with our giant goodie bags. As you can imagine, walking through the city with all this stuff wasn’t easy, but it was worth it! After a nice and cool train ride home (I’m pretty sure I smelled, oops), I met up with my dad at his office who was able to drop me off at home, where I unloaded all of my goodies.
I’ve already dug into a lot of the swag, and am slowly making my way through the rest. I’ll likely have some reviews in the future for stuff that I really loved (i.e. I would absolutely buy it myself), since a lot of the stuff is from new-to-me companies… and awesome.
It was such a great day – nothing like heading into the city, hanging out with a bunch of people that have the same interests and passions as you, and connecting with brands and people you love! This event just made me wish I lived closer to (or in) the city… it’s where all the fun stuff happens! Thanks again to Fitness Magazine for the amazing opportunity!