fitness · healthyliving · school · travel

Midwest FitFest 2014

I promised you all a recap of my weekend at MidWest FitFest 2014, so here it is!

MidWest FitFest is a weekend-long conference for collegiate personal trainers, fitness instructors, and fitness professionals! This was my second year attending the event and I was still amazed at the enthusiasm and positive vibes that comes with putting a few hundred fitness and health-loving college students in the same building. One of my co-instructors and I applied to present a fitness session and educational session – and both were accepted! AHH!

My group drove to the conference location (CHI-TOWN!) early so we could have a day to explore the city. We had an interesting drive due to fog, but made it safely. We were exhausted by the time we made it and crashed almost immediately after getting to our hotel.

The next morning, we hit the hotel gym and attempted some fun fitness challenges before getting ready to hit the town! We walked around the city hitting several of the local hotspots, including The Bean and Navy Pier!

Downward Dog Pyramid in the hotel gym
Downward Dog Pyramid in the hotel gym

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Plank Pyramid at The Bean!
Plank Pyramid at The Bean!

Our conference kicked off the next morning and we arrived super pumped to start our weekend of fitness heaven. I selected the following sessions for the first day: Kickboxing, TurboKick, Dance Jamz, Insane Kettlebell, Turbo-Zumba, and Not Yo Momma’s Step. We were also surprised and excited to try WERQ, a new dance fitness craze. 

With our WERQ Instructor!
With our WERQ Instructor!

Most of the sessions are presented by group fitness instructors or personal trainers who want to share their class, or educational session, with others, so you know you’re in for a fun time! My Nike+ HRM/Sportwatch told me I burned over 4,000 calories the first day, so I was more than ready for our dinner reservation at the Rainforest Café. Just a lesson in restaurant ordering – if they have a few things on the menu you like, but you don’t like all of it, ASK to have something custom made. If they already have the ingredients and it’s an easy switch, it’s usually not a problem. Shout out to Rainforest Café Chicago for meeting my needs as a dairy-free vegetarian!

The second night my co-presenter and I spent preparing for our two presentations the following day. I was incredibly anxious about our educational session and tossed and turned most of the night. I was more than ready for the alarm to go off the next morning to start the day.

There were only three sessions to choose from on Sunday, and our presentations were first and third! We arrived early to prepare for our Piloxing session, which went incredibly well! We had a full gym of fitness lovers ready to go, despite most of them being stiff and sore from day one they were all smiley 🙂 We got some great positive feedback and comments for improvement from that session, which is always helpful. I’m a big fan of constructive feedback – it’s how you grow and better your classes for your participants!

After Piloxing, we snagged a few photos with our group before heading to change and run over our educational session.

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We chose to talk about the importance of social support for exercise and titled our presentation “Fit Friends are Friends for Life!” We designed our presentation to engage our attendees because we felt like we are each other’s best resource, so sharing and learning from one another were key. We also wanted to get at the reason of WHY our attendees chose to work in fitness. Reminding them of how impactful their role in someone else’s life is was something we wanted to do and we genuinely wanted to know. Understanding why you work in fitness is important to understanding yourself and how you do your job, and how you can best work to engage participants/clients. Luckily, we had a very interactive and talkative group and our presentation FLEW by. Before we knew it, we were collected evaluations and hitting the road for home!

I had an AMAZING time with my Falcon Fit Friends and loved getting to meet so many new fitness pals from all across the MidWest. There is nothing like conference bonding time and I’m so blessed to have had this experience!

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