Saturday, June 25, 2011

Thunder in the Rockies

Fitness and Health Bloggers Conference Update:

Just FYI: later on I will be doing a “live blogging” event where I will be reviewing sponsor products live on the blog. It is like speed dating but hopefully with no unintended pregnancies.

7:00 a.m. yoga class started out peaceful enough. The cool Rocky Mountain air flowed through the Bugaboo room at the Marriot. The Flatiron mountains looked amazing through the huge picture windows. We moved easily and quietly through Warriors and down dogs and triangles. Clair was to my left, Jason behind me (he’s brave). We were about 50 minutes into a one hour class when the calm in the room was disrupted as Clair came out of three-legged dog pose and released a thunderous fart. Yes, she did. Let me tell you something about Clair. She is a proper Southern girl. It took about 18 years of being her friend before she passed gas in front of me.

I crumbled onto my mat and looked back at Jason. All I could see was his back shaking while he tried to maintain a downward dog. Quickly, the instructor took us into happy baby pose, which only made matters worse. In this special pose, you are on your back with your legs drawn up and spread open. You grab your big toes with your peace fingers, further opening your legs. “Crap,” I thought. “Is she going to let a few more fly?” No, she didn’t. We regained composure, and I told Clair later, “Thank you. My weekend is complete.”

Now, I’m sitting here in the Marriott conference room listening to A-list, influential, very successful bloggers talk about how they got to where they got to. It’s make me feel overwhelmed. I started blogging because I love to write and wanted an outlet. I love the connection blogging allows, and I love the exchange with you all. You make me laugh and inspire me everyday.

When the conversation leads to brands and sponsorships and advertising and book deals, I am not sure what to do. In all honestly, blogging has become more than a hobby for me because of the amount of time I put into it. I feel driven to write everyday. The fact is, it’s taken over a lot of my time. It feels like next steps might be in order, and that’s why I’m here – to learn about all the stuff I’m missing. Twatting and ambassadorships, book deals. It’s a different world.

Woven into all of this are the important questions: Why do you blog? What is your purpose? Where are you going? Do you care about your traffic, your numbers, your analytics?  What is the strategy for your blog, or do you have one?

I am a fly by the seat of your pants (underwear) kind of girl. I love being spontaneous. My only “rules” for my blogging is that I write authentically and I don’t force my writing. If I don’t feel inspired, I don’t write. I don’t have much structure, but there are themes that have surfaced over the course of this blog: not making excuses, doing what you said you would do, potty humor, honesty, recovery/rest, being real.

What’s your goal with your blog?



  1. As a new (and somewhat sporadic) blogger, I began for two reasons:

    1) My husband was constantly deployed and I didn't have anyone to talk about my day with, so I decided to talk to "everybody" about it.
    2) I'm a social worker and want to do documentary work. I figure before I go out exposing other people's lives, I should know what it feels like to expose my own.

    I'm still figuring it all out. I love the way you approach your blog though. It's a great read and I've told tons of folks they should read it too. So thanks for putting yourself out there for us.

  2. I just started my blog this month and am doing it for the same basic reasons you described: love to write and love the connections. I'm not (yet) worried about # of followers, statistics, or book deals (though one can dream)....yet I did get excited when someone I don't know in the non-blog world commented on one of my first posts. I look forward to your authenticity and definitely your humor!

  3. I am just now recovering from the explosion in the Bugaboo Room. I did have 3 big babies. Jus' saying'. Authentic writing is the only kind of writing.

  4. A couple reasons I guess, it started as a way for me and my training partner for our first half marathon to keep up with each other and our runs, we are about 600 miles apart from each other.

    It's developed a little more than that, since i'm not real speedy but love to run, maybe it will help others that think they can't or are too slow.

    Plus I just love keeping up with my workouts!

    Slow Mother Runner!

  5. This post sums up a lot of what I'm feeling when it comes to my blog. Very interesting stuff being shared here. I, too, feel a bit overwhelmed listening to these amazingly successful bloggers. Definitely inspiring. I agree with you - authentic writing is the only way to go.

    Looking forward to mt. biking with you tomorrow! Sounds like I missed an eventful yoga session ;) My roomie and I bailed on it so we could run the path along the Boulder Creek. Gorgeous. You're lucky to live here :)

  6. I blog so that I will one day grace the cover of "O" magazine.

    I think you can definitely become bigger, but if you ever quit the potty talk... I'm out! Your book should be something like "The Stray Shopping carts of Eastern North America", but yours would be "Roadside Shitting, The Art of Dropping on the Run".

  7. I think that one of the reasons your readership has grown so dramatically, so quickly, is that you write well, and most importantly, you've found your writing voice. It doesn't feel forced at all, and I think you're enjoying it, otherwise you wouldn't be doing it. And it shows.

    E. B. White once said "The whole duty of a writer is to please and satisfy himself, and the true writer always plays to an audience of one." That's my goal.

    People that blog to build an audience, or sell a book, or gain "followers" or build readership stats, or to monetize their blogs might be able to write, but are not writers. I tend not to read such blogs because they seem so artificial. Much like many books today, written by someone who thinks you can paint using the paint by numbers kits. Dan Brown comes to mind; he's sold a ton of books, but I would do nearly anything else before having to read another of his "books". Even running downwind of SUAR after she's had a huge plate of beans and veggies.

    I'd infinitely rather read a blog that is honestly about a person or a family and their activities. Mostly it's triathlon for me, but other stuff too. Within limits I don't care about mistakes in spelling, grammar, composition, or all that stuff. We all face the same challenges and it's fun to see how people cope. Some better than others.

    There are lots of bloggers I'd love to meet. I've actually met a bunch of people through blogging, which is super fun. But I'm not sure I'd go to a conference to learn how to blog. I figure that after more than 950 posts, and a small but seemingly consistent readership, I've got a good grip on it. For me a blog is one way of many to interact with other people. I don't want people reading my blog only because they might win a prize.

    Just like we have all dressed up our blogs differently, and have different things to say, we all have different reasons to blog, and different goals we hope to reach. If someone is trying to build readers so they can sell a book, more power to them, I guess. I'm just not likely to be one of those readers.

  8. Good lord I'm glad I'm not the only one feeling overwhelmed by the whole 'book deals and analytics and A-listers and popularity contest' that blogging can tend to be. Yowza. Looking forward to pigging out during the live blogging sesh. Cheers to that.

  9. I like blogging because I love the connections. I hate it when sponsorship becomes the main theme of a blog. I can't stand the giveaways where half the blog is taken up by "like" this and "click" here, blah, blah, blah. And yes, for those of you who are "big" in the blogging world, I'm sure it is fun, exciting and honoring to be contacted by major companies, but it seems like that is when the blogs I love start to lose their "uniqueness". Just sayin'....

  10. My blogging goal is, gee, get a post up there already, would you? I'm sporadic at best, I guess keeping me from the book deals and O magazine. I *am* happy to have a blog about a slow, lazy runner, because I'm sure I'm not the only out there.

    Mostly, though, I put it out there so I've got some other outlet to talk about running running running so people I actually know in real life can hear a little less of it from me. Sadly, though, I still can't really shut up much.

    Seriously, if someone farting in class makes your whole friggin' weekend, you oughta come up here because I can fulfill that request, regularly and repeatedly. And loudly.

  11. I like my blog because it encourages me to get more training in, and follows my weight loss. Also, I like going back and reading previous posts to see where I was at one point.

    I love that your friend tooted in Yoga class. How embarrassing. Definitely one reason I love your post. So unashamed to talk about things that would turn my face red and probably make my head explode if I did them! You are an inspiration and am glad that I stumbled upon your blog!

  12. I love that fart story. I would have been shaking with Jason. I might not have recovered, though. I might have had to leave the room.

    I started my blog to keep a record of my return to fitness and to chronicle life with my kids. But then I heard that Oprah was quitting her show. That is one big-ass niche that needs filling. I think I'm up for the challenge.

  13. One of my major purposes for blogging is to track my progress as I train for my first marathon. I'll keep going once the marathon is over, but I started with that intention.

    I love to write, I love to take pictures, and I love feedback from others. It's just fun, and I enjoy sharing all of my experiences with others.

  14. I had to create a Blogger account to read a friend's family blog and figured I may as well get more use out of it than just that. So I decided to use it as a workout journal--it's harder to lose than a paper one. I log my workouts and track milage, on mapmyrun but log injuries, recoveries & whatever else on my blog.

  15. My blog started as an outlet to deal with my dad's cancer diagnosis, but it has slowly transformed into writing about running, gardening, friends, life, etc. I'm in the process of writing a book so this outlet lets me get thoughts out quickly and they are saved and preserved...even if nobody reads them. But some people do. :)

  16. I started my blog as a journal for myself and kindof a scrapbook since I put a lot of pictures in it.

    No one else read it - it wasn't even public.

    But once I started reading other blogs, I realized the community aspect to blogging, I started commenting on others and made mine public.

    I like hearing from other bloggers who have more experience than I do. And I love that I have formed real life relationships with online friends

  17. I love this some others have said, these topics have been weighing on my mind. I've tried some gimmicky things in the past, because I thought that's what "successful" blogs did, but I find I really am more comfortable just writing. About me, about my day, about my struggles, about my loves.

    And those get the most feedback, so clearly that's what resonates with others.

    Thank you for handing out some may not have known that's what you did, but this post just changed my view of my own blog a degree or two. And I needed that.