I’m a quiet, awkward individual. There really is no point in denying it. It’s taken me a while to come to terms with my shyness and to not get upset when people question my personality or tell me I can’t do something because I’m “too quiet”. I am who I am and my shyness does not make me any less of a person, designer or blogger.
photo courtesy of Meghann
Needless to say, I was just short of terrified for the Healthy Living Summit last weekend. Knowing no one there, I knew I was setting myself up for probably the most social outing of my life. It’s not that I don’t like being social or that I’m afraid to be social, I guess I’m just more comfortable being a wallflower. I like silence; it gives me space to be me and have time to think. There was no chance for silence this weekend (how can there be when you gather 100+ women together? haha) but I sure had plenty of thoughts going through my head all weekend.
I was scared of feeling lost, I was nervous about meeting people — and even though I was far from being the most vocal person there, the fact that I made it there was a huge step out of my comfort zone. I was in a city I’d never been with people I never met for three days! And if I’m to be perfectly honest, I had a tough time this weekend. The experience I had wasn’t what I expected and while it may not have been entirely full of laughter and rainbows, it was an experience that I will never forget or regret. There were a lot of lessons and things that I was able to take away from HLS, especially since I’ve given myself time to process my thoughts and feelings.
left photo courtesy of Kristin @ Food Fash
I thought about throwing up collages of photos and briefly saying something along the lines of, ‘I had lots of fun’, but that’s what every other recap of HLS is already saying. Something that I think is missing from these recaps was the pressure we put on each other. I can’t speak for anyone else but I personally felt pressured. I mean, we’re in a room full of healthy living bloggers, some of whom we’ve been reading about their lives for so long and we all have these similar interests and lifestyles. Yes, it’s exciting but at the same time, there is also this nagging feeling that you don’t measure up to them. This almost unconscious comparison is made and suddenly, the pressure is there. Could these feelings been creations in my own mind? Yes, but I also feel that I may not have been alone in this.
I felt pressured to be more outgoing, more thin, to eat more healthy and to exercise more. We can’t always stop that nagging voice in the back of our minds that makes us think or feel like this. This is how I felt the first half of the weekend at HLS. I don’t know all of these women’s stories or their lives, so I can’t judge or assume things about them. But there were some things that I saw and heard throughout the weekend that were far from healthy and that too made me uncomfortable.
photo courtesy of Tessa
Pushing past this, though, I really had a great time at HLS. I learned so much about blogging and I definitely left Sunday morning incredibly inspired. I was lucky to have roomed with Katie, Tessa and Rachel; they were all amazing and inspiring ladies. The cocktail party we attended on Friday night was full of fun, yummy snacks and a photobooth.
Saturday morning, we all woke up for an early start to the day. The day was jam packed with different sessions and a Reebok CrossFit workout. Let’s talk about this workout for a second…it was only five minutes long. Two days later and my quads are still burning! No other workout or run has ever left my legs hurting like this before. I think I need to try crossfit again. After our quick workout, the sessions for the day started. All the ones that I attended were so informative and I definitely learned a lot from then all. I particularly enjoyed the Blogging with Brands session and the Wild Harvest Keynote.
After our sessions for the day, a bunch of us ladies went out for sushi and fro-yo. I haven’t had sushi since I found out I may have a possible seafood allergy. Even though I only had veggie rolls, the sushi was amazing! The fro-yo was even better. It was this super cute, small place called Berryline and they had the best original fro-yo I’ve ever had.
The last morning, there was a 5k around Boston that was so much fun. The run seriously flew by running with a huge group of people and admiring all the lovely sights. Boston really is a gorgeous city and I cannot wait to go back! I’m so glad I had the opportunity to attend HLS. I met some wonderful people and even though I struggle with a lot of my own insecurities, I feel a lot stronger and more confident because of it.