Tuesday, August 20, 2013

CAN FIT PRO Conference 2013 Day 1

I am a fitness fanatic but I've always been ambivalent about fitness conferences.  I love exercise, I love teaching and training people, but I am not the "Ra Ra" type and these events always involve a lot of that.

I've been going to the CAN FIT PRO conference since 1998.  I kinda have to.  It's the only way I can get all the CECs so I can maintain my professional fitness instructor and personal trainer certifications (short of trying to find time throughout the year to attend various training seminars here and there).  Some things about it are great and some are downright irritating and annoying.

This year I did my best to minimize the annoyances.  The first thing was the getting to and from the convention centre downtown.  At this point, I do not need to prove anything by riding my bike and then, after a day of exercise, having to cycle home the 30-40 minute ride in the summer heat.  But door-to-door public transport from our place is 3 connections and inefficient, and parking down there is a fortune.  So this year, I rode my bike the 6 minute ride to the nearest subway station on the north/south line and then hopped on.  BY FAR THE MOST EFFICIENT WAY TO GO!  Success.

Unfortunately, one of the things that is most annoying is going to a session that sucks, but my first one was absolutely pathetic.  It was a spinning session sponsored by Madd Dog Athletics .  The presenter was awful.  It was a session on Negative Intervals, which she defined as intervals of equal length and intensity with decreasing rest in between.  That's about all I learned, and it's not even something I haven't done before in my own class (but just didn't have a name for).  I forced myself to stay to the end, convinced I was just being a negative nelly and I was sure to get something out of it.  Nope.  This woman doesn't know the meaning of the word coaching.  A good instructor coach inspires and motivates and this involves not just what you say, but the way you say it (Ra Ra stuff is not what I'm talking about here).  She barely said anything at all.  Sigh.  That was 90 minutes of my life I'll never get back.

I did learn that when I lean over too far in the spandex top I was wearing, you can see my boobs.  Guess I won't be wearing that top again.  Oh, I also learned that Kiku apples are awesome.  But that has nothing to do with the conference except I brought some as snacks.

KIKU Apples

They are apparently a variant of Fuji apples.  I guess I have a thing for Japanese apples.  Mutsu are my favorites, followed by Fujis and these babies.  Yum!

After the horrible spinning session, I decided I was not going to attend any more spinning sessions and rearranged my whole schedule.  This turned out to be a good thing.  Because I discovered this guy:

Todd Durkin

Meet Todd Durkin

He rocks.  His session was a boot camp of sorts with ladders, BOSUs, etc.  Loved it, loved him.  Partly I love that he seems like a total mench.  One of the first things he did was thank his wife and 3 kids and all the people who work for him.  Love it.  If I lived near him in California and had lots of money, he'd be my personal trainer.  He trains all sorts of professional athletes as well as everyday folks like you and I.

The Tradeshow this year felt a bit overwhelming the first day.  I swear it gets more crowded each year!  I was pretty restrained with my spending though.  I bought some Quest protein bars, which were a good price, a dress (they sell clothes and not just workout clothes!), compression calf sleeves for Adam, wind screens for my mic when I teach fitness, physio tape and a weight lifting belt.  That's it!  Then, of course, I loaded up on the free stuff and samples.  Believe me, there was lots more I would have liked, but a lot of the stuff is really expensive and not really discounted.  Like 20% off of stuff that's already too expensive, is still too expensive!

At a booth where they were selling fancy schmancy foam roller thingies, I got one of the salespeople to show me some good ways to use the roller for calves, hamstrings, and inner thighs - areas I had not figured out on my own to rehab effectively with the roller.  Unfortunately for her I didn't buy her products 'cause we already have a perfectly good roller at home.

One thing that was weird is that it seemed like every 4th woman I saw at this conference was pregnant.  My infertility clients would have hated it!  There are always some, of course, but, I swear, there were TONS this year. 

The nice thing is the 'relative' diversity of the attendees.  Not really much ethnic diversity - visible minorities are sorely under represented among Canadian fitness professionals, but in terms of age and body type.  You do get the 20-something bleached blonde, over-tanned hard bodies and steroid-fuelled muscle heads that you'd expect, but they're a minority.  At the not-so-tender age of 38, I'm not even close to being part of the oldest cohort there.  In fact, I saw folks ranging in age from teens to seniors.  And this year they even had specific activities just for kids in the tradeshow!  Body types also range from magazine-cover worthy to clinically obese.  You can be fit and fat!

So that was Day 1.  Day 2 was much longer so I'll save all of that for the next post.

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