My Day at the Arnold

Finally. I get to tell you about my day at the Arnold SportsFestival. But, before I say anything else, I would like to say a huge THANK YOUto the FitFluential Team and to GNC for the opportunity to go! It was a great day, and I am very thankful to be a part of such an active, supportive and motivational community.

After writing the release that was this post – in which you all responded with more love, kindness, compassion, understanding, encouragement and heartfelt stories of your own then I could ever imagine, thank you – I found myself actually excited to go to the Arnold. My planned eight mile training run didn’t go so well on Saturday morning due to my knee acting up so I ran a few errands instead and rushed home to get ready to head to the Columbus Convention Center. I was nervous, no doubt, and must have asked my husband about 5,000 if my hair looked alright. He kept saying yes, by the way, but I was still worried about it.

I don’t live very far from downtown and as I exited the highway to make my way through the maze of streets to get to the Convention Center (I was convinced if I took the alleyways, I would avoid traffic) and immediately ran into a wall of traffic. I inchedto the convention center and parked ($8, a bargain because I saw some spots for $40), arriving later in the afternoon than I had originally planned.

The wall-to-wall traffic turned into a massive sea of people as I made my way to the Media Room, where I picked up this exciting package:

I have to admit, I never felt so cool! The staff in the media room was so friendly and helpful, they asked what I was reporting on and when I clearly didn’t know that answer, they were all very quick to sit down with me and tell me about the events taking place and how to get to them. They also told me cell and internet reception was minimal to non-existent in the convention center and going outside had not proved to be any better.

I was pretty upset with that. I didn’t get to meet up with any of my fellow FitFluential Ambassadors because I had no way to contact them! I was thinking about you all day, though, ladies and scanning Media badges like a mad woman to find you.

I left the Media Room and headed out into the sea of people, trying to make my way to the GNC booth. I cannot even explain to you how crowded it was. You cannot move inside the expo, if you do, you are inching. Literally. I am not exaggerating. I have been to the Arnold before, but I felt like this year it was far more crowded than I remember. I really wish they would consider moving it to a bigger venue in Columbus. I feel that it has really outgrown the space at the Convention Center.

It is difficult to get up to the booths, let alone talk to anyone, but I eventually made it to GNC. I introduced myself to a few of the representatives there, but it was very hard to hear. I also did not get many pictures due to the crowds.

From GNC, I meandered around checking out vendors and fitness celebrities.

I saw Lou Ferrigno (better known as the “Incredible Hulk”), which was pretty cool. His arm muscles are GIGANTIC:

Lou Ferrigno.

Stacy Kennedy (Editor-In-Chief of Oxygen Magazine) and beautiful people everywhere:

I did feel uncomfortable around a lot of the competitors, models and vendors. Kind of like that feeling that you don’t “fit in” quite right. I couldn’t get to the main stage to watch any of the lifting competitions, but I couldsee the stage (Does that count for anything?):

Some cool dudes demonstrating Kardio Kraze (um, I wouldn’t make it in this workout, not a chance; I can hardly run normally on a treadmill):

And, I ran into my friend Kristina Grogan who was a Bikini Competitor and representing Max Muscle:

I did some networking, handed out some business cards and told as many people who would listen about FitFluential and Pace Per MileRadio!

I also got to watch some great events, ones that I do not get to see very often. I watched girls gymnastics (amazing that they are so little and they can flip like that), some martial arts (so dedicated) and lastly, fencing. Which I became enthralled with and wanted to try myself!

I even took a little video (Hint, hint: I have been experimenting with V-logs – yikes!) and no, I am not in it. I would show it to you here, but it is horizontal and should be vertical. Oops. Who knows how to fix that? Besides asking the whole Arnold to come back so I can try again. 

So, all in all, I had a great time at the Arnold and I am forever grateful for the opportunity! I am just bummed that I did not get to meet up with my fellow FFAs or have the ability to move more freely in the expo.  I did, however, make some great contacts and looking forward to hearing from or working with new companies in the future.

Have you ever been to the Arnold? If so, what did you think?

Until the next mile marker,