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Crazy things happen when I venture out of the suburbs and this weekend was no exception. I drank more than I thought possible. I drank something most people wouldn’t. I had violent nausea. I had a run in with the cops. I had my butt in the air in front of a group of strangers. A strong, handsome man held my legs up – and he didn’t even know my name.  I also got a lesson in twerking.

That sounds like a whole lot of craziness from a mommy blogger, I know, but let me explain. I drank more WATER than I thought was possible. I drank a TREE SAP ELECROLYTE BEVERAGE – most people wouldn’t (it was a sample, it tasted like berries and it was super yummy).  My nausea was from a migraine, not a hangover. My butt was in the air for some hamstring stretches, after which a nice fellow helped me by providing resistance as part of a partner stretch demo. Dai Manuel gave us a lesson in twerking in his workshop (stuff they didn’t print in the workshop guide and I’m glad because it would have been crowded if people knew that was about to go down). Oh and the cops? They had a recruitment booth at the trade show. They were super friendly, smiled and waved. No bail money required.

Even without a need for bail money, my weekend had a bit of a bumpy start. I had a horrible, debilitating migraine that knocked me out for day one of the conference and the morning of day two, unfortunately. I wrestled with how I could get there when I was unable to drive from the pain and the nausea.  I honoured my body and rested and came for the Sunday afternoon so that I could actually participate.

Because I was still feeling woozy, I scanned the list for a workshop that wouldn’t be too demanding. “Take Me Away” sounded promising – I mean, that’s part of a marketing slogan for bubble bath, how hard could it be? There would probably be laying on the floor, darkness and soft music, ideal for a migraine sufferer recovering. It turns out it was like a bath, but it was more like giving a cat one vs scented candles and aromatherapy oils. There was thrashing – mine, during the aerobics warmup.

The workshop was expertly instructed by Krista Popowych. In addition to the excellent stretches she narrated, she coached us on how to play “Spot the Pilates Instructor.” The pilates instructors rolled gracefully, effortlessly even, meanwhile I clunked like sneakers in the dryer. Clunk clunk thump. There was also some discussion in the beginning about “mild discomfort”. I thought it was about helping clients avoid it, but it was actually a warning about things to come. This mommy blogger left her listening ears at home, apparently.

Once I tuned in more closely, I learned some important things. Women are more flexible than men. Ha! Unfortunately, with this information, I feel some might question if I’m in fact a man because I’m not very flexible, like at all. We become less flexible as we age (which makes me 112 based on my hamstrings) and pregnant people are more flexible than non-pregnant people. This is to allow us to wrap ourselves around the toilet from morning sickness, if I recall correctly (side note: my experience was that it should actually be called “all the time sickness” if it’s going to be described honestly). Flexibility is also something you lose if you don’t use, and coming from a girl who once lost her car keys in the fridge, I can relate to this.

After fighting the loss of flexibility, I moved onto Dai Manuel’s workshop which was entitled, “Telling Your Story Starting With Why.” I felt like I would be good at this one, as a mom of a six year old boy. I tell a lot of stories and I deal with “why” all the freaking time. I know how to answer it to, like a pro, “Because I said so!” What could possibly go wrong? Well, I definitely got more than I bargained for, with Dai demonstrating for us two variations of twerking right off the bat. Talk about an ice breaker! Once he was done shaking his butt, he had some great wisdom for us.

Dai talked about finding your sweet spot, which is where the most important things in your life overlap. For me, my sweet spot would be being able to get up in the morning, take my son to school, go to the gym, write, take a nap (oh how I love naps), pick him up from school, feed him, bath him, put him to bed, write some more, repeat endlessly. My passions in life are family, wellness (mental health awareness and fitness) and creating community (inspiring empathy through the written word).

Writing definitely became relevant as he spoke about finding our “power word”. Dai’s power word is “flawsome”, which he credits to his wife and is a word that describes being flawed but awesome. He talked about how sharing his story creates empathy and helps his clients relate to him. My power word is “sparkle”, because I believe in shining, glittering and standing out from the crowd, but also “spark” refers to igniting and illuminating which is part of what I strive to do. Dai encouraged us to do what fills us.

I left Canfitpro feeling very full indeed. I was on fire for finding my sweet spot, my flexibility and also my car keys (because giant gym bag of handouts, extra clothes, note pads, pens and quest bars. I looked like a doomsday prepper. The end is nigh!). I was grateful for time spent in the company of others who are passionate about fitness, wellness and most of all, helping people.  This was my tribe: the people of the yoga pants, the glorious team Lycra and Luon.  For the last day of a physically intensive two day event, there was a great deal of enthusiasm, encouragement and conversation. It wasn’t even as smelly as I expected it to be either. It was obvious a great deal of care and attention went into the planning of this event and I’m eagerly looking forward to next year.   After 365 days of practice, I just might be ready to challenge Dai Manuel to a twerk-off.

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“This post was written as part of the GoodLife Fitness Blogger Ambassador Program, however all opinions expressed are my own”

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