I was so honored that Anytime Fitness invited me to their annual conference in Chicago! Every year, Anytime Fitness hosts a conference for their franchise owners and employees. It is a time for inspiration, encouragement, and to give the O2i’s (Owners to Inspire) fresh new ideas for their businesses.
So, Annie – um, why the heck were you invited?
Cause do you remember that #SurviveOn35 challenge? I was one of the winners! And the co-founders Chuck Runyon and Dave Mortenson wanted to share our combined experience with this challenge to their attendees. What we didn’t know was they had an actual trophy – my first real award – waiting for us there!
I had a pretty rocky travel experience actually trying to get to the conference. There was this awesome day planned for us on Friday and I missed all of it. Thank you, my lovely amazing American Airlines. Trying to keep this positive, but here is what happened. My 6:50am flight from Manhattan to Chicago (that is seriously a 1.5 hr flight) was delayed 3 hrs. Then cancelled. They moved me to a 4pm flight which I had to catch a connecting flight in Dallas to Chicago. (Yay for regional airports!) Once in Dallas, my flight at 7:15 was delayed, moved to another gate, then delayed again. They lost their stewardess! Not kidding. Finally, I arrived in Chicago at midnight.
Thankfully, the 2nd day of the conference was still amazing!
I was inspired beyond belief at their opening keynotes! Nothing better than hearing people share their fitness journey and feed off their passion and excitement for healthy living! I was like, “YES! Where are my tennis shoes? Let’s do this!” My favorite was Drew from Fit2Fat2Fit.com. Have you heard of him? He is a personal trainer that intentionally gained 70 lbs to empathize with his clients. The best part of his story is how he gained that weight. It really opened my eyes. He gained it by eating like I do now. Yikes. You know, a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch before bed, some white pasta for dinner, as much soda as he wanted? So I’m fired up about my nutrition now.
Saturday afternoon Meghann and I spent the day just hanging out and enjoying Chicago! It was sooooo much fun!! (And she totally inspired me to do my 5k but keep going and pushing myself for way more! Did I mention how awesome she is?)
Then, the conclude this amazing day, AnyTime Fitness had an awards ceremony for their attendees. It was the most moving and inspirational part of the entire trip. They gave out 4 awards to their most amazing club members. Off the top of my head I can think of the lady that was born with no arms or legs and yet she has lost 30 lbs working with her trainer, the over 60-year-old husband and wife team that lost tons of weight and got super fit after she was diagnosed with breast cancer, the man that got crazy fit after struggling with childhood obesity. (This guy is insane – in a very good way! He has so much energy and passion for life!) I feel terrible for not remembering that 4th one, but these three had me in tears. Literally.
Thank you Meghann for allowing me to post this! (Yes, I did ask for permission first LOL). L-R that is Cassie, Amanda (Anytime Fitness corporate employee), Me, Meghann, and Lee (another fab employee). These are such amazing women and I had a blast hanging out with them. Wish we all lived closer!
How was your flight home?
So easy! Thankfully! No delays or cancellations! In fact, I arrived at my church just as it was being let out. Perfect timing!
Thank you Anytime Fitness for an amazing weekend! (P.S. if you are curious about what I missed on Friday, Meghann has a fab post. I’m sad looking at it, but feel free to enjoy).