Thursday, March 8, 2012

My first Arnold Sports Expo aka The Fitness Oscars

The Arnold Sports Expo- or as I like to call it, the Oscars of the fitness and sports industry. I was so honored to be asked by OhYeah! nutrition to represent the company as an OhYeah! Girl. This would mean I would get to work beside a few of my idols such as Amanda Adams, Sarah Hoots, Dela Baldwin, WBFF Pro Kelly Klarich, Kelly Smith, and Michelle Avila... needless to say I was nervous as heck! I had no idea how these women were going to respond to me and to be honest, I felt so inferior to all of their fitness accomplishments.

I arrived on Thursday day and waited for my roommate Sarah Hoots to arrive (I was too afraid to leave the room alone because everyone I saw was an amazing face I had only seen in magazines). When Sarah arrived I was so relieved to see the bright, smiley, friendly face that greeted me. We had messaged eachother before the event and I felt like we were already close friends. This lady is beautiful inside and out, I was blown away when I saw her. We decided to make a grocery run to get some healthy eats for the weekend. Next thing I know, someone knocks on the door... AMANDA ADAMS. Now I have been following her page for a while and am truly inspired by her daily. I was nervous to meet her.... but in she walks, looking adorable as ever, greeting me with a ginormous hug and a warm welcoming. I instantly felt like part of the OhYeah! family and was instantly relieved!

Friday, I flaunted my dark spray tan, freshly curled hair, and walked in to the expo proudly wearing the OhYeah! outfits I had only dreamed of. This is the morning I met the rest of the team and again, the only word to describe the connection was family! We worked our butts off all weekend!!! OhYeah! had an amazing prize wheel, free samples, and my favorite RTD protein shakes! We launched two brand new flavor OhYeah! bars and let me tell you, they are INCREDIBLE! Butter toffee crunch and chocolate caramel candies (with M&M pieces). All of the feedback was positive and I loved watching peoples' faces after they stuck the sample in their mouths. Immediately their faces lit up and I believe the most common thing I heard was "Wow!!" OhYeah! really outdone themselves this time!
Friday night I had the pleasure to have dinner and spend time with my OhYeah! colleagues. I had a blast and laughed (or snorted) nonstop :)

Saturday was the longest day at the expo but it went by pretty quickly!! More fans, more athletes, more samples! We had an amazing italian dinner after the expo and sadly, began to say goodbye. I can not thank ISS Research and OhYeah! enough for the amazing opportunity to work with some an amazing company. It is truly a pleasure!

Sunday was much more laid back and thanks to a successful weekend, we were low on inventory. Amanda was nice enough to walk me around to meet a few of my idols such as Jenna Renee and Tosca Reno. I died! what an incredible experience. She did not have to go out of the way like that for me, but she did. It spoke volumes to her character. On my flight home, I had the utmost pleasure to sit with MY IDOL Chady Dunmore (In the metaphor of this being the Oscars of fitness, Chady would have won the equivelant of "best actress" three years in a row). She was so gorgeous, down to earth, and helpful. She mentioned the word "ripple effect" and I dont think she will ever realize the ripple effect she had on me that day. Chady, than you so much for your kind words of encouragement and for chatting with me like old friends.

Girl Talk- I think I will take the girl talk amongst the OhYeah! girls more than anything from the expo. I feel so much less anxious knowing that these girls, as amazing athletes and as inspirational as they are, are REAL women. They enjoy good food from time to time but know how to get on track. Sarah, Amanda, and I even enjoyed some wine our first night in town. It was nice to let loose and get to know eachother. The top thing I took away from our chats is that EVERYONE HAS INSECURITIES! While one person is working hard to lose weight, there is another person who is beating themselves up to build muscle and gain weight. Ladies, we have to support eachother and stand by eachother. We have to build eachother up and make sure we point out the positive attributes our friends have. There is so much we can learn from eachother and with honest female support, we can change the world and how we look at ourselves! So I challenge you to compliment every woman you see today- it can be subtle or noticing a large change. I promise you will make them smile and it will not go unnoticed!

Christy LeAnn