5 Biggest Takeaways from a Blogger Conference

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Excited to share my experience from my first blogger conference. What started off as a Facebook post about a conference application and a girls trip turned into reality last weekend. Myself and a few of my Dallas Fitness Ambassadors were accepted to attend Blogfest and IDEA world in LA and we all came away with so much. IDEA World is the largest fitness expo and convention for fitness professionals. It attracts tons of fit pros to learn about new workout formats, business and marketing smarts, bask in the overload of inspiration and of course, SWEAT! Blogfest was a small, but special part of that and catered to all things blogger. Hundreds of fitness bloggers came from all over to learn as much as they could from industry professionals and finally put a face to the name of that instagrammer! It’s an incredible learning experience on so many different levels.

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Blogfest took up all of Thursday and Friday and was jam packed with informational sessions, tweet breaks, workouts, and more. It was also largely sponsored by Siggi’s, Vital Protein, Gymgo, General Mills, and Propel Hydration. Here’s a sample of the sessions we got to take:

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Some of my favorite sessions would be learning about brands, food photography, and content marketing. It’s all about working smarter, not harder. I most definitely enjoyed hearing from Melissa Hartwig of Whole30 and how to establish yourself as a thought leader. Her story was so compelling! I also enjoyed hearing from Amanda Tress, a biz coach for female entrepreneurs about the wonders of building a business and her new favorite platform: Facebook Live. So much good information.
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I was absolutely thrilled to go on this trip to learn as much as I could and have fun doing it. I spent Thursday and Friday soaking up as much as possible from all the sessions. Here’s what I took away.

Always be a student: No matter how much I read online or research for myself, I know never to think that I know it all. Because, frankly I don’t. Things are changing so rapidly that even the rules are becoming obsolete (ahem… Instagram). There were still some really eye opening lessons learned from the sessions. It was great to be able to set a benchmark based on what the experts said and gauge where I was in that learning curve. I couldn’t help but feel excited all over again in a classroom setting nerding out over what brands are looking for and why Snapchat is important. Not only were the sessions helpful, but also chatting with the blogger friends I made about what they were up to. The knowledge sharing is invaluable. And so was the support and encouragement.

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Loved this outfit from SIX02. Reflex and Nike.

You grow outside your comfort zones: This trip was an amazing learning experience on both a personal and professional level. I never thought I’d actually take a leap to attend a blogger conference and sit in a room with 200 other inspiring (and sort of intimidating) bloggers. On a personal level, I am usually very private. But for whatever reason, magic happened on this trip and I was able to bring my walls down a bit with women I have come to admire over Instagram and really form stronger relationships. It felt good!

Pretending to be Katniss after a Propel workout.
Pretending to be Katniss after a Propel workout.
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Outfit details: top from Forever21, Puma tights from SIX02, and Nike’s from SIX02

It’s all about making connections: Gosh, if I could have cloned myself, that would’ve been amazing. I could’ve covered more ground! For my first conference ever, I wish I had spent more time talking to more people instead of being wrapped up in the sessions. I totally got nervous. The whole thing was overwhelming. Ha! As someone who considers herself outgoing, I definitely got the jitters approaching different brands and talking about myself. It was great practice for me and exciting to see that blog partnerships aren’t as uncommon as I formerly thought. People know what we are and what we are capable of!

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It’s all about perspective: Doubt will alway be gnawing at the back of your mind, but instead of letting it cripple you, channel it into something more. There are no dreams too big if you want it badly enough. Plus, in the blogosphere, you really make up your own rules. If you change your perspective to test your limits, there’s nothing you can’t do.

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Always have fun: Don’t take it too seriously. I’ve seen so many successful bloggers do great because they worked hard and had fun. I headed into this weekend with an open mind and went with the flow. I’m glad I was able to find balance in both work and fun. In addition to learning a ton, doing all the things I really wanted at the conference, I also made plenty of time to explore LA with my friends, eat at different restaurants, hike up to see the Hollywood sign and more. I even met up my people’s for a last night of dancing! I had one of the most memorable weekends and I’m still giggly from the high of it all.

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Holla to TakeyaUSA for my awesome ThermaFlask! Kept my water super cold during my entire hike!

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Would I come back next year? Definitely. It’s a great conference with lots of opportunities to learn, connect, and grow. In addition to the sessions, there was also a huge expo with hundreds of brand reps eager to share their products was a great way to put into action what you just learned. Plus, we got to wear workout clothes all weekend long. Who isn’t in love with that idea?

You can also read Blogfest recaps from my friends at Eat Love PlankThe Ginger Marie Blog, Fit x Brit, , and The H is For. They had some great takeaways too.

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The next Blogfest is going to be in VEGAS! I can already picture all of the debauchery if a larger group of Dallas Fitness Ambassadors decide to go. It’s going to be SO fun.

Have you ever been to a blogger conference? What were your biggest takeaways?

Upcoming Travel Adventures + Travel Tips

miamisights-traveldiary-pt25I’m experience a serious case of wanderlust this year and have quite a few trips planned that I can’t wait to share with you. Even after coming back from Miami and New York, I just can’t get enough. The world is so much bigger than Dallas and I intend to go out there.On all my travel adventures, I love exploring new places while incorporating my love for being active and, of course, food! Here’s where I’m headed:

July: Idea World Fitness Blogfest in Los Angeles. This is my first ever blogger conference and I’m heading to LA this week with a few of the Dallas Fitness Ambassadors. We booked a really sweet penthouse right across from the convention center and can’t wait to soak up everything we can possibly learn while making new friends. We’ll be spending the first two days networking our butts off and the rest of the weekend will be filled with hikes to the Hollywood sign, exploring Downtown LA, workouts, food, and debauchery. It’s going to be amazing!

August: Camp Our Way’s Adult Summer Camp. When I think of summer camp, I imagine lots of water sports, campfires, s’mores, nature stuff, and sunshine. Imagine all that and more, but with an open bar. This is Camp Our Way’s first event in Dallas and it’s a premiere three day all-inclusive summer camp for adults. It’s happening on August 11-13th with limited spots and we’re being picked up in a party bus before heading to Trinity, TX for adult glamping. There’s promise of top shelf booze, tons of activities from archery to zip lines, water skiing/wakeboarding/tubing, bubble soccer, arts and crafts, kickball, yoga and more. I’m excited for the color war games, beer olympics, live DJs and themed parties. See the full line up of events here and if you want to join me, you can use my code DEEPFRIEDFIT for $50 off.

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August: Canyoning and hiking at Zion National Park in Utah. This is going to be a small girls trip to celebrate a friend’s birthday. We’ll be flying into Vegas and driving the 3 hours to the park for a weekend jam packed with destroying all my step goals. I’m SO excited because I’ve never done anything like this before. I’ve done basic, easy hiking trails, but none as long or strenuous as the things we have planned. We’ll be hiking through the narrows, canyoning, exploring the breath taking scenery at Bryce Canyon and more. This will certainly be a different physical and mental challenge, but one I can’t wait to check off my bucket list.

Photo credit: Steve Corey. Sourced from Flickr
Photo credit: Steve Corey. Sourced from Flickr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/stevecorey
Photo Cred: Caruba. Sourced from Flickr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/denial_land/
Photo Cred: Caruba. Sourced from Flickr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/denial_land/
Photo Cred: Dean Hughs. Sourced from Flickr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/144559124@N02/27357642234/in/photolist-HFv4UN
Photo Cred: Dean Hughs. Sourced from Flickr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/144559124@N02/27357642234/in/photolist-HFv4UN

September: Lake Travis in Austin. Heading here to celebrate a few birthdays while on the beautiful Lake Travis. Of the handful of times I’ve visited Austin, I’ve never experienced any of the recreational stuff on Lake Travis. Hoping for a boat party, some water sports like tubing or paddleboarding, and at least a scenic hike. Oh, can’t forget all the food. It’s a foodie city after all!

With all the trips ahead of me, don’t forget to follow my Snapchat (@deepfriedfit) to follow along. I also included a small round up of my favorite products I have to take with me everytime I travel. I definitely welcome your suggestions for your must-take items that make travel so much more pleasant. I’m all about working smarter, not harder.

Back Pack. I always bring a back pack to any trip. It functions as the perfect “personal item” on planes and beats having to lug around a purse with room to spare. I may have a small wristlet to carry my money, cards, ID, and insurance. I always bring a jacket, water bottle, and plenty of snacks!

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Portable Battery: Guys… iPhone batteries suck. Having a portable one to charge my while I’m on the go is soo convenient and takes the anxiety of being in a strange place without access to your google maps. Plus, I have to capture all the moments!

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Snacks: I hate spending money on airport food or just bad, overpriced food in general. I always carry snacks to fend off the hanger, save some money and attempt to make some healthy decisions while I’m traveling. I love taking protein bars like Premier Protein or Quest Bars and for savory snacks I love Krave Jerky or Epic cured meat bars. I’ve only recently been introduced to Krave and feel like I’ve been missing out. It’s definitely has more of a sweeter taste profile than a savory one. There are a ton of yummy flavors.  My favorites would be the sea salt original, chile lime and lemon garlic. Oh, and can’t knock that turkey jerky. Stuff is delicious.

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Sunscreen: It’s a must. Fortunately, I don’t burn easily, but with all the outdoor activities I’m planning on doing, it’s a must. Nothing’s worse than suffering from an inconvenient burn and because skin cancer. Duh. I’m excited to use this new sunscreen my friend told me about. Coola is an organic and it doesn’t have that blah sunscreen smell. The scented guava mango smells like summer. I’m in love!

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Underwear and toiletries: I read somewhere that it’s smart to carry an extra pair of clothes or at least underwear and some basic toiletries, like a toothbrush. In case you get stranded at the airport or have to stay somewhere and extra night without your main suitcase, it’s a nice luxury to be able to change out of old clothes.

Medicine: I always make it a point to bring some Advil, allergy medicine, my inhaler, and tummy medicine. No one wants to talk about tummy issues on the road, but when you’re out of your normal routine of foods, it can happen at the most sucky times. Better safe than sorry.

Sunnies: Can’t forget a good pair of sunnies to soak in the sun and prevent squinty faces in photos.

What are some of your best tips for traveling? Would love to hear your tips. Leave me a comment below!

Spotlight Series: Cassidy of Circle Seven Five

Circle Seven Five is such an intriguing group that has nailed down the power of inducing FOMO with all of their fun events. This beautiful group was founded by Cassidy Fischer. I had the pleasure of connecting with her last year and have admired her hustle from afar. She is truly an inspiration. Find out how she became a girl boss and what this community is all about.
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Name: Cassidy Fischer
Company: Circle Seven Five
Short About Me: Give me a few details about yourself. Feel free to share whatever you’d like.
I’m a wife to Ford, a dog mom to Watson and Sherlock, and happy resident of Dallas with a love for community, networking, creativity, Jesus, and constant adventure. I started Circle Seven Five almost two years ago (June 18th is our birthday!) and its been a huge and exciting season of constant transition and growth in my life, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
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Tell me about Circle Seven Five? Circle Seven Five is the best way get more adventure, fun, and community into your life and ensure you always have some ‘happy’ on your calendar! CSF lets our members escape routine and create a life they love with over 15 events each month + awesome perks around town.

What made you decide to start CSF? It was really a need in my own life. I grew up in the DFW, moved away to NYC for four years and came back fresh out of college and was really missing the close knit community I was used to from school, and really all growing up, being surrounded by my peers and having structured and unstructured time to just build relationships. Being an adult meant work was the main focus and for the first time figuring out my social life wasn’t so easy and convenient. I wanted to connect with others, but as an introvert it was hard for me to put myself out there. So I created my own cocktail of what I would have wanted and now here we are almost two years later!
What are some of the events you’ve put on in the past? Any favorites? Since this time last year, we’ve done over 150 events. The activity and focus of each one is so different, so choosing a favorite is hard! — but just going off stuff from the past month – I’d have to say our Bachelorette watch party at Hotel Zaza and our #CSFspringfling picnic at The Dallas Arboretum were SO much fun! How awesome and welcoming the CSF girls are really makes almost any event a new favorite.

Our hearts are so full. Coming soon to the blog.💗 #CSFbirthdaybash // 📷 credit @beckleyco

A photo posted by Circle Seven Five (@circlesevenfive) on

Who is CSF for? CSF is for any millennial woman Dallas! Since we have so many events there is something for everyone from super chill girl’s nights in to rock climbing to DIY and fitness and everything in between! Whether you’re looking to get out and go do something fun (see ya, comfort zones!) once every few months, or a handful of times each month – we have a membership level that can work for your budget and schedule. The great thing is members use CSF to ‘host’ their own events – so its really in your control to make your membership what you want it to be and connect with the people you want to connect with. We handle everything, so you just get to show up and play hostess with the mostest. 🙂 It’s all about who you know these days, so it never hurts to have a network that’s always growing!

What’s one piece of advice you’d share to other entrepreneurs/small business owners?
Do your own original thing and keep your head down while you work and try not to compare (so so bad you guys – don’t do it!). Dream big, take initiative, and before you know it you’ll have more on your plate than you know what to do with. Take time for yourself. It won’t always be easy. It will be one of the hardest things you do, but one of the most rewarding. Doing something you’re passionate about is key. Just keep at it every day.

Some silly questions for fun:
Would you rather live one life that lasts 1,000 years or live 10 lives that last 100 years each?
Wow tough question. I think 10 lives that last 100 years each. I think it would be incredible perspective to get to walk different paths and gain so much understanding and thankfulness. You might actually know what it’s like to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. Hmm….
Would you rather never be able to speak again or always have to say everything that is on your mind?
Always have to say everything that is on my mind. For sure. I love words (you can quote me), and definitely need to communicate. Plus more transparency would probably be good for the world, I suppose. Ha!

Uhm so I’mma let you finish, buttt….we just crushed CrossFit. 💪👊 P.s. (name that reference) 😜

A photo posted by Circle Seven Five (@circlesevenfive) on

Would you rather be able to speak fluently every language in the world or be the best in the world at something of your choosing?
Speak fluently every language in the world. I think if you could do that, there is a possibility you could end up being the best in the world at something of your choosing. Plus think about how easy it would be to travel (and get a job!)
To learn more about Circle Seven Five, visit them here or follow their adventures on Instagram.

Ultimate Taste Test at Grub Burger Bar on Greenville

Sharing food with friends is one of my favorite ways to spend time with them. Food and drinks are such a common social event, it’s no surprise I live up the foodie life. Grub Burger Bar invited me and my friends for an ultimate taste test and it was such a fun evening.

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P/C Dave Mason

Let me preface this by saying there were only six of us. It was a triple date night with the added awesomeness of a burger tasting. In addition to drinks, appetizers, and shakes, they seriously brought out 16 burgers (2 of each burger). It was an insane amount of food. And I’m totally not complaining.

Before the burgers, we ordered our drinks and  a few starters to whet our appetite.

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Melon Basil Rita was my favorite! Cuervo Silver Tequila, Fresh Basil, Fresh Watermelon
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Effen Martini: Effen Cucumber Vodka, Fresh Watermelon, Real Lime Juice, Agave Nectar
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Black Magic Mojity: Black Cherry Rum, Mint, Sugar, Real Lime Juice

We had to remind ourselves not to get too carried away munching on the starters. I really liked the Crawfish Pistoulettes. It’s etouffee in french bread bites with a Mississippi Comeback sauce. I love french bread and really enjoyed this starter.

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Crawfish Pistoulettes

Can never go wrong with cheese fries.
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All the cheeseeeeee!

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The funniest part of the night was one when one of my friends asked if there was enough food to keep him full. Ha! Grub Burger did not fail him. I suppose the word “tasting” was misleading for all of us. It was a feast! Here are the burgers we had starting with the most popular at the table.

The Lockhart Legend is the most popular at the restaurant and we all agreed. It’s so Texas with Dr. Pepper bbq sauce, bacon, onion rings, pickles and cheese all in one bite.

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Not the prettiest burger, but another favorite would be the VooDoo mushroom burger. It has absinthe sautéed mushrooms, swiss cheese, and a tabasco mayo. Great flavor in each bite.
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Grub has some great non-beef burger options. Unlike some restaurants, there maybe one or two non-beef items. At Grub, there’s definitely something for everyone. This Jive Turkey Burger was delicious and I love anything with sprouts. Turkey can be bland if not seasoned correctly, but there was so much flavor in each bite.

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Hippie Chickpea is an awesome choice for vegetarians. Instead of the usually black bean for veggie burgers, it’s made of chick peas and has a lot going on flavor wise. It didn’t crumble as much either. One of my vegetarian friends came by the following week and gave it her thumbs up!grubburgerbar-dallas-blogger-deepfriedfit15

Swimmin Up Stream is  salmon burger with black bean and corn medley, avocado, ancho chile, and onions on arugula. This was one of my favorite burgers. Loved all the flavors in the salmon. The patties are all made fresh in house.grubburgerbar-dallas-blogger-deepfriedfit16

The Front Porch is your basic, classic burger if you aren’t looking for all the frills. It’s a perfect burger to dress up with a fried egg, or add some avocado. I thought the classic was a bit bland. Not a lot of flavor in the meat.

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The Guacapotle sounds like it has all the makings for a Dallas favorite. Combines my love for cheese and guac. I personally really liked it, but there were mixed opinions at the table. The cheese and guac masked the blandness of the beef.grubburgerbar-dallas-blogger-deepfriedfit8

The Thai Peanut is out there. You either love it or you hate it. I thought the flavors were interesting and one person at the table actually really enjoyed it. But, he is a peanut fanatic so that might be why.

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Now, let’s get into the shakes. At this point, we were all wheezing from all the food we attempted to eat. What was I thinking wearing jeans?!

We started with a sampling of the spiked Kitchen Sink shake. It has pretzels, peanut butter, salt, butterscotch sauce, caramel sauce, chocolate chips, coffee grounds, and potato chips. You can also get it without the booze, but what’s the fun in that right? Even so, the liquor wasn’t very strong and didn’t overpower the sweet and savory complexities of each sip. Good balance of everything.

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Kitchen Sink Spiked: Pretzels, Peanut Butter, Salt, Butterscotch Sauce, Caramel Sauce, Chocolate Chips, Coffee Grounds, and Potato Chips

The Worms and Dirt is a fun shake that makes you feel like a kid again. It’s simple with crushed oreos and gummy worms. I love oreos, so this was my favorite of the night.

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The American Pie was simply ok. It’s not a memorable shake and probably the least favorite of the three we tried.grubburgerbar-dallas-blogger-deepfriedfit17

All in all, it was a gluttonous night and we were all full and happy. Thank goodness for goodie bags. I’m so glad we were all able to sample a good number of different burgers and take a few home for the next day. That’s not something you get to do very often at any burger joint. You stick with your one or two favs, but here we could all get a taste of something new and we all had a tasty time doing it.

Which burger would you dive into? Comment below and tell what is your fav type of burger.

This Grub Burger Bar media dinner was completely complimentary, however all opinions remain my own.

Nike Unlimited Innovations Event in New York

nike-unlimitedinnovation-newyork-olympics-dallasblogger-deepfriedfit21I had an awesome opportunity to fly to New York for a very cool Nike event last week. It marked one of the biggest highlights of my blogging journey and I’m jumping in my seat as I type this because it was SO fun. Last week was truly a whirlwind week. I flew out Tuesday morning to make an event that evening. I was in NYC for less than 24 hours before I flew back just in time to host my fun workout charity event for my readers. You can read about that here.

Myself and the twins from A Double Dose flew in together and checked into the cutest boutique hotel in Soho, New York. I knew I wouldn’t be spending much time in this cute hotel as I wanted to make the most of my experience.

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After checking in, we all headed straight to Nike’s Unlimited Innovations event space for a special moment with track and field legend Jackie Joyner Kersee. She’s won 3 Olympic gold medals, 1 silver, and 2 bronze medals.

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Photo Courtesy: Charlie Brooks, Nike

How cool to hear from a legend how she prepares for her events. It’s more than just physical preparation, but also a mental one. She said she trained and performed as though it was her very last Olympic event each time.

She also talked about embracing the butterflies and that resonated so well with me. It’s about relishing in those feelings and living in the now and channeling that energy into something more. Joyner-Kersee is also known for her colorful style during these competitions. She totally validated my “Look good, feel good” motto when it comes to wearing cute workout clothes to the gym. It’s all about how you feel – whether it’s your workout, yourself, or in general – if something as simple as a new outfit can help you feel better about yourself, do it. Probably won’t bode well for my shopping addiction haha.

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The Unlimited Innovations event debuted the looks all the athletes will be sporting in the Summer Olympics in Rio. So cool to get a sneak peek of what Team USA will be wearing.

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Photo Courtesy: Charlie Brooks, Nike
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Photo Courtesy: Charlie Brooks, Nike
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Photo Courtesy: Charlie Brooks, Nike
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Photo Courtesy: Charlie Brooks, Nike

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Nike’s AeroSwift tape is magical. I’d love to get a few of these and test it out.

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We also had the opportunity to hear from two other legends: Scottie Pippen and Michael Johnson.

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Left to right: Scottie Pippen, Michael Johnson, Jackie Joyner Kersee.

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While the uniforms stayed true to the red, white and blue, Nike injected a vibrant palette of colors in the shoes. You can read more about why the designers chose such a colorful spectrum of colors here. I immediately fell in love and all of them, especially the soccer cleats. Come August, these will slowly trickle into the stores.nike-unlimitedinnovation-newyork-olympics-dallasblogger-deepfriedfit16 nike-unlimitedinnovation-newyork-olympics-dallasblogger-deepfriedfit14 nike-unlimitedinnovation-newyork-olympics-dallasblogger-deepfriedfit17 nike-unlimitedinnovation-newyork-olympics-dallasblogger-deepfriedfit15Beyond just hot new apparel, we also learned about how Nike continues to innovate and make each product an essential part of athlete’s journey. Whether it’s to reduce drag, increase aerodynamics, or work in other ways to help the athlete perform at their best, it was amazing to hear more about Nike’s ideals and values when it comes to “obsessing over the athlete”. It’s an intersection of performance, design, and art.

We also got to see first hand, upcoming collaborations with Kim Jones, Ricardo Tisci and our Gyakusou collection.

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Photo Courtesy: Charlie Brooks, Nike
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Photo Courtesy: Charlie Brooks, Nike

If you’ve been following me, you know that I’m a huge fan of pops of color and statement pieces. Especially with my tights. I can’t wait to see the response of these collaborations.

Outside of the event, I was able to get some down time in this amazing city. I enjoyed a sit down dinner with Nike’s comm manager Heter Meyers, my friends Alexis and Samantha from A Double Dose, Ticara from CNK Daily, and Jordan from Stack. At one table, we had Dallas, Chicago, New York and Cleveland. Gilligan’s in Soho is an outdoor restaurant that takes up an alleyway next to our hotel. It has a nautical, coastal theme. Fortunately the weather held up, and we were able to enjoy a few drinks and bites.nike-unlimitedinnovation-newyork-olympics-dallasblogger-deepfriedfit11 nike-unlimitedinnovation-newyork-olympics-dallasblogger-deepfriedfit8 nike-unlimitedinnovation-newyork-olympics-dallasblogger-deepfriedfit9 nike-unlimitedinnovation-newyork-olympics-dallasblogger-deepfriedfit10Given the chance to visit one of my favorite cities, I only caught a few hours of sleep before waking up for a Soccer Skills Training at 7am. I haven’t touched a soccer ball in years!

It was my first sport and my gateway sport into football and volleyball. I was a little intimidated because I have no coordination or handling skills at all, but I was open to learning and getting in a great workout.

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Photo Courtesy: Natalie Campos, Optimist

We had the opportunity to train with retired coach Alecko Eskanderian. He put us through various group drills to work on basic soccer skills. Despite being nervous, everyone was so nice and encouraging. I had a blast! And I hit my step count before 9am. WINING!

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Photo Courtesy: Natalie Campos, Optimist
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Photo Courtesy: Natalie Campos, Optimist
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Photo Courtesy: Natalie Campos, Optimist
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Photo Courtesy: Natalie Campos, Optimist

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Can we pause for a second to talk about these cleats? FIRE! These are Neymar x Jordan cleats and I LOVE THEM. Can’t wait for my next pick up game of flag football in Dallas to sport these babies. Aside from my gorgeous new cleats, it felt liberating to be out on the field and moving my body.

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After the workout, I headed to the hotel, showered, packed and was ready to leave for the airport. I felt like I had been on an adrenaline rush for 2 days and couldn’t believe my trip to NYC was over.

Having the chance to learn more about one of my favorite brands was an amazing opportunity. My biggest takeaway personally is seeing that fitness is more than just being fit. There’s more to it than just looking good, or wearing the right gear for your sport. It’s a culture, a philosophy, a mentality, and an art. Till next time!

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