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The Fit Expo 2005
Friday, February 18 - Energy Drinks and Aerobicizing

kipling sausalito backpack When you're attending an event like the Fit Expo, the IDEA convention, or anything else with a large exhibition hall, you know you're going to be dragging home loads of promotional items and goodies. Lugging around a loaded backpack or duffel bag is not much fun — as I've learned from experience. So this time around, I arrive at the convention armed with a Kipling Sausalito Backpack on wheels. It's perhaps my smartest move of the weekend. (I certainly wind up making a few false steps during several aerobic classes, but that's to be expected!)

(Article continued below.)

Obus Forme 3:00 p.m. I'm at the Expo for no more than five minutes when I snatch up my first promotional item — a very cool back massager from the Obus Forme booth. Obus Forme is a feel-good company — it offers a host of back, foot, and sleep therapy items, all of which promote wellness and many of which feel very good. They also offer carefully engineered, support-system backpacks. I do my own back a favor by keeping my Kipling backpack in roller mode as much as possible.

Obus Forme freebies

Because I am a bit early, I catch a few minutes of Madonna Grimes' dancers rehearsing their steps before the actual performance. These people really know their stuff. When the show starts they are right on target. I'll be taking Ms. Grimes' "Afro-Latin Dance" class in about an hour and a half, and I'm looking forward to it.

Madonna Grimes Dance Troupe

Until the class starts, I wander around the Exhibition Hall to see what's being offered this time around. For 2005, it seems that energy drinks are the big thing. The Monster booth is handing out full cans of the stuff, and since I already drink the Lo-Carb version, I am thrilled - no shopping for Monster for the whole weekend! There are also a host of new drinks to try. One of them is a sparkling beverage called Tibetan Tea. The tea and herb blend is actually quite tasty, even for someone like me, who doesn't really like tea. I am already pretty well energized by the time I pass by the JavaFit booth. JavaFit is apparently some sort of hyper-powered coffee that's supposed to help burn fat (in conjunction with a regular exercise program, of course). I am offered a sample by one of the girls working the booth (and I just want to say every girl working a booth at the Expo is tanned, shapely and skimpily dressed. Nice for the guys, but a little disconcerting for many of the women attendees!) Even though the sample is only a couple of ounces, combined with everything else I have already consumed, it is enough to make me bounce off the walls. It becomes obvious fairly quickly that I can only sample so many energy beverages per day - otherwise I may self-destruct!

dahn yoga aura In the midst of all the hard-body supplements and heavy metal is a booth for something called Dahn Yoga. They are offering to read auras for just $5, so I plunk down a bill. Before being read by their machine, one of their helpers gives me an incredible neck and shoulder rub. No wonder my aura shows mostly blue and green! The Dahn guy who interprets my aura claims it all has to do with having healing energy and receiving high spiritual teachings. Personally, I think it was more the massage. There is not much red and orange showing, which indicates a lack of physical activity. They have that one right — I haven't worked out yet today. So I head over to dance studio in the conference hall for Madonna Grimes' lesson.

train hard or go home

5:00 p.m. While watching Madonna Grimes' pro dancers earlier was inspiring, it's clear from the first misstep that almost nobody in this evening's class is going to be filling in for any of them soon! In spite of a room full of ineptitude (not a small amount emanating from Yours Truly), Madonna is the epitome of patience and enthusiasm. She orders the laggers to move from their places holding up the walls and gets them dancing. She offers up a variety of shimmies and hip circles that I can do because of my belly dance training, and spices it up with a lot of wild African style moves. We cross the room in a line, flexing our spines and leaping around in wide-legged squats. Thankfully, perfection is not expected and everyone has a sweaty good time (something that inevitably happens at one of Madonna Grimes' classes).

6:45 p.m. Award-winning journalist and bodybuilding emcee Lonnie Teper lectures us on "8 Keys to a Slimmer Waistline." Teper's tips are sensible and down-to-earth (quite a difference from the glib promises seen at some of the exhibition booths). Eat less but more often. Exercise more. Lose body fat by lifting weights. Cycle calories to keep your metabolism from stalling out - eat a little more one day, a little less the next. Above all, set realistic goals and be patient. Hmm. Sounds a lot like the kind of advice I've been dishing out to All Spirit Fitness readers!

Billy Blanks bootcamp 7:15 p.m. I don't walk - I run back to the exhibition hall to see Billy Blanks demonstrate his latest Bootcamp workout. I'm not in time to be one of the group in front of the stage who are exercising along with him, but I wish I were. It looks like fun! It even seems fun when Blanks' assistants pull out the routine's secret weapons — resistance bands to increase the toning activity when you're kicking and punching. Blanks is amazing — his moves are precise and his positive energy fills the exhibition hall. When he reveals that he will turn 50 this year, it's almost unbelievable. The only evidence of his age is the fact that his grown daughter, Shellie, is exercising onstage right alongside him (and performing the moves with as much precision as her father). Blanks' event is the last one I attend for the night, and even though I haven't participated, it leaves me energized.

billy blanks bootcamp

Next page >> Saturday, February 19 — Big Men, Big Weights, Workouts and Burnout >> Page 1, 2, 3, 4

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