3.09.2011

Arnold Classic - Sports Festival Expo


The amazing Arnold Classic - Sports Festival Expo, comes to Columbus Ohio, every 1st weekend in March. I attended last year, for the first time, and could not believe what I experienced.

Over 700 booths of health and fitness gadgets, protein shakes and powders, supplements, water bottles, gym bags, clothing, food delivery companies, Oxygen Magazine, GNC, Body Building.com, Tosca Reno, Jennifer Hendershott, Monica Brant, Jay Culter, Alicia Marie, and SO much more. I knew last year, nothing was going to keep me away again this year. Even the large gym equipment is set up and demonstrated. This Expo is for fitness individuals, gym owners, trainers, competitors and even those looking to just start out on a new healthy lifestyle!

So this past saturday morning, with a packed car and two dear friends, we made our 5.5 hour trip to Columbus. Stopping at a wonderful hotel, which had parking and shuttle bus to the event. We had a fantastic dinner at the hotel restaurant, popped a bottle of wine in our room (hey, it was a girl's weekend out), and got pumped up for the next morning.
Doors to a very lengthy hallway in the center were starting to crowd with people over an hour and a half prior to the expo opening. Lines to the ATM's were almost as long as to the ticket booths! There is so much to see and purchase once inside, one must be prepared.

Entering the Expo, was a rush of people grabbing up free Expo bags, at the nearest booth they could find. I personally had my heart set on finding the Fight Chix booth, as I knew I wanted to purchase their Fight Chix purse. (Review coming soon on Fight Chix.com).

At the Jan Tanna booth, they started body painting early in the day and continued throughout the day on Sunday. They had a similar booth last year where they painted a women to look like an avatar.

As we continued to shop, and walk our way around curiously polite crowds, we heard screams and cheers from a few isles over. Following Jay Cutler on FB and seeing the time he posted his entrance, I am now sure it was him "entering the building". He had the longest line for autographs and pictures out of anyone there. He is quite amazing to see in person. Larger than life you could easily say.

A highlight of my day at the Expo is always meeting those who I look up to and admire. And I have so many. But top of my list is Ms. Jamie Eason. With a body height close to mine, she gives me great inspiration to look and achieve all my goals and all my potential. Her articles in Oxygen are encouraging and motivating to me each month. Knowing I could not leave the Arnold this year without seeing her, we scooted over to the Body Building.com booth. Sadly no Jamie.

It was only a short time later I saw a small blonde quickly being surrounded, while walking though the crowds. I could not let her just walk on by. So after she took some shots with fans and posed for cameras it was my turn to "move in." She was so polite and sweet. I got a few hugs and she felt like a long lost friend. I love when you meet someone you have seen in magazines, followed their career, and they don't let you down with personality. We chatted for a while and she graciously took a few pictures with me and then had her photographer (thank you Bobby Black.com) take a picture for her Facebook.

I must say I think I look like a star struck geek here, but am still so proud of this shot. And the opportunity to meet her.

This year I had a chance to talk to Jennifer Nicole Lee and purchased a spicy poster for my hubby which Jennifer signed for him. I also came home with two autographs from Monica Brant, again signed for the husband. He has not yet gone to this event. The last two years have been girls only. I know he would much enjoy himself but the overload of shopping may do him in.

If you have not yet been to the Arnold Classic or Expo, make time next year to go. Even if it's a bit of a drive, it's so worth it. Remember to book your hotel far in advance as with THOUSANDS of attendees the room sell out fast. I am ready to reserve my room already for next year!

All weekend consists of tons of events and shows. It's so much to explain so I have attached this years Arnold YouTube. Enjoy!




If you have been to the Expo in the past or this year, please comment and share your favorite stories. Love to hear from you!

1 comment:

Susan said...

Oh Wow the Arnold looks like so much fun, love the photos. Glad you enjoyed it. Would love to go one year.

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