Greetings from the land of winter viruses. Ugh, my kids have been sick for weeks. My poor baby has had a fever for 8 days straight. We are well beyond cabin fever. Thankfully, I have been able to get out of the house here and there and I was still able to go to the Arnold with Stacy! Never heard of the Arnold? Or maybe you have wondered if it is an event for you? I am going to provide a little recap of our week end.
Stacy and I left for Columbus, OH early Friday morning. I got my kids on the bus and was picking up Stacy to hit the road within an hour of hugging my babies goodbye. I thought my youngest was well enough for school. Nope. Best mom ever but thankfully I have wonderful in laws that took care of my babies while I was gone (Because if you are a fire wife like me, you KNOW the big stuff ALWAYS happens when dad is on shift. ALWAYS.) We got to the convention center and were there maybe 45 seconds before a huge crowd was rushing at us. Arnold Schwarzenegger himself was leading the pack! He was walking too quickly for us to even get out our phones to snap a picture. We hit the expo to get a feel for what booths we would like to see throughout the week end. We thought the crowd was pretty full on Friday. No, it was not crowded at all on Friday. We were able to walk freely and bump into only a few people on Friday. Here is the crowd we experienced for the rest of the week end:
The crowds on Saturday and Sunday were insane. When Stacy snapped that picture of the crowd, I was holding onto her backpack and just laughing. So needless to say, we plan on getting to Columbus earlier next year so we have all day on Friday to do the expo. The expo is great. It is gianormous so you are bound to find something, or a few things, you need. A bulk of the booths are supplement companies. Stacy and I skipped all of those booths. Not all supplements are created equal. A lot of them are filled with junk we do not need so we opted to just bypass them altogether. We did note that not all companies are bad but we didn’t want to chance a lengthy sales pitch. A lot of companies hand out samples or free items. The freebies are an obvious plus but be prepared to wait in a long line if you want a freebie. The only line we waited in was the Quest line to try out their new protein chips. The chips are pretty good if you like salty snacks. I would call them more of a cracker than a chip, however. Within the expo are a couple of stages. They held various events from bodybuilding competitions to Strong Man competitions to WWE shows. WWE is ridiculous, by the way. Sorry, not sorry. We, of course, bought a couple of new gym shirts because who has enough gym tanks? Surely, not me and no, do not ask my husband that question. One night on Instagram, I found a cool little gadget that we braved the crowds to see and then purchase.
This cup is battery operated and will blend your protein shakes (or whatever) right in the cup! Need to wash it? Add hot soapy water to the cup and mix it. So fun! You can also throw it into your dishwasher after you unscrew the base that holds the batteries. Aside from supplements, there are a lot of booths with fit food. I disgusted Stacy while I tried liquid egg whites that tasted like cake batter. We also tried various protein bars, protein pudding, peanut butters, you get the idea. Both of us tried the following and bought it immediately:
OMG, this cashew butter is amazing. I have to restrain myself from just getting a spoon and eating the entire container in one sitting. We also bought their Pure PB which is basically PB2. However, Crazy Richard’s does not add anything but pressed peanuts to their product while PB2 does add some sweetener.
Aside from the expo, Stacy and I enjoyed watching the lifting competitions. We got to see some amazing lifters. We geeked out and sent some videos to our trainer while we were there. Something I absolutely love about the lifting community is the support given while someone is lifting. Each time a lifter walked out on stage, we were cheering. We were also yelling words of encouragement mid lift or while a lifter fought to lock out his/her arms or legs to complete a lift. It did not matter that we did not know anyone competing but we were still yelling along with the crowd. We even cheered for a athlete when a lift was not completed because we know the struggle and courage it takes to even attempt a lift. The Arnold has the best of the best athletes. We got to see record holders, PRs and even a guy pass out cold during a dead lift.
The girl pictured above was AMAZING. Her name is Kelly Charniga. I got a screen shot of her snatching 78 kg (172 lbs) on her second attempt. What is so amazing about her snatch is her flexibility to get so low to the ground. She catches so low that you think she is going to fall on her butt. She then just sits there for a few seconds and then slowly rises to stand while the crowd gasps in amazement. She does it all with minimal effort. Lifters, google her and watch in amazement with me.
In short, Stacy and I had a blast at the Arnold. We already plan to attend next year. We said more than once throughout the week end that we had found our people. We had found our people in a really, REALLY BIG crowd. Till next year, Arnold!