I am so excited to be attending Fitbloggin’ 2011 in May! I know, it’s almost half a year away, but still, I am SO EXCITED! I am re-vamping and polishing my solo performance and getting soooooooooo excited to meet friends who have meant so much to me but whom I have yet to meet in person.
After last year’s conference, I heard some random grumblings and read a few blog posts about how there were “cliques” that made some people feel uncomfortable or unwelcomed. Now I hate cliques more than anyone, but it occurs to me that someone might think that *I* am part of some clique. MizFit blogged about this and my response was, it’s not a clique, it’s a friendship, and if you feel left out, then … then what? Tough luck?
I can imagine that it would be tough to go to a conference and not know anybody. And everyone is all huggy and happy to see each other, and you’re just standing there against the wall, and thinking, this sucks. Everyone is in a clique! I’m going home NOW!
I don’t want that to happen.
Recently I saw that Alan had Tweeted that he was going to get a FREE HUGS shirt to wear to Fitbloggin’. And I thought about the clique grumblings and thought, what if a LOT of people wore FREE HUGS shirts? So if anybody was there on their own, they could just go up to some random person and get a free hug, and instantly they would feel not so alone. Right? Wouldn’t it be awesome if a WHOLE BUNCH OF PEOPLE wore the FREE HUGS shirt and NOBODY felt left out?? How awesome would that be?
So right now, Team Free Hugs has two people. I would love to grow that team between now and May 2011! The rules for membership are simple:
- You have to attend Fitbloggin’. Although I suppose you could also participate remotely, by Twitter. But I’ll leave that campaign to someone else to organize.
- You have to wear something visually conspicuous that says FREE HUGS. It could be a T-shirt that you purchase here, or that you make at home with an old undershirt and a Sharpie. Your choice. You could also tattoo it in Dayglo colors on your bicep. (MizFit?)
- You have to be willing to hug anyone who comes into your path looking like they WANT a hug. You’re GIVING hugs to people, not imposing them on anyone.
That’s it! Down with cliques! Up with hugs!
This is the T-shirt that I want.
Which one do you like best? Have you ever gone to a conference and felt alone? Would it have made a difference if you’d seen a bunch of people with open arms wearing this?
December 10, 2010 at 7:26 am
How fun is this!!???
December 10, 2010 at 9:08 am
Too cool!! Love it!
December 10, 2010 at 10:16 am
I’m in! We’ll be the Free Hugs Clique.
December 10, 2010 at 11:46 am
I am SO in!! I’m not a clique person either!
December 10, 2010 at 12:03 pm
I LOVE the FREE HUGS and ya’ll should know that I am totally in for this one BUT, I will not be paying %25 or more for a Tee – I will make my own or check out a thrift store!
AND, I really did not notice too many cliques at fitbloggin last year! Maybe I just didnt see it but I think everyone really was receptive to everyone else – or maybe I just push my way in everywhere I go!
December 10, 2010 at 12:30 pm
Making your own is a phenomenal idea! Tshirt, meet Sharpie! (or puffy fabric paint)
December 10, 2010 at 12:51 pm
I like that tee! I will be going to fitbloggin alone and have only met one (you) of the people attending. 🙂 I’m a lil nervous but it will be fun & the free hugs will make it even better! 🙂
December 10, 2010 at 1:33 pm
I’m totally wearing a Free Hugs shirt! Count me in. I’ll also consider other shirts, such as: “Fitness is a state of Mind” and “I’m in YOUR clique” Yep, it’s a go.
December 10, 2010 at 2:24 pm
AWESOME idea. I’m in!
December 10, 2010 at 3:33 pm
This warms my heart!!!
I love people, but I totally freak out in seas of them. HOWEVER, no matter how many folks are around, I will ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS HUG.
(I’m supersquishy up front, so I’m an awesome hug. I feel like a broken-in couch. 😀 )
I will be happily wearing a free hugs shirt, and promise to squeeze the stuffings out of anyone who needs it!!!
December 10, 2010 at 6:06 pm
Oh man, now I am SO SAD not to be going, because I would TOTALLY be on Team Free Hugs!
December 11, 2010 at 12:49 am
LOVE Team Free Hugs!!! I won’t be at Fit Bloggin’ but I’d be there hugging all the new e-friends I’ve made in the last few months!!! Down with cliques, up with hugs indeed!!! Have a great weekend.
December 11, 2010 at 3:54 pm
FABULOUS VIDEO! Great campaign for the conference.
December 13, 2010 at 12:48 pm
I love this. I’m an introvert by nature (although I can fake extrovert pretty well) and I love hugs so I can’t think of a better combination. Not only will I be sporting a shirt with “free hugs” I’ll be looking for them. 🙂
December 13, 2010 at 2:54 pm
I have a free hugs shirt! I make sure I’m in a social mood when I wear it, because people take me up on my word. Sometimes I’ll forget, and a stranger will come up and hug me lol. Have fun at fitblogging.
December 14, 2010 at 10:47 pm
December 16, 2010 at 6:06 pm
I’m totally for free hugs. My hubby is coming with me to Fitbloggin 11 and doesn’t know a soul, so I’d love to see him get some hugs and make some new friends, too. What a great idea, Alan. Thanks for inspiring Foodie and the rest of us!
December 17, 2010 at 12:08 pm
Cool idea! I’m really excited to attend FitBloggin’ and meet new blogging friends. 🙂
February 9, 2011 at 10:34 am
I do pretty well at conferences and networking events AND I am a total hugger. Now that I am going I would love to be on Team Free Hugs.
May 17, 2011 at 7:29 am
Oh god, thank you thank you thank you. I’m sooo nervous about being there alone but I’m starting to feel much better about it now.