Saturday, September 12, 2015

NerdStrong Panel at LBCC

A few days ago I got a call from coach Kimi from NerdStrong Gym asking if I wanted to be on a NerdStrong Gym panel at Long Beach Comic Con. This was a last minute thing as Long Beach contacted the gym a few days prior and as asked if they wanted to slot that had just opened up. Coach Kimi said that she wanted me to be part of the panel because I'm the unofficial community leader, which I guess is true as I did started and run the "We Are NerdStrong" group on Facebook as well as blog, tweet, Facebook and Instagram the heck out of the gym.

My family is having a BBQ today but I figured I could arrive later and then stay longer then I had planned. So I said yes, I'd be honored be represent NerdStrong at the Long Beach Comic Con.

So this morning I opted to skip the gym because the earliest I could go would be 9am and the panel started at 11:30 and I didn't want to be late and thankfully I did as getting to the con was horrible. It took about 45 minutes or so to drive to Long Beach and traffic was fine but when I got to the convention center itself traffic was at a stand still. There were no police directing traffic and there were cars everywhere. I wanted in line for almost an hour to get into the convention center parking and when I finally got close where I could see entrance they announced that it was full... I couldn't believe it. I drove around for a few more minutes before finding parking at a mall across the street from the convention center. I didn't care what I had to pay.. I was so done with being in the car and traffic.

Once at the con I texted coach Andrew and he explained where I had to go to get my "Pro" badge, I got one for free because I was on the panel. Well since it was last minute my name wasn't on the list so they wouldn't give me a badge... at first. I quickly contacted Andrew and he and David came over and sorted things out so I finally had my badge and it was about 11am. The three of us headed over to the room where the panel was happening.

As we waited Shannon (another NerdStrong member) arrived, she was on the panel as well and we kind of stuck closely together as we were both kind of nervous being on the panel.  When the panel before ours got out we headed inside and up to the main guest table. We weren't sure if Kimi was going to make it on time but luckily she arrived minutes before the panel was to begin. Kimi was the moderator, Andrew and David were the owners and Shannon and I were the members.

This panel was added last minute so all we had in the schedule book was our name NerdStrong. There was no description of what it was or guest names... nothing. But we still had a decent turn out. The room could hold about 100 people and we had about 25 or so through out the panel.

As I said I was nervous at the beginning as I have a fear of public speaking... but once the panel started and Kimi started asking her questions I kind of relaxed and just started talking like I would to a group of friends. Kimi had sent me a list of possible questions the night before so I had an idea of what we were going to talk about. I think all four of us (Andrew, David, Shannon and I) answered the same amount of questions. Of course the coached talked about the gym and how it all started while Shannon and I talked more about the experience and how it's changed our lives. About half way through the panel loud music could be heard coming from the panel next door, but we carried on the best we could. It was a fun time, we had lots of laughs and got the word out about NerdStrong.

Overall I think the panel was a huge success for being a last minute addition. I want to thank Kimi for asking me to join the panel. This was my very first con panel and it was a pretty good experience.

Afterwards Shannon and I headed to the con floor and walked around a bit until I ran into friends Jes and Brett and then walked around for an hour with them. I left the con around 3pm and then headed to my family's BBQ where I had a fantastic time and didn't get home until around 11pm... it was a pretty good day.

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