Thursday, October 24, 2013

EspnW Summit - An Amazing Experience

Life has been moving at the speed of light lately and I literally haven't had a spare moment to write this post. Between moving to a new house, the espnW Summit, heading to San Francisco to run my third Nike Women's Marathon and multiple visits from family members, I have barely had time to sleep. But finally, I am going to share with you what I learned at the espnW Women + Sports Summit. 

Let's start with day one. I posted a very brief post at the summit, but now you are in for the long haul! I arrived at the summit about an hour late due to flight delays, but that wasn't too much of a problem. I checked in at the registration table and picked up my credentials. EspnW sure knows how to make someone feel like a VIP! 


Following check-in I headed to the conference room for the opening remarks and to have dinner. Due to rain, the summit began indoors. Michelle Kwan, Olympic Silver Medalist in figure skating, was giving an opening keynote and I was really impressed with what she had to say. She is helping with the 2015 World Games - Special Olympics in LA. It's inspiring to see and hear how what these athletes have accomplished and to see an Olympian giving back and continuing to grow her legacy.

Michelle Kwan and my wonderful new friends and seat-mates for dinner.

The evening program had a large focus on the 2015 World Games and inspired me to see what I can do to get involved. I would love to go down to LA to help out. We'll see where I am at closer to 2015 and maybe I can make that dream a reality.

That evening we also enjoyed one of the film's in espnW's "Nine for Nine" series featuring incredible athletes in women's sports. Julie Foudy and Mia Hamm were on hand to talk about and answer questions about their amazing soccer season in 1999 and the film Foudy directed "The 99ers" was shown. These women did so much for soccer and women in sports and are continuing today. INSPIRING!

Under Armour Swag Bag

What is a women's sports conference without a great sponsor like Under Armour to provide the ladies attending with great new gear? They had an entire gifting suite where we could go and pick out items to wear for the weekend for our sports activities. Yes, there were also many opportunities to do different sports classes. I took full advantage! 

I went on a run with the New York Road Runners, where I met and ran with Alana Golab, from Digital Royalty, she is super sweet by the way! I also did yoga with Under Armour's own trainer, Shauna Harrison and tried SURFSET Fitness - which is basically indoor surfing. The surfboard lays atop balance balls and is tethered, but makes you feel like you are surfing. Super fun and super tough!

An amazing artist putting the speakers words into art during the summit

During the entire summit espnW had an artist depicting the speakers words into pictures and short quotes. I thought this was an amazing way to show what we were learning in a new and fun way. Wish I could take sweet notes like these! I'm a sports girl, not an artist, but I can appreciate true talent when I see it. Props to our great artist!

Amy Jo Martin giving a presentation on Personal Branding with Alana Golab

I had the pleasure of meeting Amy Jo Martin, the founder of Digital Royalty. It was great to meet her in person. She has definitely helped me to expand my personal brand on social media and actually is one of the reasons that I ended up getting an invite to this summit. I was able to come because of the power of social media and I am grateful for being given such a chance. I have taken some of her Digital Royalty University classes and have benefitted from her experience and insight. 

The Summit Evening Session - Gorgeous!

I also had the pleasure of meeting Heidi Burgett who works in communications for Nike. I had been interacting with her via social media for a while and it was great to finally meet! Of course, I asked her for advice on how to get to work for Nike and she said (I'm paraphrasing): Be the best at what you do and someone will find you. Great advice and what drives me to do what I do in the social world and at my job.

 Summit Action Plan - My favorite runner, Allyson Felix, gave the closing remarks

The closing remarks were given by Allyson Felix and some up and coming female athletes, Taylor Townsend, Sydney Leroux, Lakey Peterson and Victoria Arlen. It's exciting to see and hear what these talented ladies are doing in their sports and to give back to sport. The summit ended with an action plan that sparked a desire in me to really go out and focus on getting more women active and promoting the growth of female sports!

Post Summit Golf at the St. Regis Monarch Beach

After the summit I took a golf lesson at the St. Regis Monarch as one of the benefits of attending the summit and gained some much needed tips for improving my golf game. It was only my second time playing, so I thought I did pretty well. The course was beautiful as well, right along the ocean!

In conclusion, the conference was the best experience ever! I learned so much and was inspired to do so much more and seek out opportunities. I wish I could relay every moment to you, but that would be a very long post! If you want to learn more check out the highlights at espnW.com. Be inspired.

~Karen