Saturday, May 24, 2014

Fitness & fun - FILEX 2014

Yes, I know: Filex was way back in early April. I had planned on blogging about it within a few days, but life decided to chuck some not-so-great things my way. Damn you, life! So this draft has been hanging around waiting to be finished for almost seven weeks. I'd have just ignored it and moved on, but the photos were already uploaded, so here you go...

I've attended Filex two or three times previously in Sydney and have always learned a lot and had more fun than you'd think you could cram into one weekend. I hadn't been since 2010 (or was it 2009?), as it's an expensive exercise when you have to travel interstate for a three day convention, and I'd had other financial priorities over the past few years. 

But this year, the whole shebang was moved to Melbourne, where it's staying for the next four years or so. Woohoo! No excuses, I was going. 

It was a grey start to the weekend, but that didn't dampen anybody's spirit. I caught the train to the city, armed myself with coffee and got set for a huge weekend.

The keynote presentation got off to a banging start with Brazilian dancers, wearing not much besides feathers on their heads. That was the highlight...

As usual, half an hour into the speechy part of the keynote, I was bored out of my brain, so slipped out and went to check out the Australian Fitness Expo next door instead.

The rest of the program managed to hold my attention though... This year I only chose one hands-on session, which was a really great bodyweight based training workshop run by Dan McDonogh. The rest were lectures on various subjects and apart from one that got a bit kooky for my liking (chakras and faux-science, aargh!), were all good value. By the way, if you ever get the opportunity to attend a presentation by either dietitian Joanna McMillan or Len Kravitz (the exercise scientist, not the rock star), take it. Those two were my stand-out presenters of the weekend. Their sessions were lots of fun, as well as really informative.

The Melbourne Convention Centre was a great venue. Except for the toilet queues. *sigh* Why do they never build public venues with enough women's toilets? And the stairs were a workout in themselves. I was up and down those suckers so many times over the weekend getting to and from my sessions, I swear my butt was noticeably perkier by Monday.

The location at South Wharf provided plenty of delicious choices for lunch, like these mussels from Bangpop.

Or second breakfast at the Boat Builders' Yard

If you're in Melbourne and you haven't checked out the South Wharf development yet, shame on you! Get yourself down there, pronto.

There were freebies from the Australian Fitness Expo, and even some from FILEX presenters.

The sun even shone on the final day....

....Necessitating the use of deck chairs on the boardwalk

Plus I got to hang out with some old mates. One of the best parts of Filex is catching up with fitness industry friends from interstate. *waves to Liz and Caroline*

And fit chicks always know where to find the best food - Like dinner at Movida Next Door. I've been promising to take Liz there for ages, and we finally managed to coordinate it. We discovered that if you're stupidly early, you can walk right in and get a seat at the bar. No queueing for early-birds like us! :)

We also got to take a look at the latest street art in Hosier Lane

 And even caught some artists in action

There was way more to Filex than I've described here, but hey, it was weeks ago now and I've had a lot of other things on my mind, so this is all you get. Was it worth the money? As always, YES. If you're in the fitness industry, you've never been and you aren't sure about it, I highly recommend it.

Did anybody attend Filex this year? Or even the Fitness Expo? What did you think?