I meant to blog when I was at PaleoFX this past week. I really did. I even had someone ELSE write a post for me but I didn’t even have time to post it.
I also didn’t take any pictures. I realized about 15 minutes into the conference that I was much better off living in the moment, experiencing everything and letting other people take pictures and spend the time uploading them. So, if anyone has any pictures of me, please tag them! I’d love to see them.
I was on the speaker support team for PaleoFX, and just like at AHS, I was constantly running around, trying to make sure the speakers were where they were supposed to be. I tell you, it’s like herding cats. I was run off my feet, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Because in between the panic, the drama and the insanity (which I hope we managed to veil from the attendees) there were moments of pure joy. Moments when I learned things that explained my past, my present and will help me with my future. There were people I met and connected with that I am now proud to call friends. Just like at AHS, those of us at PaleoFX found a family.
Most of us aren’t lucky enough to have a community of Paleo friends living in our neighborhood. Some of us are the only Paleo people we know in real life. This is why events like PaleoFX are so important. Sure, we’re learning. Sure, we’re meeting people that have changed our lives. Sure, we might learn a new recipe or two, but it’s really meeting people that are just like us that is the true value of an event like this for me. We know that our ancestors lived in communities, were raised by the village and had support from all sides. We don’t live in that world anymore. We’re alone in our boxes, separated from family by oceans and even further isolated from society because we wear weird shoes and don’t eat the same food as everyone else. I think joining a CrossFit box is akin to joining a Church for some of us: it’s the only community we have.
So when people ask me to tell them what I learned at PaleoFX, I tell them I learned that I’m not alone. That I’m not weird and that I’m not crazy, either. That there are thousands of people out there, just like me, who are searching for their families. We’ve found some of them on Twitter and Facebook, but it’s nothing like meeting them for real. Seeing pupils dilate, smiles and body language. After all, we’re animals who are programmed to read micro-reactions on the faces of those we encounter. We can smell fear and sense hostility. We can also read joy, elation, surprise and compassion in the faces of those around us. We just can’t do that online.
So what did I learn at PaleoFX 2012? I learned that you should go to PaleoFX 2013. Or the AHS at Harvard this year. Get out and meet more people just like you so you can form a tribe, too. In the meantime, I did come across a few people that I need to introduce you to:
1. Dean Dwyer A fellow Canadian, this guy is a Paleo success story and is really freakin’ hilarious. He provided some comic relief during the conference and was just a joy to be around. He blogs at www.beingprimal.com and has a new book coming out soon called Make Shi(f)t Happen. His presentation was one of the most informative of the week. I’ll be blogging about some of his talk later on this spring; after all, some of his advice is to shamelessly ‘steal’ material, so there you go, Dean, I’m swipin’ from you.
2. Dr. Jack Kruse This famous neurologist was the keynote speaker at PaleoFX. He has stopped his traditional practice and is now in the business of paying it forward. He blogs at www.jackkruse.com. I’ll be starting cold thermogenesis (CT) thanks to him and plan on kicking some serious ass at my next wrestling match. He also highlighted, quite by chance, a medical condition which killed my Nana. We never knew exactly what had happened to her, but now that I have this information, I can try to prevent the same thing from happening to the other women in my family. Thank you Jack, I hope to run out of lighter fluid from all the damn candles I light along the way. :)
3. Orleatha and Chris Smith This power couple is going to take the Paleo world by storm. I have never met such a dynamic, intelligent, good-looking couple who also have world class cooking skills, a head for business like Donald Trump and a passion to help others like you wouldn’t believe. Orleatha has lost more weight than I have and is leading by example. When I first met her, she glowed. As I got to know her, her glow increased and enveloped the people surrounding her. Like I said, watch out for this one. She blogs at www.mrspaleo.blogspot.com. Make sure you check out her post about cooking once a month (COAM) instead of every day. Orleatha and Chris have two young children and they have found a way to make Paleo work for them. Next time you’re thinking about going through a drive-thru, consider COAM instead. Check out her recipes too, they’re first class.
4. Darryl Edwards Darryl was quite clear when we met him that his fitness sessions would change our lives. I’m always up for some life-altering WODs, so I made sure I attended the first one I could. Am I ever glad I did. 40 minutes flew by like 40 seconds. I realized afterwards that I didn’t stop laughing the entire time. Playing piggy-pack tag and hopping like a bunny had me so exhilarated that I actually put on a demonstration for Chris and Orleatha in the Austin airport. Darryl wants people to put fun, functional movement into their lives in a way that enlivens our spirits and makes us stronger. He blogs at www.thefitnessexplorer.com and has a video channel on YouTube.
5. George Bryant George is a Marine. He can also string quite a few sentences together, can cook like a champ and is compassionate, friendly and intelligent. People like George make you question any stereotypes you may have. He is the brains (and brawn) behind Civilized Caveman Cooking Creations, a website full of recipes, tips, advice and great writing. George did a thorough round-up of PaleoFX, so if you’re looking for pictures and a run down of the conference itself, check out his page. Then, make one of his recipes. The only thing missing from his site is pictures of him in uniform. It’s probably a good thing – my husband is already a little worried about the crush I’ve developed. ;)
I also learned about Bulletproof Coffee and making my own Kombucha. I’ll never drink my coffee the same way again, and the Kombucha I had at the conference, well, let’s just say I won’t be buying expensive probiotics anymore. It is quite effective.
I’m very excited about PaleoFX 2013. I plan on presenting there and I would love to see you. I’ll bring the tequila, you bring the grass-fed beef, we’ll get together and literally chew the fat.
Now, it’s time for PrimalCon.