Last month, No Meat Athlete quietly turned five years old. I’d have loved to have planned a big hoopla giveaway extravaganza, but alas, I’ve been working on something better.
But these are just the ones that have made it onto the blog. During the book tour, I heard dozens, maybe hundreds more, in person. And of course many, many more on social media. (My favorites are when people randomly run into each other wearing NMA shirts and then become friends.)
What’s really remarkable, though? All these stories and connections have happened without a place for them to happen.
But finally, we’ve built that place.
Over the last month, the NMA team and I have launched the No Meat Athlete Community site, a year in the works. We’ve rolled it out in stages, inviting in small new groups of NMA readers from the newsletter list every week or two, and in just that short time, we’ve had 1500 members join and create 1250+ posts.
But the new site isn’t just discussion boards. There’s a community blog, too, that’s specifically for inspiring stories like the ones I mentioned earlier. One or two a week, maybe even more as it grows. (Check out Kris’s story of losing 135 pounds, for example!)
I want this new site to facilitate friendships that are more than just online. Along with the general discussion boards, we’ve got forums for several of the most popular NMA cities, with more to come. There’s also a member map in the works, so you’ll be able to see who is nearby (completely optional to be listed, of course, and only detailed down to the zip code, for obvious reasons).
If you haven’t yet, check out the new NMA Community site. Sign up for a free account, read some stories, and join the discussion. There’s a lot to come, and I’d love for you to be a part of it.
5 New Live Events and Speaking Gigs
During two months on the road for the book tour last year, I had my fill of hotel rooms and being away from my wife and kids. I’ve basically been a hermit since then, but I’m ready to get back in the game.
If you’d like to come run, hear me speak, or hang out in person, here’s what I’ve got planned so far this year. I’m sure I’ll add a few more dates here and there, but I don’t need another travel hangover so it won’t be too much more than these. Hope you can make it to one!
1. Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half and Festival (Boston, MA, June 6-8, 2014)
A half marathon, 10K, and 5K in Boston. I’m doing it along with Jason Fitzgerald and a bunch of other bloggers, and I’m really looking forward to it. (No meetups are planned yet, but I’m sure we’ll do something.) If you’d like to come, you can use the coupon codes blognomeatathlete5&10 (for the Five & Dime 5K/10K combo), blognomeatathleteHalf (for the half marathon), and blognomeatathleteHat (for the Hat Trick, all three races).
2. The Woodstock Fruit Festival (Woodstock, NY, Session 1, August 17-24, 2014)
I’m not a fruitarian, not a raw foodist or even close. But I’ve always been curious … so what better than a week of fruit, camping and fun, put on by ultrarunner Mike Arnstein? I’ll be here for the first week, with my wife and kiddos, and all of us are excited about the vacation (especially my 4 year-old, who runs around and eats fruit all day anyway). The details aren’t yet set, but it’s likely that during the week I’ll lead a run, give a talk or two, and set up a table with NMA gear on the weekend. Plus lots of other speakers and activities — I’ve heard this event is a blast.
3. Health and Fitness Influencers Conference (St. Michaels, MD, October 26-28, 2014)
More and more I’m getting questions about how to start a blog, build a business you enjoy, etc., and that’s what this is. I’m going to give a presentation (topic TBD) along with a bunch of others who run businesses (online and off) in this field. What I’ve learned from going to conferences over the past few years is that the reason to go is never the content, always the connections. I’m looking forward to making lots of friends and hanging out for a few days. No website yet, but I’ll keep you posted.
4. New Year, New You (Marshall, TX, March 27-29, 2015)
This event isn’t until March 2015, but it’s a pretty big one (the website shows last year’s speakers). It’s in Marshall, Texas. I’m speaking at it, probably twice. Lots more details to come, I’m sure.
5. Assorted Vegfests (starting with Worcester, MA, April 6, 2014)
We’re going to try to have NMA represented at a LOT more Vegfests this year. It won’t always be me manning the table, but I plan to be at a few. In the next two months there’s the Worcester, MA Vegfest (this coming weekend, and it’ll be Wendy there) and Charlotte, NC in May (Wendy and me, most likely). Lots more too, just not finalized yet.
Hope to meet you in person if I haven’t yet!