I have met some really awesome people (online creeper, I know but hear me out) that culminated in a 4 day meathead meetup in Denver, Colorado. I started my fitness accountability on Instagram and what started as a gym selfie here and there (or everywhere #noshame) has turned into something more. I connected with some inspiring, badass babes that turned into real life friendships. You are probably sick of hearing me preach about my gram’ friendships but they are kind of frickin’ amazing and I’m a person that counts ones’ blessings.
Confession: We survived 6 girls + 4 days + 1 bathroom for a Meathead Meetup in Denver, CO!
When I started my competing journey with Erin Dimond Fitness in 2015 I was fortunate to make some of my best friends and biggest supporters with other teammates. We will forever be grateful to Erin for what she has taught us and even more so for bringing us together.
After a year of online stalking Instagram friendship with my teammates, I bought a plane ticket to meet some of them in real life. In May of 2016 I traveled to Columbus, OH for a quick weekend to support these ladies at their bodybuilding show.
We quickly realized it was not long enough and soon @aflynn and I had plotted and planned a trip for her to come out West to visit in Denver, Colorado. It didn’t take long to convince @Afleegal to join in the fun from Pennsylvania. Luckily, @courtneykelo agreed to come out from Wisconsin and @amgriesheimer soon discovered she could make the weekend work too and flew in from Ohio. And @erindimondfitness would be a last minute welcomed addition and thus, the meathead meetup was born.
So many places to go in such little time! I wanted to show them everything I love about Denver but the list is long. I would love to give you the day by day itinerary but the brewery visits and mimosa drinking keep the details a bit foggy and this post has been a long time coming, so on with it.
Highlights of the inaugural Meathead Meetup:
Getting Around Denver
Lightrail: DIA has a new train that goes to and fro picking up and dropping off people at union station in the heart of Denver. It is only $9 for a one way ticket (cheaper than uber!) and easy to navigate for out of towners. It’s a great option when you have multiple people arriving at scattered times. And don’t forget to check out Union Station while you are there!
Uber or Lyft: Super convenient. Super cheap when hopping around central Denver. Super awesome. A quick app download allows you to order a car or extra large car for the 6 of us at inexpensive rates. It avoids any issues of having the extra drink and can be worth the extra money rather than trying to find a parking spot on a busy weekend night in downtown!
Me, myself and I: I am a small town Iowa kid that never thought I would tell you driving in Denver is a breeze. But Denver city streets are actually on a pretty neat and tidy grid system and GPS solves everything. Don’t worry if you need to rent a car.
Evo Bike Rental: Highly recommended for those sunny (slightly boozy) afternoons as a great way to see the city. It makes brewery tours a bit more lively. And if you really want to commit you could rent a peddle hopper and booze and bike simultaneously. We opted for rental bikes only and had a blast.
Eats and Drinks…Lots of Drinks
As a group of mostly bikini competitors and food conscious eaters and drinkers, we sometimes go months without a drop of alcohol or sweet treat. The Denver meetup was an excuse to let loose.
Snooze Eatery: When everyone arrived at Union station we headed right for snooze, a place notorious for the best brunch around town. As it was our first meal together as bikini babes we were all a bit tentative and I will admit I played it safe. I usually go for the flight of pancakes covered in syrup but I opted for an omelette instead. Luckily their savory menu is just as good as the sweet. It can be a really long wait so plan your visit accordingly.
M at Uptown, formerly Hamburger Mary’s: I would brunch everyday if I could and the meathead meetup was no exception. I wanted to take them somewhere with cool vibes they couldn’t find elsewhere and that offered tasty drinks on a patio to enjoy the November sunshine (Denver’s mother nature is a crazy lady!). We settled on M at Uptown, formerly Hamburger Mary’s in the Uptown neighborhood. This place is notirous for their sometimes outrageous behavior and drag queen antics (literally, drag queens). Our waiter didn’t disappoint and kept us ladies entertained and our drinks full. Sadly, the M at Uptown closed so this was an unknown farewell tour visit.
Lime: We had an impromptu lunch on 16th street mall and chose lime. The quaint patio was great for conversation and the drinks were refreshing if not hard to decide from the 160 choices of tequila! They have a great happy hour if you happen by at the right time.
Los Chigones: Yes, I love Mexican and we ate at another taco restaurant that I frequent. To be 100% honest, I have pics that provide the proof we went there but after a day of brewery touring on bikes dinner is a bit fuzzy. But this is my go-to for tacos and the spicy margarita is one of my fav cocktails around town. You could say I frequent it often. Check their taco menu while you are here. It won’t let you down. Image below is possibly why I can’t recall…
Ian’s Pizza: When you forget to eat dinner and need a late night fix Ian’s is the palce to go. They have something for everyone with their monster slices of weird topping tastiness. I can’t remember exactly what I ordered that night but I have never not liked a slice here. What I do remember is the totally weird, Thanksgiving pizza @Afleegal had that featured turkey and cranberry sauce and I will venture to say it is in my top 3 of best damn pizzas!
Voo Doo Donut: @Aflynn requested a visit to VooDoo Donut that did not disappoint. VooDoo Donut is a specialized, funky donut shop that offers donuts covered in fruit loops and oreos among other tasty varieties. I have since honed my order to the butterfinger cake donut but I still want to try them all. The Ol Dirty Bastard (real name) is a favorite of mine as well. This place is worth the visit but the line can get long. But make a note, it’s open 24 hours (you read that right!) and visit at an off time.
And The Drinks!
10 Barrel Brewing: This place was relatively new at the time but quenched our thirst, none the less. I was excited to show them the Denver rooftop patio’s that make my summer heart happy. While smaller, the patio still provides some excellent RINO views and @Afleegals beer flight hit the spot.
Tap Fourteen: Deceiving as they have over 70 Colorado craft beers on tap. A great spot for a cold one that also features a downtown patio rooftop.
First Draft Taproom: I love taking visitors to First Draft to try the self serve brewery concept. Upon entering you give them your credit card and they supply you with a beer card for tasting. You are charged by the ounce and check out upon leaving. You grab a cup, hold your issued beer card to the tap and pour yourself as much or little as you want. It’s a great opportunity to try a lot of different beers.
There were a few more brewery pit stops on our bike tour of the RINO area but needless to say, I can only describe the a picnic table I sat at on some patio so let’s just leave it at that.
Infinite Monkey Theorem Urban Winery: Denver is full of breweries but craft beer isn’t for everyone (gasp, I know!). We have some admitted winos in the group so we jumped on our bikes and pedaled to the Infinite Monkey Theorem Urban Winery where they feature wine on tap and a killer outdoors patio.
We didn’t entirely eat and drink our weekend away. We had ambitions about daily gym dates but we found ourselves wanting to enjoy the break and each other’s company. But we did manage to break a sweat on a few occasions as well as catch some city sites.
TruFit Cherry Creek: As a member of the suburbs Trufit I had been to the new cherry creek location to visit and knew it was a sparkling facility that would be perfect for a group workout. They were happy to assist our group (we paid, not a free plug here) and we wasted no time taking a selfie. We started on their cardio equipment before taking over their crossfit room where Erin put us through a solid leg day workout.
Red Rocks Amphitheater: Red Rocks is a “don’t miss” for anyone visiting. I don’t think there is such a thing as a bad concert there and they offer a Monday night movie series in the summer. But for meatheads, the views are breathtaking during a workout. They have hiking trails for all levels or a million stairs to do as you your legs allow. We opted for an easy hiking trail that provided plenty of beautiful scenery for photo ops. Our Trufit workout left our legs shaking so we opted to take in the views and pics from above the amphitheater after our hike and call it a day.
16th street mall: Lots to shop. Lots to look at. Entertainment a plenty. And a great way to get your steps in. Or if you’re lazy they have a free shuttle that continuously runs up and down the length of the outdoors mall.
Seeley Photo: To end our trip, we documented it with a glitter photoshoot with Seeley Photo. I’m still finding glitter a year later but it was so worth it as I will never forget the experience. We showed up bright and early with mimosa fixins’ and were greeted by Seeley’s team and more mimosas. We liked where this was going! Two at a time we took turns stripping down while the Seeley team covered us in legit, straight up breakfast syrup followed by glitter everywhere (even there!). With a mimosa in hand we smelled like the best brunch ever. Seeley was helpful and fun and coached us through mini shoots while we happily sipped our drinks. There might have been shots of tequila in there somewhere too. We’ll never tell! The shoot was so much fun and I have a lot of great glitter shots but by far this is my favorite picture taken that day and maybe ever. Seeley is full of creativity and captures your finest meathead moments in various styles. If you ever get a chance to shoot with him, do it!
I sometimes can’t find the words to explain how these odd friendships came about. But I know these are my people. I had never even met @courtneykelo before this trip. We immediately hugged each other when I picked her up at the airport and haven’t looked back since. She’s now my #1 snapchat friend (sorry, bf). I will follow @aflynn across America to see her again (literally, Vegas or bust when she moves). And she never tires of random texts from me. Also, her husband is pretty great too! Good people, I tell ya! @amgriesheimer is one of the sweetest humans I have ever met, full of kind words. @Afleegal brings you to happy tears of laughter. She puts off those good feeling vibes always and you can’t help but want to hang out longer. And @ErinDimnodFitness is strong in more ways than one, showing us grace in adversity and bravery/badassery in breakable moments. Her online business of personal training has become so much more to this group of amazing meathead babes. We encourage and support each other fiercely. We high five and recognize. And we also pick each other up from our lowest depths and dust them off before setting one another on our way again. I don’t think I could make it through a prep without them. Or life in general. They are just that damn great and I hope they know that.
More surprising to us was the outpouring of meathead babe love and support and encouragement to do another…
…And so we are. In less than a week I am flying to Pittsburgh for the 2nd annual meathead meetup. Not an official thing, but it’s our thing and I get to see my favorite people and meet even more babes in the process. If you happen to be in Pittsburgh next weekend, we’ll be there painting the town! Drop us a line!
Cheers to Meathead babe Friendships, creepy beginnings or not!