Leveling Up Every Day – Camp Nerd Fitness 2014 Recap

nerds at camp

Camp for Nerds

It’s nine in the morning. There’s a chill as the mist climbs down from the green hills of Georgia. Thirty-five feet in the air, I’m hanging onto a rope with white knuckles, praying for a swift death.

Okay, so I might be a little over-dramatic, but this is how I felt on the Odyssey Ropes Course at Camp Nerd Fitness this weekend.

AKA, the greatest weekend ever.

Camp Nerd Fitness was the brainchild of one Steve Kamb, founder of nerdfitness.com. I have been an active member of the community and avid reader of the blog for a couple of years so I decided to take a weekend out of my life and go meet some fellow nerds. That was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

On September 18th, I flew to Atlanta from Houston and caught a shuttle to a summer camp ground out in the country. By the way, if you’ve never been to Georgia, it kinda looks like Middle Earth, except fewer volcanoes and more goats on roofs.

Little did I know that I was on my way to an epic adventure. Immediately on the shuttle I talked to and met with the most incredible people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. There, someone I had just met (thank you, Dani Riekwel) encouraged me to update this blog (more on my absence later) and kicked me in the butt (figuratively). And I hadn’t even reached camp yet.

At the camp, we started off the weekend with a welcome ceremony and a wonderful paleo dinner. After that, I had my choice between Cards Against Humanity, video games, karaoke and so many more awesome things.

When I got back to my room, I walked out onto the patio and spent a good portion of the evening just sitting and looking at the millions of stars in the sky while listening to the sounds of nature (seriously, I think those people who make those “relaxing sounds” CDs record them in Georgia).

ropes course

I am the master of fear

The next morning at 9am, it was time for the ropes challenge. I signed up for it a few weeks earlier with a feeling of dread. I was nervous about it up until the event. When I actually got there, put on the gear, went through the tutorials and then saw just how high I was, I went into panic mode.

In an earlier post about a parkour event I went to, I mentioned my extreme fear of heights. This was kind of like that x1000.

But I worked with an indescribably wonderful team of seven other people. Together, we made it through the course. Good news is I did not die after all. Even though I had blisters on my hands from my death grip and I was crying like a baby, I made it through and even laughed at the end of it. Once again I looked my fear in the face and laughed (and cried).  A special thanks to my team for their encouragement and support.

assassin's creed in real life

All the things, so little time

After my battle against fear, I had my choice of a ton of activities, workshops and seminars to attend. There were so many things, it was hard to choose which to do. I worked on grip strength with Jim Bathurst, Kung Fu and Game of Thrones combat training with Dakao Do, and Tricking (cartwheels, flips, and tornado kicks, acrobatics) with Anthony Mychal.  And in between it all, ate fantastic paleo meals. In the evening, the nerds had an epic costume party under the stars.

The next day was packed full again. I took a workshop called “Assassin’s Creed: In Real Life” (as cool as it sounds). I practiced some of my parkour skills with a large group of incredible people who put everything they had into the session. It ended in bruises and some face planting, but overall we had a fun time.

One workshop that stuck out for me was called “Basics of Inversions” which was taught by Jim Bathurst. Within 30 minutes of the class, I was on my way to doing freestanding headstands and handstands – two things I thought I was nowhere even close to doing. Now I know after learning from Jim, that I will be able to do those things completely very soon.

During the camp there were also great seminars including a panel of success stories and learning how to build your own Batcave.

I could write an entire post about each of these classes and seminars. And I probably will.

The final night, I attended the greatest party I’ve ever been to. Rubik’s Cube themed, we all started off with the six cube colors and had to barter and trade items of clothing until we had all one color.

airport friends

100+ New Friends

The absolute best part of the camp was the people who attended. You know how there’s always that one person in a large group of people who is kind of a jerk and ruins things for people? Well, that wasn’t the case at this camp. Every single person was kind, intelligent, amazing, wonderful, funny…the list goes on and on. I have never made so many friends – well, ever, let alone in one weekend.

As I write this article, my inbox and Facebook notifications are exploding with super excited nerds eager to keep in touch.

And more than that, every single one of them has encouraged me to keep following my dreams, to continue my journey. They reminded me that life is an adventure and that I can rise to the challenges I am faced with.

This is probably the longest article I’ve ever written and there’s still so much more to tell. I can only touch on the surface of how incredible Camp Nerd Fitness was. There has been nothing like this ever before, but it is likely that it will happen again.

If you get a chance, read the Nerd Fitness blog, get involved in the community and if you can, go to the next Camp Nerd Fitness. And if you can’t, then live like you’re already there. Make connections, face your fears, improve yourself every single day. I guarantee that will change your life.

Tell me about any event in your life that has encouraged you or motivated you. Write in the comments below.


All photos published with permission from Will Byington Photography 2014 and Nerd Fitness


12 Responses to “Leveling Up Every Day – Camp Nerd Fitness 2014 Recap”

  1. Dani Website

    Great stuff, Devyn. It truly was an amazing experience, and I find it difficult to put into words the atmosphere of care and understanding that went on there. I’m looking forward to hearing more from you!

    • Devyn Website

      Thank you, Dani! And Thank you for being one of those who made it such a wonderful atmosphere. And thank you for the kick in the butt to get back to the blog!

  2. James Ranson Website

    Hi Devyn! I’m bummed we didn’t get to hang out or talk much during CNF itself–we’ll have to remedy that next year! (I’m going to do the ropes course next year too!) Really great post here, thanks so much for sharing your experience.

    Oh, and you mentioned wanting to see other people’s write-ups; mine is at http://heldforranson.com/whos-a-hero/. Hope you enjoy it!


    • Devyn Website

      Thank you! I didn’t feel brave at the time because my team was so cool, even those who had their own fear. But afterward, I realized that I had to compare myself to me and I achieved quite a bit!

  3. Thomas Frank Website

    Love this recap, Devyn!

    In particular, I love how you overcame your fear of doing the ropes course. Even if you were afraid, you kept your cool and we all made good time 🙂

    Personally, the powerlifting competition was what really got me motivated to come home and keep up the CampNF365 ideal. Seeing everyone lift a ton of weight, I can’t help but want to get better.

    • Devyn Website

      Overcoming fear is a big part of what makes life worth living. If we live inside our little cave, knowing the sun is out there for us to enjoy, is it really living if we never go out in the sunlight?

      I heard the powerlifting thing was very popular at camp. I’m so glad it was motivating. Camp really did fit a lot of different personality and fitness types.

      Hope to see you at CNF2015


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