I Went to Camp NerdFitness, Made Friends With 350 Nerds, And Leveled Up My Life


“But skinny dipping is Paleo swimming.”

It was midnight on Friday night and I was escorting a slightly inebriated Nerd on a quest for more alcohol, since her secret afterparty had gone dry. We had run into some potential authority figures- volunteers- and my new Nerd friend was explaining to them that she loved everyone… but only “super boring” people went to sleep at midnight, refused to consume more alcohol, or thought that skinny dipping in the lake was a Poor Life Choice.

They convinced her that they were volunteers… not Counselors… or otherwise authority figures that thought skinny dipping was a Bad Idea. Satisfied, she renewed her quest for alcohol, which was eventually procured. We returned to the afterparty with new recruits, and the revelry continued into the wee hours.

I attended Camp NerdFitness 2015, and this is what I learned:

The community is love; the community is power.

NerdFitness is the most Nontoxic (Fitness) Community I’ve ever seen. Rebels (as I will henceforth call the Nerds) come from all walks of life, races, creeds, nationalities, fitness abilities, etc, but play nice with each other, support each other, and help each other level up their lives whether it's by losing weight, getting stronger, getting out of debt, getting a better job, developing a better love life, etc. They have each other’s back, through good and ill.


The barbell is intimidating, but if you can experience the barbell in a supportive environment, you can win converts.

I’m in love with barbell sport, and it was amazing to see people who were intimidated by barbells learn that there’s nothing to fear, and a lot to love about lifting.

Nom Nom Paleo

Everyone loves Paleo…  especially Nom Nom Paleo

Michelle Tam from Nom Nom Paleo was there, giving lessons and many of her recipes were cooked at scale to feed all 350 of us. Paleo is the preferred diet (diet as in “what I put in my mouth” not “I’m starving myself to lose weight”) of the Rebellion- it’s easy and it works!

Georgia is beautiful

Camp NerdFitness was held at Ramah Darom in Northern Georgia. This is very close to the Southern trailhead for the Appalachian Trail. It’s hard to express the wonder of nature out there. Kyle, the Fringer who also went to camp told me, “I’m not going home. Tell my girlfriend to come and bring my dog, too.”

You only need 20 seconds of courage

Steve from NerdFitness has a great post on 20 seconds of courage. Basically, you can be a nervous wreck before and after, but you must just steal yourself for only 20 seconds at a time to really do some great things in this world

You can do anything for 10 seconds

…And you can do anything for 10 seconds

This one comes less from NerdFitness and more from Kyle and me talking about making the drive from Clayton Georgia to Austin Texas straight through- with a few tons of FringeSport gear. Towards the end, we took the drive 10 seconds at a time.

I now know how to solve a rubik’s cube.

Hint: after the first little bit, it’s all algorithms! Thanks to Jim Bathurst (brawn + brains) for the insight.

You can make caramelized onions en mass in a crockpot. AND THEN FREEZE THEM FOR LATER!

This is revolutionary!!! Thanks again to Michelle from Nom Nom Paleo for the idea and to Devin from camp for the reminder

  1. Slice 2 pounds of onions
  2. Throw in crockpot with 3 tablespoons butter + salt to taste
  3. Put crockpot on low for 8ish hours
  4. Eat a bunch
  5. Put the rest in an ice cube tray
  6. Freeze
  7. Pop your onion cubes into a ziplock bag to use later

Ultimate Frisbee is fun

It almost hurts me to type that. I played rugby at Texas and we always hated on the Ultimate players. I played for the first time at camp and it was a blasty. So… I guess I’ve wasted 15 years of my life. Sad Panda.

Fitness is more than muscle and endurance

There were tons of awesome sessions on lifting, martial arts (including sword fighting!), running (H/T to my buddy Jason of Strength Running, and the AMAZING Kate Galliet of Fit for Real Life), yoga, diet, and more. But some of the most beneficial sessions were on dealing with depression, debt, meditation, ahem, sex, ahem, and more.

If you’ve read this far… you should attend next year. I’ve been a member of the NerdFitness Rebellion (Ranger guild FTW!) for 5 years, and am a proud Nerd. You’ll find a community of people to help you Level Up Your Life, and break through your boundaries… and you’ll have a lot of fun on the journey. Check out the rebellion at NerdFitness.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.