Last year when a friend invited me to a fitness retreat I was all, “Um, it’s not one of those meditation retreats where you can’t talk, is it? I wouldn’t last thirty minutes. And what level of fitness are we talkin’?”
My comfort zone has solid borders and tall walls. It’s also comfortably furnished, so I find it hard to leave.
Sometimes the only thing that can force me out is a swift kick in the butt.
This post is me kicking you. But only if you want me to. (Don’t worry, I’ve removed my shoes.)
Have you heard about She Getaways’ Fall Fit Women’s Weekend? If not, I’d love to tell you about it. Not because I’m trying to sell it to you. It sells out very quickly on its own. They don’t need my help.
But, I found the experience to be life changing. I know, cliché, but I’m serious. During the doldrums of winter I find myself fantasizing about it—me on a paddle board pondering life, breathing deeply, laughing by the campfire, noticing the soft earth under my flip-flops as I head to the mess hall to enjoy a meal with friends.
So I’m sharing my thoughts about the weekend, in case you’re on the fence about going. Essentially, I want to push you over said fence. But safely—you’ll be wearing a harness obviously.
If you think I have a selfish motive for writing this, you’re right. No, I’m not being paid. But yes, I want to go again this fall and I want you to come with me, purely for my own personal enjoyment.
Here’s all you need to know to push yourself outside your comfort zone and into the next Fall Fit Women’s Weekend!
YMCA Wanakita on Lake Koshlong, Haliburton—a 3.5 hour drive from Toronto. Unless you’re in my car where it’s a ridiculous five hours. Let’s just say, our drive put the ‘long’ in Koshlong. #TaketheShlongWayHome This is the kind of banter my car mates and I had on the way up. It’s no wonder we were navigationally distracted.
September—a two-night, three-day camp experience you won’t soon forget.
Four hundred-ish of the most friendly and encouraging women you’ll ever meet. All ages, all fitness levels and body types, no attitude, no judgment. Just like-minded happiness seekers out for a good time and some fresh air.
Warning: Choose your cabin mates wisely or you could end up with a boob who stays up late into the night drinking wine by the fire and in her attempt to quietly enter the cabin, accidentally slams the screen door behind her (more than once) and while digging for her phone, spills the entire contents of her purse…coins, lipstick, keys….on the wood floor. Who knew cabins were so echoey? Sorry about that.
A week before the getaway I learned I was possibly allergic to wasps. I was worried I’d get stung at camp and like, die. So with my shiny new epi-pen in my body hugging teal purse (I couldn’t find my fanny pack…thank god) cabin mates Vanessa and Melissa, who’d I’d just met for the first time, eagerly offered to epi-stab me in the ass at a moment’s notice. Thanks ladies for having my
And when I panicked after being buzzed by a bee out on the lake in my Kayak, I was grateful to Nadia for a) not making fun of me b) offering to paddle full tilt to shore to fetch my purse.
Some women came to this retreat on their own, not knowing a soul. They didn’t just step outside their comfort zone, they leapt.
But due to my tall walls I wasn’t jazzed about going solo. So when my camp buddy had to cancel last-minute, my friend Shelley jumped right in.
If possible, everyone needs to bring a Shelley to camp because…
- Shelleys are hilarious. They can’t navigate worth sh*t, but you don’t mind because they can do a ridiculous Irish accent that makes you forget you’re hopelessly lost, hungry, and have to pee.
- Shelleys will excuse themselves from the campfire to use the bathroom. But instead of going to the washroom fifty steps from the cabin, they’ll follow a light in the distance and end up at a bathroom ten minutes OUTSIDE our campsite! As you head out to search for her and possibly wrestle her from the jaws of a large racoon you’ll see the glow of her tiny reading lamp heading your way. You’ll be relieved she’s back, but after that long walk, she’ll need to use the washroom again soon and you should go with her.
- Shelleys will suddenly announce, “Well, it’s time for my pills,” revealing a mitt full of vitamins that could choke a horse, and then head off to Jana’s Joga class.
- Shelleys will knock over a full wine glass while you’re sitting cross-legged on the floor listening to the beautiful Mimi O’Bonsawin perform by candlelight. She’ll run off to find a towel to mop it up, but won’t be back for over thirty minutes (lost again, obviously) with the tiniest facecloth for the job. But it’s okay because by the time she returns, your yoga pants will have absorbed 98% of the Kim Crawford chardonnay.
If you don’t have a friend to sign up with, don’t worry. You may start the weekend alone, but within ten minutes, you’ll meet a dozen Shelleys (and Nadia’s, Katies, Jacqs, Beth-Annes, Carols, Vanessas and Melissas too) who will invite you into the fold and make you feel like you’ve been friends forever.
Click HERE to read about the AWESOME duo who put their heart and soul into She Getaways. If anyone oozes joy and positivity and acceptance and fun, it’s Kim and Lori-Ann.
Think summer camp, but with wine, and zero children.
There’s something for everyone—from the super active to the “imma gonna just lie here a minute.” Choose from adrenaline spiking high ropes or a leisurely hike in the woods. Shelley and I inadvertently combined the two while searching for the path through the woods to the high ropes course. We missed the meet up with the guide (one of us MAY have slept in a little) and in taking the wrong path, we ended up on a lovely leaf collecting stroll. Seriously, how do two reasonably intelligent women struggle with directions this much?
My favourite activities:
The High Ropes. (Once we eventually found them.) It was the activity that scared me the most. So when I did it, the exhilaration was indescribable.
Stand Up Paddle Boarding. My new obsession. So relaxing and empowering. It’s also fun to greet the instructor every time you see her with, “Hey, S’UP gurl? S-U-P ya you know me?” She LOVED it. (I may be banned from her class now.)
Kayaking. I’m a fan of any sport where you can sit the entire time.
Poundfit. Have you seen this? Or better yet, have you heard it? It’s a thunderous tribal sweatfest that must be experienced.
The ENTERTAINMENT was fantastic too! From the opening night comedian, Carla Collins, to the closing night dance party, I loved it all.
The 2017 line up of fitness activities included:
Bootcamp, Yoga, Pilates, Crossfit, Kayaking, Canoeing, a 5K race, Poundfit, Flag Football, Zumba, Stand Up Paddleboarding, SUP Yoga, Kickboxing, Hiking, Meditation, High and Low Ropes, Biathalon, Archery, Firefighter Challenge, and more!
Stick to the activities you know and love, or try something new—there’s no pressure. Work out hard or lie on your paddle board and look up at the clouds or take a walk along the beach. This is about you and what you need. Shouldn’t every weekend be like that, really?
We all signed up for the Fall Fit Women’s Weekend for different reasons. Two of my more adventurous bunk mates came to conquer—the more challenging the activity, the more into it they were. Another was drawn to the meditative activities. While another camper tried every single thing she’d never tried before.
Some of us just wanted the opportunity to trade in our phones for flora and fauna, and a tight schedule for a good stretch.
Whatever your “why”, I encourage you to check this out. You won’t regret it.
Visit shegetaways.com to register. I’m calling dibs on the bottom bunk.
** Fall Fit 2018 Highlight Reel