On March 1 – March 8, 2012, I went to the Mayan Riviera on the first BCBD Transformation Retreat. This marked the 5th anniversary of BCBD. The months and days leading up to this were pretty intense. There was my lower back sprain about six weeks before the trip which I iced and stretched as often as I could. Then three weeks before the trip, my ankle sprain. I was so scared I wouldn’t be able to go. Luckily, it was no biggie compared to the back. Same drill as the back, just ice and stretch. During this whole time, I was also studying for an exam. It was one week before the trip and once it was done, my free time was dedicated to getting last minute things for the trip.
As you can see, the trip was my prize at the end of it all. I slept about 1.5 hours before leaving for the airport. That’s insane! I am cranky with less than 6, so I was pushing it. I was super pumped and nervous that this was it. The trip I was waiting for was finally here. I wasn’t even cranky.
Some of my thoughts included: Would we all get along? Would there be conflicts? how will my bowels react to the change in atmosphere and food? Will I get diarrhea? Will I get a sun burn? I’m all about preparation. Hope for the best, anticipate the worst and prepare!
It was WAYYY better than I imagined. We MORE than got along. We spent every waking moment together. And not because we had to, but because we WANTED to. Even with the free time we had everyday, we usually spent it in a few small groups or all together.
Our meals were for the most part fabulous. I loved having guacamole and grilled fish (mostly grouper) every chance I got. The egg station was awesome and I had omellette’s quite often. Here are some of the meals and tropical juices I had. Boy, do I miss these meals.
We did yoga and meditation upon rising, beach boot camps, self development sessions and running in the late afternoon. My initial intentions when I signed up for this was mainly to exercise while away on vacation. Who says we have to choose between vacationing and exercising right? And as always, Eva did not disappoint.
Our morning meditations were a welcome change. I had good days where visualizations were very clear and vivid. My favourite one was when I saw myself and noticed “My hair was wavy, my skin glowed and I looked very healthy”. It made me feel pretty good knowing that I am pretty close to the ideal version of myself that I was seeing. I was surprised because normally I struggle with being able to see myself and focus in meditations. It was really lovely to do this outside feeling the morning breeze on our faces and bodies while hearing the birds singing.
Our morning yoga sessions were such a wonderful and gentle way to start our exercise for the day. Erin and Lisa helped wake up my body and stretch out all those sore and tight muscles. It was my first time being taught yoga by both of these talented ladies and they had their own unique style. It was exciting to see them in a different light as yoga instructors instead of my classmates and they were fabulous. It felt like they had been doing it for years.
Our boot camps were out of this world. I wanted a good butt kicking and Eva delivered. Naturally, I was nervous. Everyday was a new kind of challenge. I LOVED the surprise element and never knowing what the next exercise was. The day of the 100’s will be burned into my mind forever. I remember when she first said 100 reps, I thought she was kidding so I chuckled. Then when I realized she wasn’t kidding, I was scared but gave it my all. My favourite 100 reps was for the abs. The most challenging was the pushups.
Our coaching sessions was where we got to know more about each other by digging deep below the surface and answering questions about ourselves that maybe we’d rather choose to avoid or didn’t realize we were avoiding. The most memorable was our first session. It was a very eye opening experience. What people were sharing made me realize, just how much we have in common, how human we all are, and how isolated we can feel in our own thoughts. Everyday, I was very moved by the honesty and the support that we gave one another. It was truly a life changing (transformation) kind of an experience.
Our afternoon runs were a great way to finish the physical activities for the day. I got a chance to chat and run/walk with people. It was a fun way to socialize and exercise. It was also really exciting to see non-runners finish a run with their faces beaming. They went from thinking they probably weren’t going to run to running the entire time and having a blast. Amazing!
Our evenings were a nice way to unwind. It was really fun to get dolled up and connect over meals together. Look how happy we all were!
I can’t wait for the next BCBD Transformation Retreat. In the mean time, I am still LOVING my bi-weekly doses of BCBD classes. Have you ever been on a fitness retreat? What was your experience like?