What if they don't like me? What if I make a fool out of myself? What if I can't run as fast as everyone else? What if I don't wake up on time for the 6 am runs?! These were the thoughts racing through my head the night before as I packed for the I Am Empowered Yoga, Run, and Wine retreat in Sonoma, hosted by Empowered Events and Sweat Pink. I anxiously packed, picking out every outfit in great detail, trying them on, making sure everything looked good and was functional. When I got word that Empowered Events and Fit Approach (Sweat Pink) was hosting an all women's weekend yoga + running retreat less than two hours away from my house, I was excited and nervous. I had never gone on a retreat before, yet alone one with a bunch of women I didn't know. I mean, sure I followed some of them online, but this was all new to me. I've always been a social butterfly, but in situations unfamiliar to me, I become shy, reserved, and quiet. I knew I needed to go on this adventure, but I was nervous about it and how it would go. Luckily, my sweet husband and friends told me that I would be fine and that having anxiety about this type of thing was totally normal for a first timer such as myself.
I anxiously waited the weeks for the retreat with eager anticipation and the closer it got, the more excited I became. The night before the retreat finally arrived, and although I could barely sleep, I woke up the following day excited to meet my fellow Sweat Pinkers. I headed out to Sonoma and arrived there in the cutest outfit I could find, with the warm sun shining on my eager face. I was immediately greeted by all Jamie, Nicci, and Liz, the wonderful women who from Fit Approach and felt completely at ease. They welcomed me with open arms and kind hugs, and I knew the weekend was going to be amazing!
The first thing we did was get into our cabins which were decorated beautifully by the folks at Westerbeke Ranch, and let me tell you, this place was stunning! From the gorgeous, blue, sparkling pool, to the all of the greenery and succulents, it's no wonder this place is knowns for their amazing retreats and hospitality. The cabins were full of color and definitely had a ranch-like feel to them with a wrap around porch and comfy porch chairs. After we got settled in, I went down to meet everyone. This was the most nerve-racking part of the retreat. I didn't know anyone really and immediately it seemed like old friends were re-connecting and I admit it, I got a tad wigged out. But then, I met a woman from San Francisco who also didn't know anyone, we headed to our first yoga class together and bonded our $4,000 beds at home and our love for the Bay Area.
After intro's where we named our spirit animal, where I instead talked about rock climbing, looking back, I should have said my spirit animal is a hummingbird, but that's a post for another time. The first yoga class with Jamie was hard and fantastic and I was dripping in a pool of sweat afterward and was very excited at the thought of dinner. The food was amazing, healthy, nutrient-dense packed food that made my belly happy and my heart full. During dinner, we sat under the stars and talked about where we were all from, what we did, and how we found out about this retreat. I went to bed excited about the following day and not so worried that I would miss my 6 am alarm.
I barely slept a wink that night and was up before my bunk mates ready to greet the sunrise with an open heart and open mind. We all ventured out on our run that morning and I still remember how wonderful that crisp, Sonoma morning air felt. It was a tad chilly, but once we were moving we were fine. We passed a horse along the way and hiked up the hard hills, then came back for a morning yoga class and breakfast. The second run of the day was a tad harder for me as the yoga classes and running seemed almost back to back, but we had a blast and the scenery was beautiful atop the Sonoma outlook. Afterward, we came back to free time and I mustered up the courage to walk around in my two piece bikini, curves and all. The best moment of the retreat was when we all jumped in the freezing cold pool together and it was captured on video. It was truly a moment I'll never forget! A very cold, but very memorable moment!
That night, we did HIIT Yoga and boot camp and I swear my abs are still sore from that class, but I loved it. Drenched in sweat we moved onto the second yoga class with the sun setting, ready for a big, healthy, dinner and some wine. I slept better the second night and wished every day could be like this. The following morning, sleepy-eyed, groggy, and with sore muscles, I headed to a sunrise yoga class with Nicci that was invigorating and felt amazing on my sore muscles. The last run/hike of the weekend was atop a gorgeous hill filled with huge trees and beautiful views of the lake. I felt happy and calm at breakfast that day and was eagerly anticipating the next retreat with these amazing, inspiring women.
I now firmly believe that every woman should go on a retreat with other women they've never met before. I walked away from this experience a genuinely happier, calmer, more centered, and saner person. The week after, everyone on social media said I seemed more calm and happy and I solely agree. I've been sleeping better, waking up earlier, keeping my daily yoga practice up, and feel an immense gratitude to be a part of such the amazing group like Sweat Pink. I'm honored and humbled that these beautiful souls have accepted me into their tribe as one of their own and I cannot wait for the next retreat and Empowered Event's event.
And a very special thank you to all of the sponsors, PrAna, Sweat Cosmetics, Designer Protein, Amazing Grass, Clearly Kombucha, and Goddess Garden for all of the amazing goodies they gave us for this super fun weekend!
I'm excited to announce I will be racing in my very first 5k this summer August 5th and 6th through the I Am Empowered Series first ever women's race and yoga weekend at the Craneway Pavillion near the San Francisco Bay Area.
Join on this amazing weekend and sign up for this race through the links above or here. Feel free to message me or leave a comment below with any questions. I'm excited to be embarking on my first race as I know this will be the first of many races to come!