Right before Thanksgiving, I blogged about how I was about to embark on a 4-day fitness/wellness retreat with The Ranch R4.0. It’s been about a week since I’ve been back and, guys, I’m still all reved up with energy and enthusiasm which, for me, is pretty amazing. If you read my pre-trip post, you know that I was extremely nervous about going, mainly because I didn’t exactly follow the month-long “preparation” that The Ranch instructs everyone to do (oops) which mainly consists of daily hikes/work outs, cutting out caffeine, alcohol, sugar, animal protein, etc. I knew that I’d have NO problem with the food, since I don’t drink caffeine anyway, and if I can’t go four days with out a drink…well, that would mean I should be going to a different kind of retreat, but I digress.
Our days started at 5:30am (yep, not a fan of that) and went straight through until about 8…it was intense, yet, a truly amazing experience. Here’s a sample day at the retreat:
- 5:30am: wake up call
- 6:00am: morning stretch/yoga
- 7:00am: breakfast
- 7:30am: departure for hike
- 7:45: hike begins
- 12:30: hike ends
- 1:00pm: lunch
- 1:30pm: break
- 2:00pm: class at fitness center (yoga)
- 3:00pm: class at fitness center (core)
- 4:00pm: class at fitness center (strength training)
- 5:00pm: massage
- 6:00pm: break
- 7:00pm: dinner
I learned so much that I barely even know where to start. I think my biggest takeaways were these:
- Treat your body well// What you put into your body matters. I always knew this and, honestly, I eat fairly well most of the time…but I learned that I can actually live (and be full) on MUCH less food than I thought. Sure, I was hungry the first two (ok, three) days of this retreat but by the fourth day I found myself satisfied with about a 1/2 cup of granola and a sip of a veggie smoothie. What?! I’m the girl who ALWAYS finishes her plate, even if the plate is full of healthy food…I finish it. I never minded vegan food but now I actually like it; I even made a vegan lunch yesterday and was almost full after 😉
- Push yourself physically, but listen when your body says to stop// The hikes were really challenging…I mean like REALLY hard and I pushed myself physically because I wanted…no, I needed to finish them. By the end of the second day, I realized that at some point I had pulled my right groin muscle and could barely lift my leg. I sat in my hotel room, leg elevated, watching Full House, and cried a little about the fact that I hurt myself and might not be able to do any more hiking. Then I thought about it…I’m pretty sure that I pulled my groin the first day and I STILL hiked about 9 miles after that which, HELLO, is pretty amazing. I DO push myself…and I’m proud of that. I took a break and didn’t do the 3rd hike and then, on the 4th day, I did a moderated version of the hike that didn’t include such steep inclines. I did what I could with what I had going and that’s something I’m proud of.
- Enjoy the simple things// It’s funny what becomes “normal” to you when you’re out of your comfort zone. I learned to love my nightly ritual of no-caffeine tea (with fresh mint and lemon) and I would actually get excited to drink it. I also learned to love the fact that the only makeup I wore on my face (for FOUR ENTIRE DAYS) was mineral foundation and a dab of concealer…that’s IT.
- Make sure you take time to enjoy the view// So often we just go through life not truly paying attention to what’s going on around us (Hi, if you’re from New York especially). I made sure STOP and LOOK around…the views are amazing when you take a minute to breath.
- Good things take time// I’ve never been a particularly patient person but I’m trying to be better. Whether it’s a fitness goal, a career goal or even something small, it’s important to remember these words. Good things take time.