Oh my goodness.
GOODNESS. I think that’s really the best way to describe the Philadelphia Fit Retreat hosted by City Fit Girls.
It’s no secret that I’ve been sort of meh when it comes to my workouts lately. Dealing with an injury has kept me from running and while I have been going to the gym twice a week, I’ve been in a rut. But the goodness that was Saturday’s Fit Retreat really shook the cobwebs from my workout soul.
Before we go any further, I learned a word this weekend and that word is JAWN. Apparently it’s has been around awhile – at least in Philly. So please, just smile and nod. I don’t get out much. If you are like me and don’t venture out often, jawn is an all encompassing word that can be used for anything. If you take anything away from this blog post, let it be that.
(But I hope you take away more!)
Now that that’s out of the way, let me tell you why this Fit Retreat PHL jawn was the best ever.
First and foremost: THE PEOPLE.
From the co-creators of City Fit Girls (Kiera Smalls and Takia McClendon), to the top-notch instructors (Diva Richards, Mark Donohue, Rachel Rubin, Veronica Dilzer, and Brittany and Gillian from Grace and Glory Yoga), to the 150 attendees… this was a quality group. I felt comfortable, welcomed, and appreciated from start to finish.
These are my people: Sue, Maureen, and Jen. It’s always nice attending an event with friends. By the end of the first session, I felt like I was surrounded by new friends!
We were greeted as soon as we arrived and because of the small amount of attendees, we were always able to find a familiar face.
During the introductory speech we were encouraged to test our limits and also cheer for each other. And I promise you, it was not just lip service. The good vibes were flowing through the Philly Impact Hub; the space was fantastic and, even more importantly, the people were fantastic. The cap of 150 people was perfect for the space and for each session (two-three were going on at any given time).
While chatting with Kiera toward the end of the day she said that City Fit Girls are excited to work with a variety of brands to introduce the women in our network to new and exciting products.
Therefore, they don’t just stick with one way of doing things; they’re presenting new and different workouts constantly. I appreciated the concept and from chatting with other people there, it gave them warm fuzzies too. No ruts to be had! Plus New Balance sponsored this year’s FitRetreat and that, in itself, was pretty amazing.
Awesome is the watchword. (You know, besides jawn.)
The VIP ticket for the event was less than $40! The way I figure it, that is about 10 cents a minute of AWESOMENESS. Worth each and every cent and then some.
After posting about it on my Facebook page and recruiting a couple of awesome friends, Jen and Sue, we were quickly planning our trip to and from the city’s Impact Hub -a really awesome co-working space in Fishtown. Thanks to City Fit Girl’s agreement with Lyft, we were able to get in and out of the city for mere peanuts and not have to worry about parking (and honestly, I do worry about parking – cost of parking, parallel parking, not hitting other cars while parallel parking – I could go on).
The cost included an awesome shirt.
It also included an awesome lunch from Sweetgreen. (And awesome MIMOSAS – YES, PLEASE.)
And an awesome massage (which I skipped but Jen didn’t, so I know it was awesome – she said that it actually released her emotions!).
Did I mention the very awesome workout sessions? I was able to participate in three workouts and a few informational sessions including healthy eating tips with Whole Foods and skin and facial care.
Dear Whole Foods, we love you. Please come to south Jersey!
You know how you sometimes you don’t realize what’s missing in your life until you experience it? That was the case with ALL the sessions at the Fit Retreat. How often can you say that?
Work it out!
The main reason for the day (at least for me) was to hit up some amazing workouts and try things outside of my comfort zone bubble. It’s been awhile since I’ve been to a group fitness class like the ones that were being offered at the Fit Retreat.
Diva Richards at the start of her session.
Unfortunately a time turner hasn’t made its way to Philly yet so I had to choose a few sessions that really spoke to me. I went with Killer Kardio with Diva Richards, Mid-Morn Workout Jawn (there’s that word!) with Mark Donohue, and Vinyasa Yoga with Brittany and Gillian.
Jen during the Kettlebell Kundalini session – this was limited to 50 participants because kettlebells were provided and Jen got the last spot! Score!
The sessions were no joke. I thought that they might get progressively easier through the day but nope. They did not. The intensity was strong from start to finish but the words were encouraging and we were reminded to do our best and to think of where we are in our own journey.
There was everything from kickboxing moves to burpees to oh, approximately one billion squats. Mark Donohue played Flower and with every “down” we had to do a squat and hold it until the word “up” was said. I might have been cursing.
We did planks, planks, and more planks, and in between the planks, since we were down there, we did pushups.
The biggest surprise for me was how difficult the yoga session was for me. Because, hello, YOGA. I can handle yoga, right? But my foot was already tired from the rest of the sessions and didn’t want to ground itself.
It made for a wobbly experience and there were a few times I had to chill in Child’s Pose rather than take part in all the poses. It made me angry. Yoga isn’t supposed to make you angry, I know. But it did. I think it’s mainly that I’m so used to reminding myself “I can and I will” and I couldn’t, right then and there.
However, thanks to the gentle reminders from Gillian and Brittany, I was able to focus on what I was able to do within those moments and let the rest go.
I’m sure I’m forgetting something or many things. Oh, like the vegan Watermelon What What drink from Gangster Vegan Organics that was pretty gosh darn awesome.
The entire day was so good for me and my soul. Every event should flowed as well as this one did. The sessions reminded me of my strengths and also gently nudged me to forgive my weaknesses. And it was good. So very good.
Kudos to the City Fit Girls and all the sponsors of the Fit Retreat Philadelphia! You hold another event and I’ll be there, no doubt about it.