Actually, if we are being technical, it’s the 5th day of fall.
It doesn’t FEEL like fall here in the Northeast, and I kinda sorta absolutely have been slacking on blogging the majority of summer. Usually I blog about what my family is up to and how training is going and well, I just didn’t do any of that this summer. THEREFORE, it only seems right that I share a quick wrap-up of summer with the Daniels.
First off, there are two non-profits that I throw my everything into and this summer was no exception.
I am a board member for the Bullock Garden Project, Inc. which is dedicated to promoting and assisting in building school gardens.
Having formed BGP two years ago, it is still in its infancy stages. I’ve been its Director of Social Media and Communication from the get-go. We’re trying to figure out what works (and what doesn’t). At the beginning of the summer, CEO Sonya and I started a podcast at it’s been fantastic, consuming, and a whole lot of fun.
This is my 4th season as a coordinator for the Healthy Kids Running Series (HKRS) of my town and the first time that I have a co-coordinator.
Which just makes me wonder… WHY DIDN’T I HAVE A CO-COORDINATOR BEFORE? We bounce ideas off of each other and check in to make sure we’re both on the same page. I’m actually able to breathe during the races!
With nearly 200 runners this fall, it’s important to have that type of environment! There’s a lot of planning and moving pieces at each of our 5 race events; it’s time-consuming but the reward is so great.
Besides non-profit work, summer is always a great time to spend with friends and family! The City Fit Girls Fit Retreat is held each August and I was excited to be there again for another year.
New favorite tank top: Empowered Women Empower Women! (Yes, yes, yes!)
Thanks to @cityfitgirls @fitretreat #FitRetreatPHL for the photos!
Stretching with my meatball, Rachel! Thanks to @cityfitgirls @fitretreat #FitRetreatPHL for the photos!
I even won a Patagonia wayfarer pack from The Circuit Trails! Thanks to @cityfitgirls @fitretreat #FitRetreatPHL for the photos.
At the end of August we took our family vacation – a road trip to MAINE to visit Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, and family!
Swimming at Sand Beach. The water rarely exceeds 55 degrees but there was some betting involved with the grandpas and the kids and in they went. Anything for $20!
We went on a lobster boat and also got to see adorable seals sunbathing on the rocks. (Yes, I wanted to take all the seals home with us.)
But we have a “land seal” in Gemma so I suppose she’ll do!
We did an amazing family hike around Jordan Pond (including our pup, who came with us) and surprisingly, everyone actually enjoyed experience! Not naming any names but we have done hikes where this is not the case…
We also went up to the peak of Cadillac Mountain, that was a drive, not a hike. Reminder that if you’re riding with someone how has a fear of heights, it might not be the best idea to have them driving.
(Looking at you, dad.) (Totally naming names here.)
After our trip, we started school a week later. To be clear, the boys started back, not me but I feel like it’s a WE type of event. A few weeks later, my parents who live with us for the summer went back home to Florida.
NOW, I’m finally back into my ROUTINE. I enjoy the summer days but oh my word, there’s a lot of things I’m not in control of and that is a struggle for me.
August is one of those months that sneaks up on me quickly and before you know it, it’s gone, leaving me in the dust wondering where it went.
However one of my favorite events happen in August: the amazing CITY FIT GIRLS – FIT RETREAT! This was my third time in attendance; I was fortunate enough to attend previously in 2015 and 2017. (I had to skip 2016 but that’s because of a trip to Switzerland/Germany so I suppose it’s okay!)
Each August they host the affordable, day-long fit retreat and bring together women for some intense workouts and also focus on the importance of self-care. (For those wondering what “affordable” is: $50 for the day’s events with a $3.50 processing fee. This includes the amazing tank tops, lunch from Sweetgreen and ahem, MIMOSAS, and other assorted awesomeness throughout the day.)
Fit Retreat always sells out so it’s best to get a ticket early. It was a forgone conclusion that I’d be there again because every year is better than the last. City Fit Girls takes feedback to heart and always strives to make an memorable experience for those in attendance.
Communication with City Fit Girls is great before the Fit Retreat. They let us know ahead of time what sessions are available, who will be running them, and what they offer.
In the past I’ve had set ideas of what I wanted to do each session but this time, my main goal was just to be with my friends as much as possible so I was down to do whatever they wanted to do. I thought this would mean a little yoga, a little massage.
Nope! They were all like – let’s do all the high intensity, cardio session!
Well, okay then!
First up we did The Lion Fitness Party with Gwi and Wayne! High-intensity cardio boot camp – no problem!
photo credit: Melissa Alam
We danced, we bounced, we squatted, we might have cried-laughed a little. It was insane but a lot of fun! Sweat level: buckets
The next session had a yoga option. SURELY my friends would want to do the yoga option.
Instead we climbed up the stairs (workout in itself!) to Never Give Up with Madison. What’s that, you ask?
“The invincible match between cardio and strength allows each athlete to work through this workout at their own pace. The interval training and the weight circuits each athlete will complete are designed to maximize fat burning, burn more calories and build the muscle and strength you want to reach your personal goals.”
Yes, there I am doing squat jumps. photo credit: Melissa Alam
Thankfully after two pretty intense sweat sessions, we ALL decided to take a chill pill and head up to the Vitality Lounge. That’s when my sweaty hair got the royal treatment from Priv!
Braids for all!
After an amazing lunch from Sweetgreen and equally amazing mimosas, we headed the outdoor space at The Patio for the afternoon sessions. We had the opportunity to do a group mediation with Vitality mediation studio before the afternoon panels.
The afternoon panels were moderator lead with 3 guests for each discussion. The first was about diet, nutrition, and eating and the second’s focus was overcoming self-doubt and getting out of your own head.
Originally my seat was in direct sunlight and I was getting crispy. I moved my seat into the shade, but also happened to be behind a wall; while I was physically more comfortable, I wasn’t able to see the speakers which limited being able to truly engage with the panel.
After a few giveaways and our group picture up above from event photographer, Melissa Alam, it was a wrap on the City Fit Girls 2018 Fit Retreat!
What I particularly love about the Fit Retreat is that while it’s a party like atmosphere, it’s also very warm and fuzzy. People I just met feel like friends I’ve known forever and everyone is welcoming. That’s not something that you can force to have happen, it’s magically organic that feels effortless with the City Fit Girls.
Anyone who has run a Philly race knows that people from this area do things with their whole heart.
They love their sports teams loudly (and um, might be a bit notorious for being jerks to the opposition).
They have feisty debates over what food is best and whose food is best.
And Philadelphians know how to throw a quality race. The Philly 10k is no exception. The 2018 race was its 5th year in existence and while I’ve always heard amazing things about it, it was my first year running.
The City Fit Girls know how to have a good time! I was at their fit retreat a week prior and saw many of the same faces again at the Philly 10k. I’ll be blogging about the retreat… eventually!
The main reason I haven’t registered during the past 4 years is that it’s always held at the end of August and I know that I’m not the best at running through the summer heat. Couple that with it being through South Philly and being bit outside of where I comfortably know my way around in the city, I’ve always sat this one out.
When registration opened earlier this year, my awesome friend and fellow mullet crew runner, Rachel, encouraged me to sign up. She’s one of my favorite people (to run with and just in general) so naturally, I did. And even when she got hurt and had to drop this race from her race card, she still encouraged me to run AND even found me a fellow City Fit Girl friend to run with.
She may be my meatball but we took our post-race selfie in front of Humpty’s Dumplings.
AND, THERE’S MORE! Since she was volunteering at the pre-race party/packet pickup, she was able to grab my race bag for me so I didn’t have to haul my cookies into the city twice! PLUS! She hosted me the night before the race, carried my stuff around with her, and made sure I was fed and happy the entire time!
Because she’s awesome like that.
The Philly 10k starts and ends on South Street and winds through a part of Philly that others don’t usually touch. Ah, South Street. I spent many of my college evenings there. I got my tongue pierced there. Went there with friends to get tattoos. I digress. Never in a million years when I was in college did I think I’d be running a 10k there, that is for sure.
Hooking up with Brooke, who lives locally, was a godsend. She gave me a running commentary (har har) of all the places we were passing and what was up ahead. Most of the streets were tree lined, which helped keep the sun from directly beating down on us.
The first corral started at 7:30am and it got hot quick. We started with 3:1 intervals until it got uncomfortable and then did whatever we felt like for the rest of the race.
Pat’s or Geno’s? Cheesesteak smells good, even at 8:30 in the morning.
It was warming up significantly as we plodded along. The water stops were run by different Philly running groups, all of whom were very enthusiastic and shouting out our names. Some were reading bibs but then I realized that I actually KNEW people too, which was super exciting.
Philly doesn’t want any runners dying from heatstroke on their watch so there were a few fire hydrants open, which I took advantage of. Plus, there was a guy handing out water bottles. He wasn’t an official water station but he had a baby with him and looked legit so YOU KNOW I TOOK ONE.
(It was sealed, don’t worry.)
It was cold and wonderful and there was a coupon for Devil’s Den on it. (Which we didn’t go to but I WILL BECAUSE THEY GAVE ME ICE COLD WATER.)
Thank the Lord! Amen!
After a few more turns and a few more friend sightings, we were coming up along the home stretch.
Rachel was there, camera in hand, waiting for us to come down the way!
Oh look, I’m talking. Big shock, I know. photo: Rachel
Brooke warned me at the begin that when we turn onto South Street aka the Finish Line Street, we still a bit to run. Actually, you can hear her telling me that in this video at both the start line and then when we are running that last stretch!
After we crossed the finish, we got towels that had been dipped in ice water, water, and bananas. And you know what that means…
Brooke did not get the message that we were taking a banana phone picture until hers was half eaten. photo: Rachel
Instead of medals, the Philly 10k has a surprise giveaway at the end of the race. In the past it’s been a map of the course (twice), a pennant, and a reusable bag. This year it was a poster. At first I thought it was a map of the course with pictures from the past 5 years. It’s not. But whatever!
So, let’s recap the recap.
Race: hot but awesome
People along the race course: awesome
Rachel and Brooke: hot and awesome
Me: doing this race again in 2019
Have you ever done the Philly 10k? Next year maybe I’ll race it. Maybe I’ll train for it. MAYBE.
Every August, some of my favorite local fitness peeps, the City Fit Girls hosts their annual Fit Retreat.
I attended in 2015 and was bummed that I had to skip last year’s event (although I was in Germany, so I suppose that’s a good reason).
2015 City Fit Girls Fit Retreat – held at a makerspace in Fishtown, Philly
This year the stars aligned once again! Tickets sell out fast; when they went on sale in May, I quickly purchased mine. The Fit Retreat has both VIP and General Admission tickets – I opted for the VIP ticket which cost $53.50 this year.
There was a FitRetreat pre-party held on Friday evening with a workout followed by a party at Philadelphia Runner. Those who attended the pre-party were able to pick up their event tank tops and entry wristbands. I was not able to make the Friday night pre-party but I was looking forward to waking up bright and early to spend a Saturday getting sweaty!
A few Run856 friends and I traveled to Philly from South Jersey; we met up and shared a Lyft together which worked out perfectly. We had a group message going so we reminded each other to bring our yoga mats, towels, water bottles, change of clothes, and other little things I might have otherwise forgotten at 7am when my brain is on autopilot. Thank goodness for them!
I am IN LOVE with this year’s tank!
Fit Retreat has grown in size, even from two years ago. This year’s Fit Retreat hosted close to 200 attendees (in 2015 it was around 150) and was held at Independence Live! on Market Street. The location has rotated in the past and it’s fun to see where each year’s event will be held. The doors opened a little past 8am and we all eagerly entered the space.
We were able to peruse the schedule of events prior to the day and I made a list of the classes I wanted to attend. Because of space restrictions, some of the classes were limited so we needed to sign up for those pronto. The workouts were split into 45 minutes sessions in the morning, with the afternoon being a bit more low-key and conversation based.
There was a light breakfast provided by Melanie’s Medleys (YUM), various vendors had booths, and we were welcomed by the founders of City Fit Girls – Kiera and Takia.
Kiera kicking things off.
My morning consisted of The BPM Bootcamp, which was a combination class of AMRAPS (As Many Reps As Possible) and Tabata (which is time based. Example: 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, for 4 rounds). This was a high energy workout and reminded me a lot of the things I do with my personal trainer twice a week.
Jen was my buddy for the morning and we tried some new to us moves (including a downward dog push-up). She and I were hooting and hollering the entire workout. Sweat was flying all over the place! It was great!
The space we had for this and the next session was a bit challenging because there was a desk right smack in the middle of the space. The BPM ladies (Shoshana and Erin) got creative by getting on top of the desk!
BPM came to an end and the rest of our Jersey crew joined our area for Barre with Megan. While not as high energy as the first session, this was intense! We focused on working our legs, core, and hip flexors. I’m pretty sure my muscles were screaming the entire 45 minutes. Holding and pulsing is a big part of barre work and while we didn’t have an actual barre that we were working with, the workout was just as challenging as the barre classes I’ve taken!
Speaking of challenging: throughout the day off the instructors and motivators called attention to doing what you, yourself, are capable of. At a retreat like this, there are so many different fitness levels and rather than worrying about the person beside you, you can and should modify and do what feels good for you.
After barre, Jen, Brandi, and I joined 27 others in Double Shot [Abs + Butt] which I’m sure you can probably guess worked our… Abs and Butt! The ladies from Freehouse Fitness led us through exercises like lunges, squats, twists, band squeezes, and more.
My abs and glutes were already shaking from the earlier workouts but I did my best to show no mercy and try my absolute hardest! I could feel the blood pumping through my veins.
The floor under our mats was really hard and weirdly textured (which you can see in the picture) so that didn’t feel particularly good. Next year I might want to bring a thicker mat or even double up on my yoga mats!
After the third session it was time for… DRINKS! The ladies of City Fit Girls acknowledge and embrace the fact that many of us enjoy a nice drink or two after a couple hours of working out. This year there was not only mimosas but also lemon shrub. I’d never had lemon shrub before but now that I have, I might need to track it down. It was delicious and garnished with mint. Nice and refreshing!
From there it was lunch time and while the line was long and the space a bit squishy, everyone seemed to be in good spirits and living high off the endorphins from the morning’s multiple work outs. The food (catered by Chef Joy Parham) was delicious breakfast tacos! I love breakfast and I love tacos so this was a no-brainer. And there was GUACAMOLE. SO GOOD.
After a dance party with DJ G33K, we all split off into our afternoon sessions.
My afternoon was geared toward the empowerment side of my well-being. I chose to spend the first session with Melissa Alam and learning about brand building. I recently helped establish the nonprofit Bullock Garden Project, Inc. and I knew that I’d pick up tips and tricks for marketing in regards to that and Scoot a Doot, as well. It was great to hear not only Melissa’s ideas but also some of my peers input as well!
My final session was with City Fit Girls founder, Kiera Smalls, regarding Body Positivity. This was an emotional session and one in which I felt a strong connection with my fellow attendees. The time flew by and I was so grateful to end the day’s journey surrounded by the women that chose to be a part of this session.
Without a doubt, the City Fit Girls Fit Retreat is one of my favorite days of the year – it ranks right up there with my birthday and the first day of school. I’m already looking forward to next August! Until then, train hard, brunch harder!
What is it about fall that makes me want to run all the races?
Maybe it’s the lack of summer races (and ahem, summer training). Maybe it’s all this talk about PSL. Maybe it’s because these two handsome boys started school this week.
2nd and 6th graders in the house!
I’ll tell you what it’s not. It’s not the weather.
Because at the moment it is nearly 100 degrees. One zero zero. I’m making such a face right now, Mother Nature.
I’m working under the assumption that eventually Mother Nature will work things out and when she does, I’m going to be ready for fall racing! And in the meanwhile, I will try to remember my sunscreen.
At the beginning of this week, I was signed up for just two. Run the Bridge 10k and the Philly half marathon (which, by the way, is having a screaming deal TODAY ONLY 12pm-8pm with pricing from way back in April when registration opened. Use coupon codes PM16FULL or PM16HALF).
And now I’m up to four!
I’ll be doing a 5k at my son’s school to later this month and the 10k in Atlantic City next month. #cantstopwontstop
Using the City Fit Girls plan that we used in the winter/spring, my training buddy, Chrissy and I are preparing to tackle all the fall races (or at least the ones I can afford)!
We thought it would be cooler by the ocean. We thought wrong.
The first run back after not running all that much was exactly what we expected it to be: awful. It wasn’t fun, it was hot, and I’m pretty sure I was dripping sweat all over the boardwalk.
That said, I’m so glad that we did it. There’s always going to be that first run back and more than likely, it’s not going to be great. But it’s behind us now and we can move forward!
2016 has been pretty good to me as far as being injury free and I’m pretty stoked about that fact because it’s been awhile since I’ve been able to say that. However, I do have some time goals that I would like to hit and I’m hoping that the fall is when I’m able to accomplish them.
Clear skies ahead!
What do you have planned for the fall? Any tips for me as I head into the longer runs?
The Philly Marathon holds a special place in my heart. This race is THE ONE. The one that inspired me to run.
In 2010, I cheered Victoria during her first full marathon and that was where I was officially bit by the running bug.
In 2011, I ran my first road race, the Rothman 8k, which is part of the weekend’s events with Brooke (and cheered Victoria the next day during the half).
2012 was a year of volunteering – I gave out heat wraps and medals – giving back to the running community that has provided me with so much.
2013 was a year of cheering Kyle at HER first marathon. Are you sensing a theme here?
And finally, in 2014, I ran the half, while Victoria ran the full.
This year I once again registered nice and early for the half. As the date drew closer I asked my dear friend, Chrissy, if she had any interest in joining me. Chrissy is newer to the running game and we had a lot of fun at the Broad Street 10 Miler in May. She and I have been friends since 3 grade and I always have a blast with her. After talking her into it (not difficult, for the record) we were ready to embrace the race!
The most important thing, besides the running, was what we were going to wear. Since we are from the Northeast and since we love coffee, hot chocolate, donuts, bagels, and everything else Dunkin’ Donuts has to offer… we settled on this!
Flat us, practicing holding hands.
We woke up bright and early on race day and made our way to… Dunkin’ Donuts. Because, you know, priorities.
Got the train to Philly and walked the mile or so to the start area. The goal was to meet up with Bonnie pre-race to give high fives, hugs, and pep talks.
But that’s not exactly how it played out.
There were security lines that seemed to go on for blocks, serpentine-ing around streets and buildings.
Since the Boston Marathon tragedy occurred, they’ve added security check points at the Philly Marathon. I sincerely appreciate and completely understand the efforts.
However, this was like nothing I’d seen before. I know recent events had an effect on this but there was a lack of communication, volunteers, and general knowledge for the runners waiting in line. Additionally a lot of people who were cheering were in this line and I think that made the quantity of people more than the checkers could handle swiftly.
We waited on the line for an hour, without seeing much movement. Once the clock struck 7am (the time the race was supposed to start), all of a sudden we moved at a fast pace, streaming through the gates. The first racers were off at 7:13.
That said, that was the only snafu that we encountered that day. Everything can’t be perfect, right? We still made it into the blue corral with plenty of time to spare. Sometimes being in the last corral has its benefits!
We danced our way up to the start line, jamming to songs like the Percolator and Murder She Wrote over the sound system. Kicking it old school!
Soon we crossed the start line and took off to the sounds of the Rocky theme. Obviously! We heard that often throughout the 13.1 miles and I pumped my arms over my head each time.
I think one of the (many) reasons I adore running in Philly because I know where we are at all times. It’s my own personal tour of Philly, via foot! We passed the church my friends recently got married in and then a bit later on, the Moshulu, where their reception was held. In October, Jay and I drove from point A to point B. Not so much on Sunday!
Chrissy and I were doing 1:1 intervals and keeping our eyes peeled for fun things. Like all the Dunkin’ Donuts along the course. I’m pretty sure we saw at least 6!
Instagram friend and fellow blue buddy Rachel found usand we got to see her several times throughout the race, which was awesome.
Running a course you know is also sort of a mixed blessing because you know what to expect… and where the huge hill is. We hit several smaller hills and Chrissy would ask me each time, “Is THIS it?” And my answer every time was, “No. But you’ll know when it is.”
And she did. Because it felt like it was never ever going to end. Once we finally got passed it, we resumed our 1:1 intervals throughout Fairmount Park.
I listened to an awesome pep talk that someone else was getting from their personal cheer squad. I decided that I too, needed a pep talk, which I voiced. An awesome man on the course did just that. You can always rely on fellow runners to pick you up!
After the rough uphill a bit early, there was a glorious, glorious downhill. Hurrah! At the bottom of the downhill was a cheer group that I was very much looking forward to.
Turn up your speakers and get ready to boogie!
Are they not freaking awesome?
From there, we knew we only had a few miles left. Our goal was to finish under 3 hours and we knew if we stay consistent with our intervals, we would achieve it!
I focused on my breathing and listening for the beep of Chrissy’s watch. We didn’t talk much the last couple of miles, we just wanted to get to this point.
Jokers to the left, clowns to the right?
Once we got passed that sign and saw the front of the Art Museum, it was go time. We started to pick up speed and crossed the finish line, hand in hand!
And then we got medaled. Which was when all the emotions hit.
And there might have been a few happy tears shed between the two of us.
We did it! Furthermore, we did it together and felt really accomplished about the entire experience.
Chrissy has told me a few times that I’m one of the reasons that she started running and I can’t even begin to tell you how special that makes me feel. I know what running does for me and to have her be able to experience that and feel so positive, it’s truly a blessing to be part of her journey.
This medal is the BEST. It rings!
We found Rachel again while waiting for the finish line snacks and goodies and it was great to be able to catch up with her and learn of her 32 minute PR. Freaking awesome! As was the warm chicken broth and rice that they give at the end of the line of goodies. I told the volunteers how excited I was for it and they seemed surprised. No way, man! The salt and the warmth is perfection.
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 Flowerand 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 Organicsthat 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.
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