Saturday, May 19, 2012

BLEND Retreat Recap Part II

One reason I was so excited to attend BLEND was to take advantage of a weekend away from home to focus on health and fitness. And BLEND delivered! We kicked off our weekend of exercise with a butt-kicking boot camp, led by Tina and Lindsay. You likely remember when I participated in Tina’s incredible Best Body Boot Camp for eight weeks in March and April, and I am thrilled to say her in-person self was just as fantastic as I had hoped! Lindsay and Tina had us jog around the park (yep, the boot camp was outdoors in the gorgeous Colorado sunshine, with the Chautauqua mountains as a backdrop. Not a horrible setting for a workout), and those of us who aren’t from Colorado wanted to die after the first lap. 

Our view during the workout

People aren’t kidding when they say elevation makes things tough! I had asked my new friend and Colorado native Amanda for some advice about dealing with the elevation, and she said to drink tons of water and get plenty to eat. I took her very seriously and felt fine, though more easily out of breath than usual.

The boot camp, which lasted about an hour, continued with squats, bicep curls, push ups, and plenty of fun booty exercises. We ended with a round of group circuit exercises, which I loved. Tina and Lindsay placed a dozen tennis balls, each with a different exercise written on it, in the center of a large circle. We participants were in groups of 5 or 6 around the outside of the circle. Then we got 90 seconds for one person from each group to run in, grab a ball, come back to the group, and tell us all which exercise to complete. From there we completed as many of that exercise as we could in the remaining time. Then we did it all again, probably seven times total. It was fun at first, until our group got Dead Man Burpees (burpees, but you drop your whole body to the floor when you go down) three times. But actually, our group won! We did the most reps of all the groups, not an easy feat in this crowd! We each won a prize of our choice; I picked White Girl Salsa, mostly for Terry's benefit. 

Next up was the hike to Royal Arch, which you can check out here. It was a super difficult hike, mostly because I needed more ankle support for the rocky terrain because my foot hadn’t done anything like that since the surgery. But what a view at the top! Totally worth all the panting and the sore hips the next day.

And our final stop for Saturday: yoga! 

About one-third of us headed into town for a yoga class at corepower yoga studio. It was a level 1 class, which was perfect after such a tough morning. And I’m proud to say that Terry joined for the class! He rocked it. It was funny; the teacher had us introduce ourselves at the beginning of class, and most of the folks who attended were from California. We Californians sure do love our yoga! I was really impressed with the style of teaching and would certainly check out corepower again. Apparently there’s an awesome studio in Downtown LA, so I might just have to head over there for a few classes sometime. Also, the first week of classes is FREE! If you have a corepower near you, what do you have to lose? Check it out!

After a fun evening out (more about that tomorrow) and good night’s rest, our last hoorah with BLEND was another boot camp on Sunday morning. This time, Tiffany (same Tiffany I mentioned from our circuit victory the previous day) led our boot camp. She was great! We did a jog around the park again (it wasn’t any easier), stretched, and got to do some awesome circuits. Lunges, push ups, step ups, speed skaters, bicep curls…fantastic way to start the day! I loved getting to know Tiffany throughout the weekend; she is the Chobani Fit Director and is super passionate about her job and the Chobani brand. In fact, I got to taste Chobani for the first time while at retreat and loved it! I eat yogurt almost every day, so it’s nice to have some options for variety’s sake. Fun Fact: Chobani is sponsoring the Olympics! Talk about HUGE. I’m so excited to have learned more about such a great company. You can check out their review of BLEND here

Overall, while the weekend was exhausting, I loved the idea of a fitness retreat. I told my friend Jenn about it, and we agreed it would be spectacular to have a fitness retreat out here in California. I’m sure they exist, so I’ll be on the lookout!

Stay tuned for one more BLEND recap all about the people I met, Saturday night’s festivities, and the rest of our trip to Colorado. 

Have you/Would you ever do a fitness-focused getaway?


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