There are a lot of people doing really thorough, detailed recaps of all of the food and fun from over the weekend, so I’m not going to go there. Instead, I thought I’d reflect a bit on some of the lessons I took away from my very first blogging retreat.
Go small if you can’t go big.. just don’t go home.
I was really nervous driving up to the retreat. Like, thinking about high-tailing it back into the the valley nervous. Instead of doing that, I took a few deep breaths, strapped my kid to my chest (something about him makes me feel invincible…) and marched my way in to register. I was greeted by Momma B, Janetha’s mom, who treated me like an old friend. That helped calm my nerves a bit. Next up was getting bestowed with swag by the lovely Lindsay, whose blog I had read a few times but I wasn’t a regular reader. My god, it boggles my mind that people are so nice naturally. Those two interactions, even though they were so tiny and insignificant, helped calm me down so much as I started the weekend.
My nerves were back in full force when it came time for cocktail hour, though. I had to ask my naturally extroverted and bubbly husband the best ways to approach an already-interacting group of people, because the last time I tried to do that I crashed and burned. He gave me some tips and I steeled myself with some liquid courage (thanks to Silk for that!) before approaching a friendly-looking group of ladies with an empty chair at their table.
I am a big believer in the fact that you get what you put out, so I found it really funny that my hope with this weekend was to meet some women that I would hopefully click with and maybe become friends with. I’m not sure what the ratio of locals to visitors was, but I happened to plop myself down at a table of mostly local women! I got to meet Alison and her daughter Madison, and Leslie, who shares a passion for health promotion like I do! Rounding out the table was Arlene and Deborah, who were also awesome and fun to talk to. Dinner was delicious and I had a great time talking to Alison about blogs we both read (YHL represent!) and generally joking around with everyone at the table.
Those first two events were pretty much par for the course for the rest of the weekend. I stuck with my little group of new “Blends” for the most part, and while I am a bit envious of some of the more social recaps I’ve been reading, but ultimately… this was good. I stuck my toe into a world that made me completely uncomfortable and realised that I came out of it unscathed. Better than unscathed, really… with some new friends, and with hope for the future.
I can do more than I think I can.
Since I’m a regular reader of Janetha’s blog I’ve been curious about GPP Fitness. I’ve done boot-camp style classes before and liked them a lot, but GPP specifically seemed really intimidating considering how challenged Janetha is with the workouts they offer. When I heard they were hosting the morning boot camps I was excited to try it out and happy to say that I lived to tell the tale, even while surrounded by gorgeous women in Lululemon attire who seemed like they could run circles around me.
I’m also happy to say that while I was definitely sore the next day, it was manageable. I’ve overdone it before and been completely miserable, but this felt normal for the amount of working out that I did. This class, plus the gentle prodding of one of the trainers, has encouraged me to get a groupon for GPP and give it a real try. I’m excited to start on Saturday and I hope it’s another step in the right direction in this little journey I’m on.
I need to stop judging other people (and that includes myself).
If you pay attention, there have been little indications of this throughout the post. It’s not fair to anyone, but I have a hard time believing such awesome ladies would ever want to hang out with little old me. A great example of this is one of the GPP Trainers and fellow Blend Candice:
She came and sat at the same table as me during breakfast and we got to talking about working out and motherhood (yeah, she’s the mother of twins. I have no excuse for slacking off anymore…). My insecurities would normally make me believe that someone so pretty couldn’t be as nice as she was, but she was the real deal. Genuine and funny and kind, and I had to again check myself and remember that the stuff I project out is about me, not about the other person.
Blend was great at reminding me of this. There were all sorts of women there; plenty younger than me and quite a few that were older. Some that seemed as fit as me; some that maybe were a bit less. Plenty that were much further along than me. But everyone that I came across was legitimately nice. Everyone that I talked to was friendly and willing to chat. It sounds so obvious, but the fear of being rejected has kept me closed off for a long time, and Blend was great at allowing me to explore that sort of thing in a pretty controlled environment so I could be reminded that the world is actually a pretty cool place overall.
So… what’s next?
Like I mentioned earlier, I’ll be heading to GPP on Saturday and we’ll see how that goes. I am doing my best to be clear and determined about going. Like most of the women who came to Blend, I’m also thinking of next year. I stayed offsite this year, mostly to accommodate my son, but it also gave me the opportunity to stay in my comfort zone. Maybe next year I’ll jump in with both feet and see where it takes me!