After a few fast-paced trips to Canada & Mexico, I wanted some down time. A fitness retreat in the mountains of Utah was the perfect escape.
Running your own small business from the road is definitely not a relaxing endeavor. I’m the photographer, the writer, the graphic designer, the editor, the accountant, the marketing team, the advertising executive, the social media manager, the research intern, the secretary, the IT department, AND the cleaning lady all in one!
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love what I do.
But it wears you down eventually — and it’s nice to take a short vacation from running a travel-intensive business.
A vacation from travel??
Yup! Sitting still for a few days, setting aside my camera, keeping my laptop switched off, & disconnecting from the online world can be a therapeutic experience.
Reboot Your Operating System
Melanie Webb puts together customized fitness retreats to help you unwind, release stress, and re-connect with your body, mind, and the natural world.
She invited me to join her in the mountains of Utah for a couple days of rejuvenation.
Melanie is a professional fitness trainer whose clients often want to improve their physical conditioning. I stay pretty active with my many travel adventures, so was more interested in stress reduction and mental clarity.
Daily 10+ hour sessions in front of a computer was beginning to take it’s toll — giving me the attention-span of a 3 year old.
Utah’s world-famous Sundance Mountain Resort was the perfect location to start a fitness retreat, with it’s healthy dinning options & beautiful natural backdrop.
Learning New Techniques
Our first day began with an easy hike behind the resort that took us up to a waterfall. During the hike we occasionally stopped to practice some specialized skills like:
- Qi Gong: The ancient Chinese practice of deliberate, repetitive, and fluid movements designed to gently stretch your body and improve physical/mental performance. Similar to Tai Chi.
- Mindful Breathing: A simple but powerful tool for reducing stress & controlling emotions. Pulling air in from the ground & releasing it above you with the help of your arms to create a full-body breathing experience.
- Agility Workout: This consisted of leaping from stone to stone without touching the ground. Similar to the types of games you played as a kid! A lot of fun, and a great way to improve balance & quickness.
- Navajo Beauty Walk: One of my favorite activities, this is the ancient Navajo tradition of walking out into nature and using all five senses to discover what the Earth is trying to tell you. It’s a type of meditation.
Rolfing with Paul Wirth
The second day of our fitness retreat was based from Hotel Park City, yet another incredible scenic resort in Utah’s mountains.
Have you ever heard of Rolfing?
It’s a type of bodywork that manipulates connective tissues to improve the overall organization of your muscular & skeletal system. It often results in better posture, a reduction of chronic pain, and ease of motion.
Realigning Connective Tissues
Melanie invited certified Rolfer Paul Wirth over to the hotel, where he inquired about any chronic pain or past injuries I might have. He also watched me walk around the room to identify possible issues.
Once on the massage table, Paul began to unbind and re-organize my connective tissues beneath the skin. Most of his attention was directed to the right side of my body, particularly in the hip area.
He’d determined that this zone was to blame for my off-balance walking gate and occasional knee pain.
After the 1 hour Rolfing session, I truly felt different. It was easier to keep better posture as I walked. My gate felt more comfortable and relaxed.
Fit & Ready to Travel
The Sol Fitness weekend retreat was a huge success. By the end I was calm, collected, and mindful of my surroundings once again.
I’ve learned some new skills that will help reduce stress and improve the clarity of my thoughts moving forward. These techniques are slowly starting to become part of my daily routine.
I feel their positive effects on my work and life. ★
Location: Provo, Utah [Map]
Company: Sol Fitness Adventures & Mosaic Body Work
Useful Notes: Melanie has a great series of posts on her blog aimed at improving the health of frequent travelers. It’s called the Travel Wellness Program.
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Have you ever needed to recharge before?