Monday, July 6, 2015

9 Reasons to Go on a Yoga Retreat (With Body Bliss Retreats)

Today I was working on promoting the upcoming retreat in November, and I Googled, “reasons to go on a yoga retreat” so that I could link an article to the Body Bliss page. I quickly thought “no way... I will write the article.”  If you Google reasons to go on a yoga retreat, you will find articles on 10 reasons, 8, 7, 5 and 3. I thought it my place, then, to write 9 reasons to retreat. One might apply to you, five might apply, and none might if you're not the retreat type. Here they are, in no particular order.

1. You get a new stamp in your passport and/or see a new place. 
Let’s take Sayulita for example (November 21-25 weather). Nestled on the Pacific coast of Mexico, you might not have known it ever existed. Often retreats are off the beatin’ path and take you to secluded and private destinations. This is a chance to travel to a new place – with a bunch of like-minded people. That doesn’t happen every day – or lifetime.  

This. Is. Sayulita.

2. You will be forced to make time for you. 
You will be forced. Any great retreat facilitator will force you to do things you don't want to do. We will force you to wake up and then we'll shove fresh berries and mangoes in your mouth, force you to practice, force you to have fun at the beach, force you to surf or SUP, force you to drink wine. Force you to reflect – (on being forced). Enough of that - we wont force you to do anything at all – but we’ll make sure you have ample chance to have an amazing, well-rounded time.

3. You will do things you didn’t anticipate. 

Here we have mother/daughter combination extraordinaire, jet-setting into town to complete two secret missions.

The best retreats must involve something borderline ridiculous. If they don't, you wont have that epic story to go home with. Laine and I decided to host our own triathlon back in 2014, and it was remarkable only because of the enthusiastic lot of ladies we hosted. FLOW LIKE WATER, girls!

4. You’ll make new friends 
You’ll probably make a new friend. Not a Facebook friend, but someone you might even see or keep in contact with over the years. You might even end up visiting them in Bangkok, going to their wedding in Santa Barbara, or catching lunch in NYC. You might even find that special someone.  Boom Shakalaka!

This couple didn't hook up in Sayulita ... well they may have, but they've been happily married for 15+ years and they get props for introducing me to this rad place. (And that's me in the corner ... that's me in the spotlight ... )

5. You will be encouraged to step out of your comfort zone, sometimes snarfing or spitting or speaking of orgasm among your new friends.
Let’s let the video do the talking for point numero dos.
6. You will get a chance to try your yoga/fitness routine on in a different setting.
What you practice is as much a part of you as that necklace or bracelet you wear. (If you don’t wear either – you still get it, right?) Try you moves out in a different club, a different resort, in a different city or country. See how you adapt and maybe you’ll be inspired to unleash the beast. We certainly hope so. Grrrrrr.

7. You will consider unplugging.
Many retreat destinations don’t have wifi. And even if they do, the coconut water and fine cuisine will make have you pondering something other than the celebrities that went from hot to not. While we will certainly ensure you have lots to talk about, unplugging is a practice you might want to dabble in. #bodyblissretreats

8. You invest in experience.

“The best things in life aren’t things.” ~Art Buchwald. 

... they're feelings.


9. You deserve it.  
It was no mistake that every reason on this list starts with the word, "You." We are speaking to you. The one reading this blog, wondering if a retreat is for you. Well the answer is YES. You deserve to pamper yourself with sand and suds (to be interpreted as foam from incoming waves or cold micheladas) once in a while. None of us have time - we spend time; without ever knowing how much we actually have. Better to spend it being awesome than spend it waiting for the chance be.

There you have it. Nine reasons to go on a yoga retreat.  If you feel inspired, and if the timing is right, join us in Sayulita. We'd love to have you.



Monday, June 22, 2015

Things I Miss (and a few I don't)

Yesterday while on a run I started thinking about how much I had missed running. I took a 3 month hiatus between pregnancy and post-pregnancy. And that was just enough to make me feel like I was starting from zero. Starting from zero isn't bad at all. That led me to thinking of what else I miss in life, and more than anything, this blog is about getting back to that. Not necessarily going back, but getting back. We never get to live the life we once did, and thank God for that. Onward and upward.

This is what I miss the most these days, and in no particular order.

Friends and Family:  Coming off the wedding week in Tulum, I am missing the people who I hold near and dear, but who are not here in Mexico. I loved having my brother and his wife in Mexico, and a handful of friends from home. Having something near and dear makes you vulnerable though. Because now I miss them even more.

Riding my bike/training for a race: I haven't been on my bike since Ironman France, and that was one hell of a ride.  That was almost a year ago. When people ask me where my favorite place in the world is, I answer, "On my bike." It really doesn't matter where. Though riding out from your house is a bonus, there is something in making a day our of it. Packing up, driving off, riding, eating out (anything you want), driving home. I just signed up for a duathlon in August, so be it in my living room, or out on the streets, I will have to saddle up soon! Animo!

Emerald green mountains: Medellin had the most beautiful mountains you can imagine. From afar, they looked like velvet drapes. But once you get inside them, it's very different. There are rivers and trails, wild flowers and butterflies. The most magical mountains I have come across, belong to Colombia.

 Clean parks/streets: We have some nice parks here in Mexico. But, they are dirty. The city just put two garbage bins on the street outside our apartment, which is progress indeed, but it's still a pretty dirty city. That being said, we have the greatest climate out of anywhere I have lived.

The possibility of sleeping in: I wouldn't change my life for anything. But I do miss sleeping in. Oh, the feeling of rolling over, checking the time, and shutting your eyes again. At this point, I don't think I will ever sleep in again; but if I do, I am sure it will be glorious.

Feeling confident in driving: It's not necessarily the traffic here that scares me, but the logistics of the city. I can handle my way from A-B in my neighbourhood, but a trip out of the city, not so much.

Writing: Well, here I am. Definitely not the most intriguing post ever, but it feels good to be putting some words out here. I have kept a diary since I was a young girl, and that stopped about the time I started writing this blog. 2011(ish). I love writing. Definitely one way I can synthesize what I am feeling and go a little deeper than what thinking has me do.

Things I don't miss: hangovers, public transportation, feeling bored, writing report cards and dating.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

14 for 14

Last year I did a recap of the year by sifting through my pictures and choosing 13 pictures of places and people in 2013.  Since 2013 was a relatively lame year on the blog, I thought I would start the year up right.  Today I will post 14 of 14 and revisit the bucket list of 2012 - editing, crossing off and reminiscing. Enjoy. Be inspired.

1. Monterrey, Mexico
Ironman 70.3
Ricky and I met while racing and we will continue to swim, bike and run until we are doing so with walkers and water wings.  This race was a 1/2 Ironman course (1.9km swim, 90km bike, 21.1km run) in Monterrey Mexico.  Ricky P. took off 5 minutes before me, so catching him on the bike was great.  Too bad I lost him on the second lap of the run.  This guy has several wins on me, most under 3 minutes.  In this race he took me by 16 seconds.

2.  Anna Maria Island, Florida
Body Bliss Retreats
Take nine girls, put them in a house with an amazing chef and mix up the week with some yoga, core training, beach walks and an amazing race and you get one thing.           L.O.V.E.

Wherever you go, go with all your heart. Confucius

3.  Tepoztlan, Mexico
This picture is a fav.  We have a few boys and eager beavers across the river, the girls who did the money shot jump in the water, and Kate who is afraid she's going to miss out.  Another great retreat, mainly because we have a truly bad-ass community here in Mexico.  

4.  Nice, France
Ironman Nice, June 29, 2014
The day before the race you drop off your transition bags.  In one bag you have everything you need from the swim to the bike, and in the other, the bike to the run.  Brasil was playing in the World Cup this day and tied Chile 1-1.  Ricky and I dropped our bags off, had a beer, a baguette and some cheese before heading to our apartment for a good night's sleep.  Hardest IM to date.  

5.  Amalfi Coast, Italy
We're Getting Hitched!!
We had just eaten dinner and made our way for the best pistacio ice cream in the history of the world.  Ricardo took me to the court yard of this little church and we sat on a bench watching some boys pay soccer.  I said to him, "when I have your baby, baby ... " when he spun on one knee and asked me to marry him.  What a surprise it was.  This was the night I said yes - for a lifetime of this guy.  I love him. 

6.  Rome, Italy
History 101
We took a tour bus around the city and I was so enchanted with the city scapes.  The ancient buildings, the colloseum, and of course your average Joe dressed up in Roman garb made me smile throughout.  We made our way to Vatican city after this where I was made to cover up my shoulders for a tour of the Sistine chapel.  I may have gotten a shot of Michaelangelo's "The creation of Adam." 

7.  Stockholm, Sweden
Ricky P. and Nicoline
This picture shows Ricky P. and his daughter Nicoline.  After France and Italy, we headed to Sweden to visit.  Nicoline is a spirited little girl with a big heart. 
8.  Peterborough, Canada
Danny and Matt Tie the Knot
A quick jaunt home for Danny Ray's wedding celebration had Kirsten, Imily (Liza, Marlene, Alex, my sister Sharon) and I meeting up in Peterborough. Here we have 6mo. preggers Kirsten (6 days preggers Di) and Imily jumping into the Trent Severn waterway.  After this we would take it to the train bridge.  I love my girlfriends. 

 9.  199 Amsterdam, Mexico City
The Announcement
When I was at home (pic above) I had no idea I was preggers.  It wasn't until I got back and "tried out" one of the 15 pregnancy tests I bought in Canada that I knew.  It was positive.  Waiting 12 weeks to share the news was HARD.  That's why a whole bunch of people already knew.  I had this idea of announcing right when I found out ... it's fruition, was priceless.  Smiling now.

10.  Chapultapec Park, Mexico City
Aero and her BFF Nelly
There are few things in this world that give a mama more joy than watching her firstborn play with her BFF.  This day was one of those days.  These two are a pure joy to take to the park and get along like two peas in a pod - in this case, two slobbery tongues in a tupperware.

11. Acapulco, Mexico
Telcel Triathlon
Since I have BB G in my belly, I have taken side-line on the race circuit.  In this race I got to cheer on several friends racing in Acapulco.  Some racing their firsts, others, racing their heart's out.  I loved capturing the sweat, sun and smiles this race gave up this day.

12.  199 Amsterdam, Mexico City
How Camila Got her Name
Camila wasn't always Camila.  She was Laine before we knew she was a girl.  Ricardo liked the name Camila, and I liked the name Laine - so  negotiation was had.  In exchange for the name Camila (which I do like very much) Ricardo agreed to take our family on a trip to Africa in 2016.  There was a contract (thanks Les) signed and notorized (in beer).  And so, she is Camila.  We're going to Africa!!

13.  Mexico City, Mexico
Camila's December ultrasound
She's 24 weeks old in this picture and we can see her arms, legs and her head.  She's moving around a lot, likes to rest with her hands behind her head and I have a feeling she likes chocolate.  No, I don't have any cravings. 

14.  Owen Sound, Canada
I love this shot.  My whole family is here minus my neice, Sara, her husband, and her two kids, my nephew Josh, his wife and his son.  We decided this year to meet up on boxing day and take a sleigh ride throught he forest. It wasn't much of a problem that all of the snow melted.  Our horses pulled us in wagons as we rode through the forest. Any time we can get a family photo our true colors come out. 

This is life folks.  Surprises around each corner.  As you head into 2015, do so with LOVE and win-win in mind.  I promise you a fruitful year.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Your Greatest Thief

Before I give report cards to my kids, I give them the schpeel.  (Insert teacher voice) “Avoid sharing and comparing your grades.  Some of you are fast runners, some of you are fast at math facts.  If we were all the same it would be … ?”  And they yell, “Boring.”

Yet it’s so damn hard. As we grow up, we are taught to measure just about everything. And as we enter adulthood, we are told that our goal setting should be measured (I have never met a SMART goal in my life). We measure this and we measure that and soon we are measuring how many Facebook friends we have compared to someone else (or am I the only person who has done this?) We stop looking in the mirror the same way. We stop seeing the person we are.  Instead we see the person we’re not. I am speaking of comparison, folks.  

When we use other people as benchmarks as to where we should (I hate that word) be, we lose. Period.  There is no winner. (Check out Sam in the pic above - rockstar)

I have been doing a lot of this recently. I see young 20-something women starting new businesses, becoming greatly successful, and I still have debt. I see fitness models with 6-packs and I can’t seem to plank for one minute a day. I see people writing, and writing, and writing, and every time I start to do the same, I think, f*%k it, no one wants to read that. I am in the comparison vortex. And it sucks.

When I look back on my life – even in the past year, I am really proud of the things I have accomplished.  And the year ahead is promising too. So why this struggle?  It’s what I am doing with my present (the majority of it) that is sucking me farther in. I am logged into the edited social media world – and I believe it to be real.  It’s not. Or at least it’s not the full monty. It’s all edited.  I am even backspacing and editing right now so that this sounds right – for you.  

So, getting back to what’s real.  Be curious about that.

I challenge you (and myself)  – just for this moment, right now – to drop comparison.  You can do that by telling yourself three things you love about yourself.  If you feel so inclined, share these in the comments.

I am grateful for inspiration (mine, yours, ours), for my body that has carried me this far, and for my ability to paint a bike, a Buddha and a zebra. (Coming soon)

Comparison stinks. So stop doing it.