I had the pleasure of attending a fitness retreat organized by Anneliese and Mindy of RetreatUWell this past June and wanted to share my thoughts on attending events like these. Luckily for me, it was held in Austin on a weekend, so I didn’t have to take off work or contemplate transportation. I personally viewed this weekend as an opportunity to explore my city and make new friends, rather than a three day commitment to eating clean and hardcore workouts.
The weekend was costly, but included a stay at the Westin Downtown and an incredible swag bag upon arrival. The itinerary for 80 women (that was captured by a professional photography!) was as follows:
- Check-into hotel and receive swag bag
- Attend a City Surf session or walk Zilker Park, depending on what you paid for
- Dinner (on our own) & Rainey Street outing
- Fit Foodie 5k
- Lunch (on our own)
- Cyc private spin class and freebies from Total Nutrition
- Pool Party at the Westin rooftop pool
- Rae Cosmetics private make-up party at their studio, a 25% dicount on purchases and free cocktails
- Dinner (on our own)
- Night out on West 6th
- Yoga in the park
- Raffle drawing (I won Kendra Scott earrings!)
- Stand up paddle-boarding
- Check out
All of the activities were included in the cost and the majority of the meals were on our own, as most restaurants can’t handle 80 women at a time. I spent more than I would have liked on eating out and wish I had the forethought to fill our hotel mini-fridge.
Considering this was Anneliese and Mindy’s first retreat to organize and manage, I think it went extremely well. If anything, there were too many activities! I didn’t even attempt to go spinning after the 5k and thought a nap would be in my best interest if I wanted to be any degree of social that night.
Deciding whether to spend your money on an event like this is tricky. If the date works for you and the funds are there, then something to consider is your personality type and if you are comfortable with meeting new people and having little down time. I knew the social aspect would be a little out of my comfort zone, but I also knew that forcing myself to be an extrovert for a weekend would be good for me. I’m happy to report that I met a bunch of wonderful women and intend to keep up with them on social media and arrange future meet-ups for those of us who live in Austin.
I’ve had my eye on a few other fitness retreats around the world, such as SomaPnevma in Greece and Sharing Bali. I am drawn to the idea of bonding through sweating and love to try new workouts. However I don’t see myself signing up for one that boasts of strict schedules and grueling hours of yoga. I especially like that Anneliese and Mindy included evenings out, acknowledging that even the physically fit enjoy a night of good food, a few drinks and dancing to early 2000s hip-hop. I was also happy to see that the money I spent on raffle tickets went to a charity of Anneliese & Mindy’s choice. Booking a fitness retreat can feel lavish and unnecessary, but there are ways to balance the treat yo`self mentality with retreats that actively contribute to their community and create one of a kind experiences that can change our lives in unexpected ways. I didn’t have to travel far for this fitness retreat, but I’m eager to immerse myself in a new culture and find commonalities with others through travel and health. I’m excited for the vision these two women have for RetreatUWell and look forward to attending another fitness retreat of theirs in the future.