What I Learned At Wanderlust: I Was Organically Cracked Open

I am coming off one of the most tremendous experiences of my lifetime. I was fortunate enough to attend the Wanderlust Festival in Snowshoe, West Virginia this past weekend. Not only was the trip a remarkable experience, it was an extra special treat to share the event with my mom and our dear friend Janet. We set out on this adventure together to Find Our True North.

First I want to thank my coach and friend Ryan Conrad for sharing the event on his Facebook months ago. Ryan is the coach for J&A Racing Training Team and a lululemon ambassador. He was selected to be a fitness leader throughout the weekend. Mom, Janet, and I were lucky to get to share some special moments with him and his wife Ashley throughout the weekend. We all vowed to come back next year and bring our tribe of runners along.

I have been on a fitness retreat before, and I remember walking away from that experience completely changed. Submerging yourself into something for several days will do that to a person. This trip manifested it’s own unique set of memories, magic, and milestones. I kept a detailed journal throughout the weekend. A theme began to emerge as I reflected back over my notes. It is hard to put the four days into words. I learned a lot about yoga, about meditation, about others, and a lot about myself. Some moments are sacred and special. These highlights I willingly share with you.

What I learned about yoga 

It isn’t about flexibility, or even strength. It is about focus and trust. Focus on your breath and your body movements. Trust your body. It will tell you what it can and can’t do. Listen to the signals. Any posture that might be difficult one day, can come easily on others. It is a progression. It can include rest. It is ever evolving.

What I learned about meditation

It is clear this needs to be a part of my life, my culture, my fitness philosophy. It doesn’t have to be for hours, it can be minutes. It needs to be consistent. It doesn’t have to be silent. It is ok if your mind wanders. If you are doing it at all, then you are doing it right. It can be done anywhere that feels authentic to you.

What I learned about others

True health and fitness minded individuals are kind. They love. They do not judge. They appreciate nature and other living things. I learned that when a person is relaxed, they are most vulnerable. They are comfortable. They are beautiful.

What I learned about myself 

I need quiet. I need nature. I need daily peaceful moments. My intensity is immense. My passion is powerful. I am strong. I can flow. I can crow. I can cry. I am enough. I felt alive, creative, renewed, and in my realm there. I felt confident and comfortable. I grew.

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Finding my true north wasn’t a direction for me at all. It was a feeling. An incredible invigoration. An open heart. Like the watermelon, I have a tough and strong outside. At Wanderlust, I was organically cracked open.  Let the seeds be planted, the juice pour out, and the sweetness will be enjoyed.

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