I must admit that I felt a little trepidation when my editor chose me to represent our magazine at the Westin’s inaugural Wellness Escape event in San Diego. Although I hike regularly and consider myself moderately fit, I began to worry when I discovered that the all-women retreat would be led by fitness guru Holly Perkins. Perkins, who has trained many A-list celebrities and has an abs as flat as an ironing board, would be shepherding us through grueling boot camp sessions designed to build muscle and burn fat. Although the thought of having a stomach like hers was enticing, it was also intimidating. The fact that she was insisting that we all pack a bikini made me start to sweat.
I made a beeline to my local Athleta, as I knew my standard workout wear (old leggings and a faded Rolling Stones t-shirt) would not cut it in such elite athletic company. I bought some new exercise duds, as well as a bathing suit that was fashionable and (more importantly) camouflaged some of my indiscretions. I was looking forward to the experience.
I was excited when I arrived at the Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter and was issued my own personal water bottle that could be infused with a variety of fresh fruits and/or herbs. Mojitos were on my mind as I filled my bottle with lime and mint leaves, however there was no rum to be found. Evidently, this was going to be an alcohol-free weekend.
Over tiny appetizers (that I didn’t realize until later were actually dinner), I met the other women who would join me in the first official launch of Perkin’s new venture, Women’s Strength Nation. They were from all over the country; most wrote for fitness magazines or high profile media outlets. The majority were young, gorgeous, wore size 2 jeans and ran several marathons per year. I realized immediately I was out of my element, and my nice, new bathing suit was not going to be any comfort.
For Part Two of this adventure, visit the Smart Meetings blog later this week.