Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Event Report: Sage Endurance Yoga & Running Retreat

"The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.” - Anna Quindlen

While I will never be perfect, last weekend pretty much was: perfect people, perfect setting, perfect opportunity to become more who I truly am.

Take 14 inspiring athletes of all levels, add the gorgeous scenery of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a tucked-away retreat center on over 65 acres, hours of trail running in a light mist, even more hours of yoga, guided meditation, intellectually stimulating book discussions, delicious food cooked by someone else, a hot tub, chocolate chip cookies every day and what do you get?

The 2008 Sage Endurance Yoga and Running Retreat.

Our carpool arrived on Friday evening just in time for an amazing salmon dinner with our fellow retreat-ers and the professional runners who live and train at ZAP Fitness.

Following dinner and introductions, Sage led us through a practice of yoga nidra to release our mind, bodies, and spirits from the fuss and muss of the day to day.

In full retreat mode, I headed to bed early and slept soundly.

The morning brought a dynamic warm-up and long, misty 1:50 run in Moses Cone Memorial Park. I continue to be amazed at how complete strangers become intimates through shared miles.

After a much needed hot shower and lunch, we regrouped for more than 3 hours of yoga practice. Hips, hamstrings, headstands - you name it, we did it. The time passed quickly and we closed with a long meditation.

Free time, dinner, and another hour of yoga - this time in the yin style - while we discussed our reading for the weekend.

Wine, hot tub, endless chat about life and training: the perfect end to a long, full day.

We slept in, met outside for a recovery run with "yoga intervals", and spent some time working on our cores before lunch and goodbyes.

A couple of days to simply focus on physical and mental training, to focus on who I am, and who I am becoming. What a treat.