The strangest looks came from people who had just asked me where I was planning to go for my upcoming vacation.
To a one, each face registered surprise, then confusion, then incredulous-ness as I explained that I was headed to a fitness resort where I would be subjected to six hours of exercise per day, whilst being fed 1,200 calories to fuel my body for said exercise.
Some mustered a smile and offered a, “good for you!”, while others just shook their heads and asked, why?
I’m not sure there was one specific “why”. At any given moment my why was tied to any (or all) of these:
- I always wanted a do-over because of how cray-cray I was the first time around in Malibu 3 years ago.
- I really needed a reboot to get me back on track after that whole drama with my killer gallbladder had massively derailed my fitness regime.
- This may be the only sort of “vacation” that would actually allow me to fully disconnect from work – because I would be too drained physically and mentally to do anything but eat and sleep. (Truth)
- I would get to spend one week with my soulmate and spirit animal, The Russian Princess.
- I wanted to test my mettle. I wanted to see how far I’d come.
More than anything, this time around I wanted to master my thoughts and emotions. Well, if not master them, at least to channel them for good and not evil.
I wanted to be completely tuned in to the negative self-talk that I knew was inevitable. I wanted to acknowledge it, and then re-frame it into something kinder and more loving.
If I could do this, I told myself, I would be successful.
So, on Sunday November 1st, at 3:00 a.m., I began my ridiculously long journey to get to Movara Fitness Resort, where I would get to test my mettle and see how far, if at all, I’d come these past three years.
I brought with me good intentions. I intended to:
- Write in my journal every day – to capture my feelings in real-time.
- Blog or Vlog every day – to share the real-time fun (and hell) of my week.
You know what they say about good intentions…
- I journaled twice: once on Sunday night and once on Tuesday night.
- I blogged once on Tuesday morning, on my phone, to inform everyone that I wouldn’t be blogging at all because I had forgotten my laptop at home.
So here I am, three weeks from the day I arrived at Movara, two weeks from the day I left, trying to piece together the memories of what was.
Lucky for me, I have a journal entry from Sunday November 1st to help jog my muddled mind. Here are my notes:
Holy shit, am I ever tired.
My day started with a 3am wake-up, followed by a two hour drive to Buffalo, then a 4.5 hour flight to Phoenix, a one-hour layover, and finally a 45 min flight to Las Vegas. And that’s when the fun began. After waiting over 90 mins in a line-up at the car rental agency, we were told it would be another hour until our car would be ready for us.
I lost my mind.
For real, I unleashed the beast on those poor bastards. Once I felt the appropriate amount of tongue-lashing had been doled out, and demanding a full refund (we had prepaid), we stormed off to another rental car agency.
After a quick pit-stop at my condo in Vegas to pick up some hiking gear, we were on our way to Movara, a two-hour drive.
Because of our rental car gong-show, we missed the opportunity to do our assessments (weight, BMI, BMR, body composition, etc.), but we did make it in time for dinner.
I hated dinner.
In fairness, the dinner wasn’t bad (chicken “alfredo” over spaghetti squash) – I think I was just too spun to eat, and the fact that the food wasn’t to my liking made it inedible in my mind. The Russian Princess reminded me I had to eat because of the work I’d be putting my body through the next day. I knew she was right but couldn’t stomach the food, so I made sure to load up on veggies at the salad bar.
After dinner was a welcome and orientation session. We all headed up to the lecture hall, and all the guests had an opportunity to introduce themselves and share a little of their story. For guests who were carrying over from previous weeks, they were invited to share tips & tricks, or any words of advice.
It was really awesome to hear a bit about everyone. Some of my favorite lines during the sharing:
“Everyone here is broken in some way.”
“Don’t look at anyone and assume anything based on their shape or size. You don’t know what they’re struggling with.”
“This is an emotional journey as much, or more than, it is a physical one.”
It’s 10:00 pm, my eyes are barely staying open, so one final thought: I am so happy to be here with my closest friend. I vow to be more open with her this time if I find myself struggling. That’s what friends are for.
And so wraps up “Day 0”. Next on the docket is Day 1, the first official day of the program. Stay tuned…