AKA…How a Groupon Changed My Life!
“Check Out These Groupon Getaways” teased the message in my Inbox. As a self-professed travel-addict, how could I resist? And then I saw the destination “The Biggest Loser Resort”…and my pulse quickened. I love watching that show! … Would this be the same? I’m adventurous, I thought, so why the heck not try this? It could be fun. I could lose [more than] a few pounds. And so I called my girlfriend, the Russian Princess.
“Hey, I said, Would you be into doing this with me??? It’s only a week, and it’s 40% off!” She agreed immediately, and before either of us could over think it, we both booked and paid for our one week stay at Fitness Ridge Malibu, a Biggest Loser Resort.
Buyers’ remorse kicked in the next day. Oh sweet mother of all things good, WHAT HAVE I DONE?? I just blew a lot of money. I could have gone to a 5-star resort in Jamaica for that price (including airfare!). …What if this is not right for me. What if it’s just too hard. What if I can’t do this???
The Russian Princess invested a lot of time doing her research in preparation for our visit: reviewing the website, reading the blogs, etc, while I buried my head in the sand and ignored what was quickly approaching. As our trip grew closer, she emailed, texted and called me, all fired up by what she had learned. She was relentless in her goal of getting me on her happy train. And, eventually, her relentless enthusiasm broke through my wall of fear and anxiety.
And so on Sunday Nov 4th, 2012 the Russian Princess and I arrived in Malibu, excited, nervous and a little weary of this crazy challenge we were about to jump into.
Each night, we each posted brief updates to Facebook
because we were too exhausted and in pain to get into much detail to give our friends and family a small glimpse into what we had faced that day. Really though, there was no way to convey the depth of physical, mental and emotional strain (and okay, some triumph and joy, too) that we experienced.
Here are some of the basic facts and figures about the week:
- Full week program = 36 hours of workouts in 6 days; or approximately 6 hrs/day of intense physical activity.
- Workouts were strenuous and engaged all parts of our bodies: Cardio, Strength, Pool, Hiking, Yoga/Stretching – while throwing in some super fun (but crazy hard) classes, such as: Kick-boxing, Zumba, Beach Circuit Training, HIIT, etc.
- Attendance at each and every class was mandatory, and attendance was taken. If you missed a class, they would hunt you down! (Happy to say I voluntarily attended every single one!)
- Menu was built to a 1,500 calorie/day total, and the meals were tasty and very filling.
- Very informative lectures were provided after lunch and dinner daily. Tips & Tricks that I will absolutely use in my life moving forward.
The stats above really do nothing to explain what truly made this week a breakthrough for me. While the physical challenges (some might call them torture…) were tough, it was the breaking down of emotional and mental barriers that made this a truly life-changing event for me.
Me… I’m a classic Type-A over-achiever, so learning to face (and accept) the fact that I am not the fastest, don’t have the best endurance, can’t be ‘best’ at many things athletic — this was breakthrough. The physicality of the week may have “broke me”, but my willingness to tear down my own walls, defense mechanisms and fear [disguised as self-confidence] is the stuff from which magic is made.
And by Day 6 friends, I was making magic. I ran at 7.5 mph. I had never run faster than 5.0 because I didn’t believe I could. Those mental blockers are a bitch to overcome. But when you do…pure magic.
Another huge benefit of my week at Fitness Ridge was the human connections I made. I met people from all walks of life, and in all shapes and sizes. Everyone was there because they chose to focus on health and wellness, and wanted to better themselves. I was inspired and motivated by those participants even more than the staff and trainers. Seeing what they could do, at 250, 300, 350 lbs…magic. And a big kick in the ass to me when I was telling myself that I “don’t” run over 5.0 mph. Thank you to these amazing souls who touched me so profoundly.
Looking back, this was by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. Natural child birth (x2) was a piece of cake compared to this!! Challenging, torturous, and oh so rewarding. I have never felt so proud of myself. And I’m forever indebted to my beautiful Russian Princess, who, without hesitation, jumped into this wild adventure with me.