Bringing the Beach Back Home
Mexico. Where do I even begin. I have been putting off writing this because I simply can’t find the words to adequately depict the amazingness that we experienced during our week long fitness retreat in Baja, Mexico.
I am one of those people that doesn’t feel the weight of a trip, vacation or adventure until I actually arrive. This trip felt especially surreal. It wasn’t until I saw my name on a sign, held up by my private driver ready to take me to our hotel in Todos Santos (yes, just like the movies) that I said to myself… “holy shit”.
Since I was the only one in the car with an uncharged phone, I had a lot of time to think. A lot of time to soak in what I was able to accomplish. I did it. I am here. Five other people are here seeking change, guidance and joy in their fitness IN MOTHER FUCKING MEXICO because of my strong feeling to lead this trip. Tears start to trickle down my cheek.
Just before we get to Todos Santos I have my driver stop so I can pick up a six pack so everyone can enjoy their “welcome drink”. If you know me, you know I am not a big drinker, nor a beer drinker at that. I probably stood in that OXO (similar to a 7/11) for five minutes trying to figure out what beer to buy.
About ten minutes later I arrived at the hotel, set my stuff down and headed to the pool where the adventurers (what I will be calling the people who embarked on this trip) were all getting to know one another.
I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t do any Facebook stalking because I wanted to come without bias. After about fifteen or twenty minutes of us all chatting and lots of laughter I posed a question.
I asked each adventurer to go around and share their intentions for the trip.I was blown away by their immediate honesty and venerability in sharing their stories and intentions.
Now, I won't share their answers because I don’t believe they are mine to share but, I will share my own.
I started the discussion by sharing my own intentions. “My number one intention for this trip is to be of service and guidance to you through your health and fitness journey. I want to be present. I want to slow down and milk this experience and all the moments, conversations, and experiences we will share over this next week.”
After a little more chilling by the pool and watching the sunset, we headed to our welcome dinner.
I lead the adventures in a morning of yoga, mobility, meditation and tarot reading on the yoga deck overlooking the ocean.
This is also the day we went surfing.
Okay, I can honestly say I could do it. I could pack up Boone, our dog and cat in a Sprinter Van, move to Mexico and become a surf bum. Sorry in person clients, you are now becoming an online client!
It was so fun!
Each adventurer and myself had their own instructor in the water with them so they could get 1:1 instruction so they would get the euphoric feeling of standing up on the board and riding the wave.
Needless to say, everyone stood up on the board within the hour.
Our chef at the hotel drove to the beach and brought us lunch. No pb&j sandwich or trail mix to snack on. FULL COURSE FREAKING LUNCH DELIVERED.
We were in heaven.
After hanging on the beach, exploring tide pools and experiencing our first knowledge “nuggets” by our guide, Hugo we headed back to the hotel to freshen up before our cooking class.
I learned how to properly cut an avocado. You think as a full blown vegtard I would already know that, but you learn something new everyday and sometimes it takes going to Mexico to do so.
We also learned how to make AUTHENTIC Mexican guacamole, tortilla chips, & fresh corn tortillas. OH AND THE BEST MARGARITA I’VE EVER HAD.
Cliff hike day!
Started off the morning with more yoga and meditation. I really enjoy starting the day off this way. Slow, connected to your body and spirit. The views weren’t bad either.
We explored an old canning factory that was near the trail head then took off up the mountain to explore the flora and fauna of Baja as well as some spectacular views that really reminded me of the Pirates of Caribbean. (Don’t tell me I’m wrong. I mean c’mon, look at this).
After the hike we had an afternoon total body BURNER workout.
Needless to say, some of us jumped right in the pool afterwards.
We headed to town to dine at a local Jazz Club. We watched couples who look like they should have been at woodstock relive their glory days. Dinner and a show!
I went for a run on the beach (remember my 2020 goal #olympictriathalon). Somehow got lost coming back up the trail from the beach to the hotel and fell into a cactus. I was fine though, nothing more than my ego was hurt.
I met up with everyone for breakfast.
Our last breakfast with Chef Iker and his crew. Chilaquiles. After all the meals thus far I was blown away at their willingness, creativity and joy in preparing me vegan meals. (I was the only vegan).
The 8 of us (5 adventures, 2 guides and myself) hop into the van and head to La Paz where we get on a boat and head to Isla Espurita to glamp for our last 2 nights.
It was about a 2.5 hour journey but SO worth it.
When we arrive, lunch is ready and there is a lentil salad for the first course. PRAISE THE VEGAN GODS. Lentils and two courses on an island. I could get used to this.
After fueling up we head out to do a couple miles on the sea kayaks.
We had a few falls just getting in the kayaks but after that, everyone had the opportunity to take their fitness on the water.
Our guide gave us lots of knowledge “nuggets” throughout our kayak on the Sea of Cortez.
We saw turtles, crabs, fish, herons, pelicans and so much more.
We watched the sunset as we headed back to camp for happy hour.
Palomas and deep rooted connections were made. I lead them through a workshop that focused on meaningful connection. It was beautiful to watch each adventurer connect with their fellow adventurer.
Dinner was 3 courses: grilled romaine salad, tamarind stir fry with eggplant (everyone else had trigger fish to accompany their stir fry) and fresh grilled peaches for dessert.
Heading to bed it was like a real life sleep soundtrack as I fell asleep to the waves crashing outside my tent.
I do have to say that I didn’t realize how much it would make me have to pee in the middle of the night.
Our last full day.
We had our cold breakfast (fruit, cereal, yogurt and coffee) then headed out for our last morning workout.
TODAY IS THE DAY WE SWAM WITH SEA LION PUPS.
Yes, read that again. We swam with sea lion pups.
Open ocean, wetsuits, flippers and the sea lions. It doesn’t get more real than that.
After spending a couple hours in the water we headed to another island for a hike to a very spiritual cave.
Our guide, Hugo would be able to tell you more about this than I but, the Mayans used to hold ceremonies inside this cave hundreds of years ago.
After scrambling the rocks to get there we got to fully experience the energy that lied in this beautiful place by meditating in it.
We headed back to camp for more play time. Stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, reading, soaking up the sun.
We snuck in one final beach workout before happy hour.
Happy hour and dinner this night was something really special. All the adventures were able to share with each other how they each shined during the trip. It was so remarkable to watch each and everyone give such deep rooted, meaningful compliments to one another.
We finalized our night with star gazing on the beach and scorpion searching.
Our final morning workout and meditation.
We had breakfast and took the trek back to the airport.
It was a sad day to leave Baja and the amazing adventurers I spent time with but, I didn’t have to worry because I know I will be seeing them again on the next trip.
One Week Post
It is hard to convey the euphoric feeling after leaving my adventurers and Mexico. So hard that when people ask me, "How was your trip?!" I just smile and say, "It was awesome."
But, it was way more than awesome. I am going to do my best to put in words for you. The overall energy of every single person on the trip was INCREDIBLE. Literally EVERY SINGLE PERSON we interacted with was vibrating at such a high frequency it was contagious and momentous.
All the adventurers were being pushed (more like shoved) outside of their comfort zone daily. Whether it was a fruit they had never tried before at breakfast or standing up on the surfboard for the first time, their attitude to just go for it and try was so beautiful and refreshing.
I left the adventurers with one final thought.
Think back to all the challenging, inspiring and amazing shit you've done this week. It's more than a lot of people get to experience in their lifetime.
How can you bring the same sense of curiosity, exploration and sense of adventure to your daily life? How can you bring the beach back home with you?