DefineYOU Retreat 2017 Recap

DefineYOU Retreat 2017 Recap

Surround yourself with a community of empowering women for a weekend filled with self-love, positive energy, and meaningful connections. 


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It’s hard to believe that a month has already passed since our 1st ever DefineYOU Retreat! If you have no idea what I’m talking about, let me give you a quick recap.

About 10 months ago, one of my very good friends Baonhi + I started daydreaming up a women's health and fitness retreat hosted right here in MN. The idea initially came from the fact that I, myself always wanted to attend the retreats that I saw hosted in different states, but the time off work and travel fees had always kept me from pulling the trigger. I searched the web for a local retreat here in MN that I could attend, but unfortunately I didn’t come up with much. That’s when I gave Baonhi a call and after many Whole Foods and coffee shop dates later, it’s hard to believe that the inaugural DefineYOU Retreat has already come and gone!

For those of you that weren’t in attendance {and to bring back fond memories for those of you who were} allow me to share a bit of what the entire weekend entailed. You never know… maybe by the end of this post you’ll be ready to sign-up for year 2018;)

 

LOGISTICS

Ok, to start out with some logistics. The retreat was hosted just north of Park Rapids, MN {which is about 3ish hours north of Minneapolis}. We rented out a 20+ person cabin on the shores of the Fish Hook River, which was equipped with a full sized kitchen, 3 full bathrooms, 9 bedrooms, a movie theater, game room, screened in patio and the most gorgeous views of the river bed.

The retreat lasted from Friday evening through late Sunday morning and was filled with group activities that were ALL optional. We created this retreat for 2 main reasons: 1) as a way to give women, who are always on-the-go with jobs, housework, families, friends, etc. a chance to get away and slow down and 2) to give like-minded women a place to connect with each other and to focus on themselves for an entire weekend. Baonhi + I recognized that not only is self-care an extremely important piece of a woman's overall health, but it is one of the most widely overlooked areas as well. Because who has time for that?

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ITINERARY

Friday

The official itinerary for the DefineYOU Retreat started with guest arrivals around 6pm Friday evening. A really important factor in creating this retreat was making sure that it was accessible for everyone, so with that in mind, we had people arrive anywhere all throughout the evening depending on work schedules, how far they had to travel, road conditions, etc. Upon arrival the guests were showed to their rooms, where they could unpack, debrief, meet their roommate {if they didn’t know them already}, dig into their swag bags and anything else they wanted.

Once they were settled, everyone congregated in the large kitchen area to get to know the rest of the attendees, hosts, and enjoy some appetizers and adult {and non-adult} beverages. Once the majority of the group arrived, we moved into the living area for official introductions and to get to know one another a bit better. Icebreakers sound really lame, but I assure you that this was such a fun time. Every time I looked up there were smiles plastered across everyone’s face and laughter filled the room.

The rest of the evening was very chill. We kept the food and drinks plentiful,  introduced some of the giveaways from our amazing sponsors* and basically let people do whatever they wanted. As the clocks closed in on 11-12pm, most attendees began their evening routines and retired to their rooms in preparation for a exciting list of activities the next day.

 DefineYOU Retreat, womens retreat, heatlh retreat, yoga retreat, wellness retreat, northern MN, MN, Minneapolis
 health retreat, define fettle, minnesota, minneapolis, retreat, women, empower, connect, defineYOU
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Saturday

Saturday morning started foggy and early with a 7:30am outdoor YogaBurn class. These ladies were troopers because if you’re not familiar with Northern MN in early October, the temperatures can get a bit chilly during the overnight/early morning hours, but we bundled up and after a nice warmup, some squats and jumping jacks, the ladies were heating up and peeling off the layers. Immediately following the class, we showered the guests with lots of warm coffee and made sure they were well fed with a breakfast of yogurt, grain-free granola, musili and fresh fruit.  

In between breakfast and our first workshop that followed, the women had a chance to change clothes, shower, clean up and then we all met back in the common area. Jen, put together a workshop centered around the significance gratitude journaling has in our lives and as a part of the workshop, each attendee had the opportunity to create their very own, custom journal. From an outside view, the ladies really enjoyed the opportunity to tap into their creative sides and showcase their personality with something they could now use as a way to create a meaningful habit in their everyday life.

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The 2nd workshop immediately followed the 1st and was titled, Nutrition for YOU. I took the lead on this workshop and really focused on the fact that a diet that works for me, may not work for my best friend and a diet that works for my best friend, probably isn’t going to work for her neighbor because we are all unique individuals with our own goals, lifestyles and needs. The workshop consisted of food recollection, a deep dive into nutrition label reading and a very large Q+A session where no question was off the table.

Next up was a delicious and oh-so-healthy lunch provided by the amazing team over at Performance Meals USA to fuel our attendees for the hike through Itasca State Park that followed lunch. The women had ample time to finish their lunch, then we prepped for the hike, hoped in our cars and headed about 20 minutes north to the state park. Personally, this was one of my favorite parts of the entire weekend. The colors were absolutely peak and deep reds, oranges and yellows covered the trees as the warm sunshine shone down upon our bodies from the cloudless sky above.

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It felt so wonderful to get out in the crisp, yet warm fall air and do some adventuring through nature. The hike lasted about 2 hours, at which point we the group separated a bit as we’d come to one of our most important activities throughout the entire retreat, YOU time.  Baonhi + I created the retreat to give women a break from the chaos of everyday life and we most certainly wanted to make sure that there was time for rest built into the weekend. Some ladies drove back to the cabin and enjoyed a good book on the porch or even a nap, some stopped at a local coffee shop and enjoyed spending time with each other a bit more and others drove a bit further north to the headwaters of the Mississippi for some extra exploration. The time was meant for the women to do whatever they wanted and we loved watching what they all came up with.

Once everyone was back at the cabin, Jen led the group through an afternoon barre class on the warm lawn next to the lake. After the hike and barre class, these ladies were ready for a dinner feast and we prepared side salads, chicken parmesan with zucchini noodles and for dessert, The Bluebird Cakery provided the most gorgeous gluten free cupcakes in all the land. This dinner was a bit more formal than the rest of our {buffet style} meals, but still the women were able to relax and continue building their connections with one another and the retreat hosts.

The rest of the evening was dedicated to what we called a {Girls Night In} equipped with face masks, DIY body scrub, cocktails, snacks and a bonfire! The weather was just warm enough for us to still be comfortable in just sweats and a hoodie around the fire-- we really lucked out with the weather!

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Sunday

The next morning we were up bright and early at 7am for our final workout of the retreat. Jen led the women through a beautiful YogaFlow class beside the lake as the sun was rising and temperatures were warming. This was the perfect way to relieve their bodies after all of the hard work throughout the weekend. Most ladies participated in all of the classes, however some took some more YOU time {to sleep in, to read, to rest}  in place of a class throughout the weekend and I couldn’t be more thrilled that they felt comfortable enough to do that! This weekend was 100% about doing whatever they wanted!

The aroma of pumpkin french toast bake and freshly brewed coffee filled the cabin upon their return from the class and hunger immediately overtook everyone.To finish off the weekend Baonhi led the ladies through their final workshop entitled, I Am A Woman Of Strength. Deep, meaningful, raw, real, beautiful are some of the words I have to describe this experience. She shared her own very intimate story of fight with the group, together we participated in a guided meditation as a group and finally to close out we lifted one another up with positive things we’d learned about the women at the retreat throughout the weekend.

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Once the workshop ended, it was time to pack up and head home. Cars were loaded, good-byes were said, hugs were given and the close of the inaugural DefineYOU Retreat started to set in as everyone departed and we were left in the quiet of the {once-bustling} cabin.

Baonhi + I couldn’t be more thrilled with how the weekend turned out. Our vision unfolded perfectly and we are forever grateful for those who supported and encouraged our dream along the way. Special thanks to our amazing retreat sponsors, to Jen Regensheid and our photographer Bella Lam and most importantly to our attendees, you put your trust in us and supported us in the most meaningful way possible. THANK YOU!

Stay tuned for details about DefineYOU Retreat 2018 which will release in early 2018!

All our love,

Britany + Baonhi

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