I’m probably not the first person you’d expect to find on a day hike, let alone at a week long hiking boot camp. But when Mountain Trek extended an invitation to recharge and revitalize in a safe, nurturing environment, I jumped at the chance to gain a new perspective, not to mention shed a few pounds.
More importantly, the promise of a healthy lifestyle, increased vitality and overall well-being was too good to resist. I had visions of taking leisurely hikes through the Kootenay Rockies, supplemented with nutritious organic meals, and followed by nightly massages and soaks in the hot tub. Ahh . . .
But this was a boot camp, so first I had to earn those massages and soaks . . . Dang . . .
We started our week with a Body Fat Analysis (“Do we have to?”) and a review of our health goals for the week. My plan was to tone up, lose 4 – 6 pounds, and improve my cardio-vascular conditioning. I managed to squeak within the desirable fat percentage range for my age and gender. Whew! But obviously, I knew I could do better.
The mornings began with a gentle, but insistent, knock on our doors: “Good morning, Nancy!” 15 minutes later, I made my way down to the dining room where I ingested a yummy protein smoothie with a dash of flax powder to kick-start my metabolism. On to the yoga studio . . .
Just entering the minimalist space, overlooking Kootenay Lake and the Purcell Mountains, gave such a calm and peaceful start to the day. Our yoga instructors, Anna and Susan, used their soft, yoga voices to lead us through a series of gentle, restorative practices which were modified for each of our physical limitations. Some of us proved more flexible than others, some came with feet, hand or knee challenges. But all of us gained from the yoga practice. As Susan explained:
“Yoga is less about being able to stretch your hamstring than it is about coming home to yourself. Most of the time we live from the neck up, disconnected from the rest of our body.” Breathe . . .
From the yoga studio, we headed to the main dining room for healthy breakfasts that included Mountain Trek’s Cinnamon Granola, Roasted Red Pepper Frittata – and my favorite – Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Blueberry Sauce, served with a variety of non-caffeine teas. Mmm . . .
So far, so good. But a core feature of the Mountain Trek program – alpine mountain hiking – still lay ahead . . .
How are you staying fit for your summer travels, Wanderboomers? Share your tips with us here.