The scariest and most nerve-wracking situations, often turn out to be the best experiences in life.
A year ago an American woman called Rebecca (founder and CEO of Fit&Fly Girl) send me an email to ask whether I was interested in joining the Fit&FlyGirl fitness instructor team and take part on two retreats in Europe: French Riviera and Ibiza.
An American client of mine, Marylin, vividly recommended her to get in touch with me as she believed I would have been a good fit (thanks, Marylin!).
When Rebecca asked me to get involved, I enthusiastically said yes without even a second thought as both retreats sounded amazing.
Two weeks before embarking on the first one though I started worrying.
I didn’t have a clue on what to expect. I met Rebecca in London for a quick coffee and didn’t know much about her. I was going to teach to a group of ladies coming from all parts of America with all kinds of fitness levels and expectations from their training.
I designed every single session with a modification and advance option, but the question in my head was: will I stand up to the standard of my fellow American instructors?
Apparently yes. And not only I enjoyed meeting and training this group of inspiring and beautiful women but I also made new friendships.
Each one of the women had a story to tell and something inspiring to learn from.
Bobbie was the oldest, although the youngest at heart. Despite her 68 years old, she does aerial silks and skydives in her hometown Sacramento. She brought her positive overlook at life and her bubbly personality, amusing everyone with her stories and her splits.
The retreats are open to all levels of fitness, and I have to say this was a strong group. The most inspiring side for me it was that each one of the women does fitness as a passion and not as a chore.
It has been one of the most empowering experiences I’ve done up to date.
Our base was in Vence, close to Nice where the nearest airport is.
The ladies were staying in 3 stunning villas nearby each other, each of them with a pool and overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Double or single rooms with en-suite bathrooms were available.
The villas are situated in the hills of Vence, a beautiful medieval village of the French Riviera.
The closest airport was Nice and the ladies were picked up and driven by our driver Dennis and our butler JP.
Rebecca, the owner of the company, organised a beautiful series of activities and excursions for the ladies that I had the opportunity to experience too.
Her attention to details and making every guest request priority making sure that everybody would have a great time and felt looked after.
The team also helped to make the whole experience unforgettable.
Pia our chef, cooked for us healthy and delicious meals accommodating all allergies and intolerances of the group and all dietary requirements.
Vegans ice-creams were served every evening and were second to none another type of desserts.
Jean-Peter was our butler and took good care of all the guests as well as our driver Dennis, who was looking after also the more party people.
On the first day, the ladies were treated to a full body massage at the beautiful Chateau Saint Martin and enjoyed a relaxing day at the SPA.
In the evening we indulged with a Champagne tasting session and played boule’, a French traditional game.
On Monday we headed to Grasse, a delicious little town inland famous for its perfumeries. We learned how to make perfumes and everyone could take it home in a nice packaging. In case you really love your creation and want to order it again, you could request it to through the Parfumerie Molinard website and that will be sent directly to your home.
Tuesday we spend the day relaxing at the beautiful villas and then drove to Monaco for a little tour of the Principato and dinner at Buddha Bar.
The day after we went to visit Cannes. There we had booked a Catamaran to Saint Raphael, known for its picturesque red rocks and blue warm water.
Thursday we headed to Saint-Tropez to explore the pretty town and do some designer brands shopping. We then end the day at Le Chateaux D’Esclans with a wine tasting and a tour of the beautiful facility.
Friday we relaxed at the villa before heading again to Cannes for the “last supper” at the spectacular restaurant/club Baoli, hoping to see some celebrities wandering there for the Film Festival.
The Fitness Classes
I was in charge of organising the fitness classes, what type of training and when I wanted to offer what.
The morning classes were starting at 7.30/8am depending on the program for the day and were always cardio based: HIIT, Circuits, TotalBody.
The evening classes were either a yoga inspired stretch to destress and elongate the muscles, or barre-inspired workouts, low intensity and toning.
I would recommend this experience to anyone, especially to whom needs a getaway to visit new locations, do fun activities and still maintain their training and healthy eating whilst on holidays.
It is also great as best friends city escape, especially if you live apart.
Have you ever been on a fitness retreat? Would you like to go on one? Comment below!