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Sat, December 21, 2019

I’m nosy and wanted to see what the fuss was about!

The SF Retreat.
I went on the retreat as the rep from Starks Fitness. I’m not a PT nor from the health and fitness industry and went as a favour for my brother but also because I’m nosy and wanted to see what the fuss was about!

I was initially pretty dubious about the whole experience for a number of reasons. I knew the farm wasn’t fully finished, I thought the price point seemed fairly expensive and I wasn’t sure it was really my thing. A couple of my friends were coming with me and our usual sort of trip would be a long weekend in Ibiza partying or sipping cocktails on a beach and eating tapas style food all weekend. I’d told them we were in for a great week and had definitely made the right decision (I think I was convincing myself as well!!).
Waking up on the first morning of the retreat, I knew instantly that my initial worries had all gone and I was going to have a great week. The place is just so special. Aside from the stunning farmhouses and beautiful surroundings, it feels like there is magic in the air and you feel better without having even done anything yet!
I am a member of Starks Fitness so had some idea of what to expect training wise but my three friends don’t live in Bristol and all had different levels of fitness and ability. We all took part in everything and I absolutely loved the training and facilities available. I train at home to remain fit and healthy both in body and mind and never understood people that spend hours at a gym or go twice a day and want to get PB’s. I became that person for the week, I loved challenging myself but with no pressure, just lots of support from knowledgeable and consistent trainers.
The other activities available just add to the experience, most days we went paddleboarding, kayaking, for a long walk (with a coffee and cake stop) or just relaxed with a book in a hammock. Not having the limitations of kit only being available at certain times, waiting lists or booking slots like other all inclusive holidays was refreshing and really did mean you could do what you wanted, when you wanted too.
The food was absolutely incredible. Lots of it is grown at the farm or in the nearby villages and I didn’t see any packaging for a whole week! Sebastian and his team were so creative and helpful. They ate with us every meal time and also told us all about what we would be eating and how it is made, grown etc. I’m really looking forward to doing some cooking classes with him on the next one!
The evenings were super fun! We really mixed things up. We played games, we had a movie night, we had a live singer, we did a night meditation by candle lit but my favourite was Chef Seb’s disco night!! We drank way too many shots of gin with Seb’s homemade fruit puree and he DJ’d for us with full lighting kit and speakers! Definitely no need for Ibiza!!!
The seminars and talks we had, were for me where I maybe gained the most. I listened to everyone’s life stories and told my own. I realised a lot about myself in these seminars and have applied what I have learnt back at home. Before I went, I thought I coped well with everyday stress and general life but I still feel one million times better than I did. Small coping strategies and a bit of everyday mindfulness have made all the difference to my daily life and that for me is the biggest positive to come out of the retreat.
To sum up, the retreat for me really has had an impact on my life. It is something I never would have maybe thought about going on before but something I would now like to do every year over my main Sunny beach holiday. With the pool finished now and the farmhouses complete, I really believe it is a 5 star experience and worth every single penny. I think of it like Glastonbury festival; most people say that it isn’t for them until they go once and then want to go time and time again! I can’t wait for the 2020 retreats and hope to be your rep for one of them.
Michelle x