Hey heyyyy party people!! I’m excited to have you back and tell you a little bit about my twenty-third great! First, let me apologize for not updating the blog last week I was crazy busy and without service/wifi for most of it.  However, it did not stop me from trying out some new things. I actually got a lot done the past two weeks but just no time to blog until now.  Let’s just say I was busy soaking up the experience 😉 Don’t worry, I have made time now..

Without further ado my twenty-third great of my #fiftyfirstgreats is attending a leadership retreat with my upline team, Fit Force!  When I first heard about the trip, I was really excited and knew I HAD to be on it – I mean who wouldn’t want to be!  It was an all expenses paid trip to Utah to stay in a gorgeous mansion with a bunch of leaders… I was pumped! I made it my goal at the end of last year to get on this trip & I did.  I was SO excited…  up until a few days before that is when the anticipation started to kick in & started KILLING me!  At first, I attributed my uneasy feelings towards this trip to my once hellacious travel schedule… which would spoil anyone’s excitement.

((BACKGROUND:: I use to travel a lot for my old job… it was typically last minute and MISERABLE.  I was in such a bad place at that time of my life that I thought I was projecting those feelings on this trip.))

To make matters worst ..I waited until the VERY last minute to pack – I was stressed and didn’t want to go.  My husband thought I was a MAD woman before & after I bit his head off .. twice.  He had to knock some sense into me – figuratively speaking of course.  If there is one thing you need to know about my husband it’s this …Lee doesn’t usually raise his voice but when he does it’s usually well thought out and articulate. He said – “you need to get yourself together woman. you earned this trip. stop you bitchin’ and pack your bag. oh, and be happy about it too”.  After a few choice words from me, he left, but it got me thinking.  Why was it that something I was SO excited to do for months became such a stressful event for me.  The more I thought about it.. I realized it was MUCH more than just  that.

I was hitting my upper limit.  Check out the book, “The Big Leap” by Gay Hendricks for context.  To put it simply, I was doing well & I essentially sabotaged myself because I felt like I didn’t deserve it.  I started to feel insecure, unqualified and overall just LACKING.  Why?!  I have followed these ladies on social media, talked to them in groups and read all their accolades .. they are simply amazing! What am I even going to do there?! I felt like I didn’t really have a place nor value to add – I was an inherited coach, been in the business for 2 years but didn’t start working it until 6+ months ago…I didn’t know what I could offer to a group like this.  Who am I to think I should be here?  I was afraid I was going to be a HUGE flop on their expectations of a leader!  I was intimidated and felt like I could never measure up.  The anxiety plagued me through the night …but, I got my bag packed, made it to the airport and got on the plane despite what felt like impending doom.  This is HUGE for me because I use to be the type that would fake an illness, emergency or the such to get out of things. Well, not this time!

I scurried off the plane to meet Ashley.  Oh, Ashley… rockstar coach, gorgeous, has a killer team.. wonderful! Of course, she would be the first person I would meet up with…haha. Well, let’s just say she is ALL of those things and more.  She is was also humble, kind & just as anxious as I was to be there.  Luckily, we hit it off famously.  We chatted for hours.. literally…hours…while we waited for another coach to get there. For two people who didn’t know each other, you would have never known!  Once we got Kelsey from the airport, we headed to house.  I walked in feeling slightly overwhelmed, we were the last to arrive so we were greeted by 14+ women as we walked in the door.  I wasn’t sure what to do with myself.. it took me hours to get comfortable with Ashley ..what the HECK was I going to do to feel comfortable with all these gals.  I snuck upstairs to catch my breath and headed back down to re-greet the crowd.  Lauren got our attention – sent upstairs to put on some jammies, summoned (yes, summoned haha) us back to the living room for our first fireplace chat, collected our phones and told us what our first activity of the retreat would be… it was to share our WHYs. She explained the name of the game – yes, there were rules.  We had to stand while we were talking, palms facing out and it needed to be deep.  Lauren explained this is the best posture to send and receive what others are saying.  She is a wise one ;).  I am thinking, no sweat… i’m like a pro now. I recorded a video (see BLOG POST) , shared it a few times at fit clubs –> this should be a piece of cake. right?! WRONG!

I was getting nervous again – that heart about to fly out of your chest kind of nervous.. it wasn’t even my turn yet.  Don’t worry it only lasted less than 10 minutes, I was called on second… deep breath, palms out, then nothing but BLACK until I was done. Ok, it wasn’t that dramatic… I remember talking but I don’t remember exactly what I was saying and if I am being honest, at points I felt like I was rambling.  There were pauses, there were tears, it wasn’t perfect but it was from the heart.  We sat there for hours – one right after the other.  Little did we know with each person we were building an even stronger bond.  We were finally placing each face & each name with their STORY.  Each story was different but similar at the same time.  Our whys circled around purpose, wanting to be part of something more, to provide for our families, to have something of our own, to help people, and to be surrounded with like minded individuals. I can honestly say I heard a piece of my story in each of their WHYs.  It was that fireplace chat that broke down all the walls we had up.  It moved mountains.  It was exactly what we all needed. It set the tone for the best retreat I have ever been on.  We did a lot in 3 days – shared our stories, went to the BB sales office & talked to the VP, swam in a crater (yes, the HOMESTEAD crater) – pretty gnarly, worked out, wrote each other notes, did a photoshoot, had a dance party and shared our favorite part of the retreat.  We bonded, sang like no one was watching, and we made memories. Lots of them!

As I am sitting here reflecting, I am realizing we just took part of something special.  We all experienced our first leadership retreat together.  Oh, those notes I mentioned.  I have read them every day since we left.  Each of them spoke to my soul.  I didn’t know it at the time but I walked away from this trip with 17 new best friends who will forever have a hold on my heart. Yes, the same 17 women I was petrified to meet became family. Now, who wouldn’t want to be part of something like that?!

SUBSCRIBE (above) and check back next week!  If this is something you feel called to do with me, interested in learning more about coaching (click here), interested in applying to be a coach (click here) or even starting your own blog email me at emilyvbowie@gmail.com and we can do it together!