It’s a funny time of year, New Year, we look ahead with hope and expectation to the year to come but naturally it is also a time of contemplation on the year just gone.
Over the Christmas holidays the Body Retreat team (Julie, Juls & Bella) held a business review…aka a walk in the woods. During this walk…sorry business review…we reflected on the year gone by and how recently we had been asked what we have learnt about ourselves during our time working on The Body Retreat. This great question led us to think about the women that we meet on our retreats, or women whom we have worked with through out the years.
The women we meet both on retreat and though business inspire us, they are part of why we do what we do, why we push ourselves to deliver the best retreats we possibly can. Our job through The Body Retreat is to guide, educate and inspire women to reclaim control of their health and wellbeing… but here’s the thing …its very much a two way street. Every week all the women we meet and work with educate and inspire us. There is not a retreat that we run that we don’t learn something new, its fantastic, we are very lucky.
So in the spirit of reflection and gratitude for their inspiration we’d like to share some of the women in 2013 who have made an impact on us.
Or Louise Wisson to give her her full title.
In the years we have known Lulu she has been a client, a friend even a marketing mentor. LuLu is a fairly typical Retreater, she is intelligent, successful and great fun to be around. What has made LuLu a woman of inspiration for us this year is her Positive Mental Attitude or PMA.
Life can be hard at times, the road ahead of you can seem all up hill, days can be tough and it can be hard to maintain a PMA, espically when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. At times of great stress or upheavil a healthy diet or making time to exercise and be active very often takes a back seat. It can seem like too much trouble when you are under pressure in other areas. It can seem easier to just quit. LuLu is not a quitter. LuLu is tenacious, persistent, dedicated. How do we know this? Earlier in 2013 LuLu was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and with the subsequent operations, and chemo treatment protocols amazingly LuLu never lost her PMA.
Through this shitty year (sorry there is no other word for it!!) LuLu has persisted in her resolve that being healthy and active is a necessity not a luxury and so she has worked hard to get out and be active, there have been regular “map my Run” updates of miles completed, pictures of new healthy recipes mastered. LuLu shares this PMA with everyone and anyone, she can often be found on our FB pages offering words of encouragement and support for fellow Retreaters. Lulu has also set herself a target to raise £10,000 for the ovarian cancer charity The Eve Appeal and has already undertaken some fantastic events to this end.
In November this year Julie took part in the Nice – Cannes Marathon. Unfortunately the day of the race was during the infamous Mistral so to say it was windy along the coastal route was an understatement. Despite the months of training this was a tough run, as runners pulled up around her the single thought that kept her running, was that this is not hard in comparison to what Lulu has achieved so I can do this. You see, PMA can be contagious.
Have you had the experience where you meet someone and almost instantly you feel some connection, the meeting might be fleeting, but you have a sense that you are on the same wavelength. This was exactly how we met Kerry, at the end of a networking event earlier this year.
We had been looking to engage a professional photographer to come along to our retreats to take some images to support our new website. It was really important to us that whom ever we would engage to come along and spend time with our clients and us would be nice.
Nice…it’s a very unrated word. Our motto in business at The Body Retreat is “Its nice to be nice”. To us that means being kind, funny, polite, warm, good…the list goes on, but I’m sure you see what I’m saying. Kerry was everything on the list.
Kerry has inspired us this year by her enthusiasm for her business, it can difficult running your own business, it can make people tough, but Kerry has still managed to retain her niceness while still being successful. We are always impressed by companies and people who go that little bit extra and with Kerry her dedication to get the perfect picture saw her up trees, lying under bushes… hilarious!! She exemplifies going that extra mile for her clients. Her kindness (see that word again) also means that she has this innate ability to relax the women on shoot so she got the best pictures, not just for us the client, but very importantly for the women themselves. Take a look at the pictures on the website and you can see for yourself, real women, feeling confident and looking great.
So this year Kerry inspired us by reminding us that when you do what you love and you do it well and lose nothing of yourself in the process you can still be successful… an important lesson in any ones business.
During 2013 inspired by LuLu’s story we wanted to run a charity bootcamp day to be about fitness, fun and fundraising. Having only the germ of an idea for the bootcamp day fate would bring Amanda into our lives. Juls heard Amanda speak at a networking event about having lost her daughter to breast cancer and how she was now a campaigner for Breakthrough Breast Cancer in the hope of seeing a cure for breast cancer in her lifetime so that no other mother would lose a daughter as she had. There was such a purity, an elegance to her speech, but it wasn’t sad and mournful, rather it was hopeful and inspiring. Also, Amanda had an impish sense of fun about her. Hope, inspiration and fun Amanda seemed a natural partner for our venture and so it was agreed that the bootcamp day should support these two great charities. Breakthrough Breast Cancer and The Eve Appeal.
Amanda was delighted to be onboard. We discovered that Amanda had already raised £200,000 for Breakthrough, this information was a little daunting to begin with. We worried that we would not raise impressive sums of money, we worried that our event would not be a success. we worried that our little day might disappoint the charities by not being worth their time and support. But we need not have worried. Amanda is so supportive and encouraging and is genuinely as excited about a £2.00 donation as she is about £2,000, she knows that every pound raised is put to such excellent use by the charity and that each penny really makes a difference. Amanda’s enthusiasm and belief that we are making a difference is infectious, she has made us believe that we can find a cure for this horrible disease, but to do so we must act.
So we have been inspired to “adopt” both Breakthrough Breast Cancer and The Eve Appeal as our company charities and have pledged that each year we will arrange and run events to raise funds for these two great charities. Watch this space 🙂