They say that following the last Ice Age the robust and weather-hardy birch would have been among the first to re-colonize ice ravaged landscape. In botanical terms, it’s known as a pioneer species. This fact alone makes it perfectly fitting that I found myself among the birch at Green Mountain at Fox Run in view of fabulous Okemo in Ludlow Vermont.
I agreed to accompany my sister but it was increasingly clear the more I read of GMFR the more I couldn’t wait to get there myself. I’m no stranger to issues with weight and I’ve spent the better part of the last seven years developing life strategies but the weight…remained. From their website:
…Over the past four decades, Green Mountain at Fox Run has helped thousands of women end weight loss struggles with eating, exercise and body image, make long-term healthy lifestyle changes and lose weight permanently…
We were part of a four day “intensive science based program” centered around food, movement and mindfulness. Our group was a dozen and a half women of varying backgrounds, sizes and stages of life. I refer to them as the most phenomenal group of love and mess I’ve ever met. They completely filled my heart for so many reasons and though we’ve vowed to keep in touch even if I never hear from them again they will remain in my heart.
I’ve spent the entire past week trying to process my experience last weekend and it has been extremely difficult. The amount of knowledge was staggering, the ah ha moments just kept coming, the movement was diverse and fun and yes you could actually walk the next day, the thought provoking, look inside and discover what serves you and what doesn’t moments were like streaming video. And the food was incredible and delish.
I thought for a split second that I might be able to do “a post” on the experience but it’s impossible to boil it down to just one post. There is just too much to share that is legacy related.
I have to start with the staff. How the hell do you interview for kindness? These are experts in their field with the highest levels of education but at the core they are women helping women. They will fly their hand to their heart in a minute at someone’s tiniest success. They will engage at yet another moment’s notice with anyone showing the slightest bit of courage. They will pop out of their office at the slightest hint of someone in need, whether they are a mother or not they all have that “mother hearing”. Hell they will jump up and send a hug your way if that’s what it’s going to take to cement your first ah ha moment (my sister can attest). As I watched the weekend unfold I came to realize that these were also women with their own stories turned into incredible legacies. They know like they know of what they speak. And so you can’t help but trust the integrity of their word, THAT cannot be contrived. They define living life the way you want your story told. Brava.
Oddly, one of the biggest things I took from this weekend was one of the tiniest things you can do each day, pause. I learned about the natural pauses that occur in almost everything you do. Thousands of times a day you breathe in, breathe out. There is the tiniest pause at the top of the inhale and the bottom of the exhale. If you’ve never considered this you should for it can stop you from any number of things. Not that I remembered to pause this morning as my mother told the same damn story about the time himself brought the dog to her apartment and she (the dog) pooped in the living room….agghhhh. Let it go already… both of us clearly have work to do I laughed on the way home.
Another important natural pause occurs when you’re eating. It is physically impossible to keep at a breakneck pace without pausing, even if you’re starving. Not that I’ve ever been accused of breakneck speed when eating, you didn’t think I heard your eyes roll….did you? Many times you will actually put your fork down and then pick it up again without taking advantage of the pause. What I can be accused of is not paying attention until I’m at shaky, sweaty, hangry, gotta eat or someone will get hurt. You knew it was coming, you’ve seen it.
There is irony in my not being fully aware of the pauses in my life as most of these posts are categorized as pause points. Yes I’m paying attention now.
Suffice to say that over the next few weeks I hope to further process and share what happened on that mountain, as my sister would say, so that you can understand that I am not the same person for having gone to explore what might have been a new “diet” (no such thing, don’t let’em tell you otherwise) and come back validated in my work of the last seven years with hope for an incredibly bright and creative future.
Today I have grown taller from walking with the trees….Karle Wilson Baker