Another weekend come and gone, another great weekend in the books, another Sunday night getting ready for the week ahead! It’s rainy and gray in Calgary this evening and seems like the perfect time to recap a wonderful weekend away with my co-workers!
Although I’ve been training at Fifth Avenue Club for more than a year, this was only my first staff retreat because I missed last year’s as I was kayaking with Survive & Thrive, so I was pretty pumped to get the chance to go and experience a weekend away with the team. We drove out in clumps of cars to Canmore (just west of Calgary and an awesome little mountain town) and got settled into our chalets and kicked things off with a session Friday night. Although it made for a long day after work and other errands before we’d left the city, it was great to have everyone out there (including 2 very new staff – one hired only a day before we left!).
Tough to complain about anything when this is your view! 😉 I loved the located of the complex and staying in little separate living spaces of 3-4 people was perfect. Most of us called it a night between 11:30 and 12; I hit the hay around 11 in anticipation of a morning 12 mile run.
I woke up to clear skies after rain throughout the week and the day before and was glad I was up early; mornings in the mountains (even in town and not ON the mountains) is SO worth an early alarm clock time! It was a blast finding my way around trails and winding up the hill to the Three Sisters Parkway where I looked down on the sleepy town in the wee morning hours.
I love the act of running, especially when it’s silent and still. For the beginning I had some music playing and then suddenly became aware of the silence around me. I kept my headphones in but turned the tunes off and listened to silence. I noticed huge deer and birds and felt like I was running right under those striking mountains in such a close and real way.
In a while I switched on Francis Chan, one of my favorite pastors to listen to while I run, and was so inspired and convicted while running about my life. More on that specifically in a post later this week, but I was challenged and hopefully changed – that’s my part now to take some action. After a few half-way point self-timers, I kept moving and finished the run in time to shower, make some coffee and breakfast with the girls and join the team at 9 am for our first session of the day.
After a few sessions to kick the day off and then lunch, Rae and I prepped for our afternoon activities. We played a little thumbball,
did some commonalities in partners, talked through the yurt circle and then Rae lead the group out (blind!) to a nearby field for the Blind Maze.
I love facilitating team building activities like these and it was interesting to observe everyone in the maze and how they reacted to the experience.
After our activities, most of us walked into town and strolled Main Street. There are a ton of neat stores to explore and the weather held off until the end when it started spitting a bit. The rest of the night was spent with a great meal, an awesome session getting to know more about each other’s strengths (so valuable in a team and work setting!) and some evening nail painting. 😉
It was a great weekend retreating as staff and we officially wrapped up Sunday morning. Thanks to the team for all coming out and to Darren and Vanessa for organizing the event! We have a great culture at our gym and I know that the community we experience, even with all the ups and downs of regular workplace life, is pretty unique and valuable, and I am very thankful for that.
In fact, I’m ready for work Monday morning! Which means I better hit the hay! After a rainy afternoon and a dinner out with a good friend, Edith, I chatted with my parents on the phone for a while and am now ready to hit the hay. It was a great week of training and work and a solid weekend of the same.
I’ll be back to chat about the things I’m learning these days as God teaches me about being lazy – marathon training and all. Hope you guys all had a great weekend!
Does your work have an annual retreat or conference? How close are you to your workplace and what’s the culture like there?
Off to bed! Live well & be well friends,