If you know me at all, you’ll appreciate the irony and the truth that, “extreme sporting challenges” are not really me. I’ve never felt the need to push my body to those limits, thats not to say I wouldn’t enjoy a bit of swimming, cycling and running in moderation, especially in Cyprus’s climate compared to Scotland in February. Thankfully on this camp, I was allowed to bow out of the bigger training challenges and so I happily stuck with activities within my comfort zone, dipping into a small amount of tri-fitness and teaching my classes in core, alignment and flexibility. I also offered them some body fixing where required.
The camp turned out to be three of us. Sean, myself and Sean’s exclusive private coaching client, Dougie Vipond. Dougie is taking on an extreme triathlon in Scotland in September, ‘The Ben Nevis Braveheart’. Needless to say the camp was highly focused on Dougie’s training and body maintenance. Dougie is incredibly active and fit, especially on the bike, but by his own admission his swimming and running needed a bit of work for him to be ready for the challenge.
Sean had planned the perfect schedule for him, and bringing me on board, was an ideal compliment to the extreme training they were undertaking in just 6 days. The daily programme was roughly the same: a 7am swim before breakfast, a long cycle, a decent run, maybe another swim, a class with me, then dinner about 7pm. The addition of a few pre-dinner pints for the guys was added in ad-hoc. Needless to say that despite long action packed days of valuable tri-training activities, somehow there was also plenty of time for fun and a lot of humour. I don’t think I have ever laughed so much in one week. I was constantly entertained by them. It was a treat to be in their exclusive company.
The greatest take away for me was the surprise of what I could contribute to the camp. You or I would perhaps think that all ‘athletes’ would naturally be extremely strong in their core and good at being aware of their bodies, but apparently that was not necessarily true. I was able to teach both Sean and Dougie how to connect to muscles they had no awareness of, how to make movements more functional and fluid, and how to isolate sections of their body in order to make movement more efficient. I was as amazed as them at what came out of our class sessions together.
The camp was a huge success for all three of us and I would jump at the chance of going back.
The second best take away was the possibility of using Almyra for my own retreats. The hotel and spa facilities there are exceptional. The Almyra spa has 3 outdoor decks for classes with stunning views across the sea, as well as all the other facilities you would expect from a 5* spa. I was able to use their treatment rooms, and the style of use was very versatile from massage table, to thai mattress, to one-one matwork. The staff were super friendly and accommodating. I’m excited to go back there soon with my own group. The bedrooms are beautiful and well equipped. The restaurant offers all kinds of wonderful foods and can cater for special dietary needs too. There is a luxury lounge bar and loads of places to chill out in the sun or under the stars.
Cyprus is approx 4.5hours from the UK, flights are very affordable so the final price of a retreat there should be very competitive. Late February is an excellent time of year to go to Cyprus. Triathlete activities are always an option there also.
Let me know if you’re keen to join me there in 2017!