I recently had the opportunity to attend an all-women’s retreat in Bend, Oregon, put on by AdventurUs Women. I didn’t know what to expect. I’ve never done anything like this before.
As I flew into Oregon for the first time, I read a book on the plane, When Breath Becomes Air. It’s about a neurosurgeon who finds out he is dying of cancer. He wrote this book as he was withering, reflecting on his life and the things he put stock in. And although it was heavy, it was exactly what I needed to read before touching down.
I set my intention: learn new things, make new friends, have a ton of fun—Take it all in.
Is it too much to say that this weekend was life-altering? Yes? Too bad. That’s what it was. Truly life altering.
My eyes and heart opened wide. I met women from all over the country, of all ages. Women who are mothers, to their biological children, and some who had adopted. Women who have decided not to have children at all. Women who are writers, producers, filmmakers, community builders, and doctors.
Some who liked women, some who liked men, and some who liked both. Women who love weed, some who love wine, and some who are sober. A beautiful mixture of about 35 women to LOGE Bend for the AdventurUs Women Escape Series to share a new experience, together.
I’ve never been around so many women at once in my life. And I’d always been curious about what a weekend like this would be like. To be honest, when I was young, because of insecurities and shame, I was always averse to spending time with women.
The age old competitive nature of women trying to vie for male attention. No support, no community, just honest to goodness judgement and shade. I’m not proud of these parts of me, but nevertheless, important to recognize. And something I wanted to deeply course correct.
So I was happy that immediately, I felt a sense of camaraderie and kinship and not an ounce of judgement. We sat by the campfire of the LOGE Camp in Bend and exchanged ideas and emotions, as well as gourmet s’mores.
We drank wine and kombucha and opened up to each other. We laid in bed with our roommates and chatted until the wee hours in the morning. Women learned to rock climb, to paddleboard and kayak, to mountain bike.
We went on hikes, and practiced yoga. We learned wilderness first aid and backcountry safety skills with some rad, female professionals. We worked on goal setting with Steph Jagger, a writer, coach, and overall warm and profound person.
We meditated, journaled and learned about numerology with Kenya and Michelle from Outdoor Journal Tour, which was incredible. And we ate well all weekend.
The whole weekend was a choose your own adventure, and I was excited about the possibilities. I’m glad I chose the sessions I did, I loved how it was all up to me.
You got to be in small, intimate groups with a different group of women for basically every single session. I got to see beautiful sides of almost every woman there. And we all helped each other challenge ourselves, cheering each other on to try a wheelie on a mountain bike, or try a handstand for the first time in a yoga class.
We were silly and playful all weekend. There were belly laughs and tears. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to sum up the experience in words. I felt like I was on cloud nine the whole weekend.
I push my own self-limiting beliefs and tried to learn from others. I came away with new ideas about how to show compassion to myself and to the people around me, and also how to MAKE SHIT HAPPEN.