“Better not let me catch your azz!” This is a phrase you might hear me yell to my girlfriends during any given workout sesh. They love it. We’ve learned how to motivate one another to bring out our best efforts during each workout. I love them. THEY make me better. To me, they embody sisterhood. The term sisterhood hasn’t really ever been on my radar. This word was mentioned numerous times during my trip to Venice Beach for the 2015 Radiance Retreat this past March 2015. I discovered the Radiance Retreat while #deepinthecreep one day on Neghar Fonooni’s Instagram account. (If you don’t already follow her, I truly believe you are missing out.) While perusing Neghar’s older photos I came across a picture of her alongside Jill Coleman and Jen Sinkler, and I followed the link under the photo to learn more about this so-called Radiance Retreat.
Aren't they just lovely?
Click. I instantly fell in love with what the Radiance Retreat was all about and desperately wanted to attend, but I delayed booking my flight because of too many intimidating (and now laughable) factors. I wasn't yet a certified trainer, nor did I (at the time) have my own blog, my own business, or anything of the sorts. But I had a story. And the story embraced a desire to pursue a career in the fitness industry after a successful body transformation. I needed this trip for confidence. I needed this trip for clarity. Screw it. I’m going. The registration deadline had already passed by the end of January, so I sent a message to the 3 lovelies asking if there were room for just one more attendee. Jen Sinkler e-mailed me back almost immediately. Flight booked. Here. We. Go. Now fast forward to my flight en route to LAX: I LOVE traveling. I also value traveling alone. There’s something so empowering about independently boarding a flight for a solo adventure. In addition to my excitement for the retreat, I was also admittedly terrified beyond belief. I was stepping way outside of my comfort zone, and saying that I felt inadequate among the other attendees is a complete understatement. My balcony view for the weekend was pretty incredible, and the experiences that I encountered throughout the weekend were invaluable to me and my future.
We had the opportunity to hear Neghar, Jill, and Jen speak about so many different things throughout the entire weekend, but the one thing that resonated with me the most was the power of sisterhood. Fifty (50!) vibrant women from all walks of life and various states and countries all united in a cozy room to cuss, discuss, and share fitness related ideas, advice, goals, and life experiences from one another. From here we meditated on the beach, we set goals within our newly formed accountability groups, and then we sweat it out together through yoga on the beach with Neghar, metabolic effects workouts with Jill, and lifting heavy shiz with Jen. This was happening.
Sisterhood. To me it means complete, unfiltered support of one another. And that's exactly what the Radiance Retreat gave me. In an environment where I could have felt as if I didn't belong, as if I wasn't as far ahead as others in the game, or as if everybody were out of my league - instead I was pushed to follow my heart and start getting sh*t done. #GSD Why not? I can't even begin to explain to you how empowering this was for me. At some point in your life you have probably been directly involved with a group of females where jealousy was prevalent, and rather than supporting one another, "she" was constantly trying to stay one step in front of "her". Competition at its finest, right? And while I can say that I think competition can be completely badazz, there really is a healthy way to compete with others. But secretly hoping that others fail so that you can get ahead - that's NOT healthy competition. At the Radiance Retreat success was repeatedly celebrated. #sisterhood While working out with my girls at home success is encouraged AND expected from one another. #sisterhood Jen Sinkler saying "Hop on my back!" for a picture. THAT'S sisterhood. I'll celebrate that!
Best. Picture. Ever.
I already knew that I had an UNMATCHED amount of support through friends, through my family, and through my sweet wife back home in Oklahoma. But I had no idea that I would receive that same amount of encouragement from 50 beautiful women that hardly even knew me. We were all there to better ourselves, but the incredible part to that is that each and every one of us completely invested in one another, and that made for an empowering weekend. Oh. And mimosas. :) But seriously.. Do you have a group of women that cheer for you when you succeed? Do YOU cheer for them when they succeed? I sure hope so, because everybody deserves it. Me. You. And all the ladies out there. We are in this thing together. Don't forget that. Engage. Empower. Elevate. #EEE xo Coach Fowler P.S. (You REALLY, really should follow Neghar, Jill, and Jen! They've undoubtedly helped pave my path ahead. And while you're at it, look up the lovely Molly Galbraith, too!