What a week.
Truthfully I'm still taking it all in: the INCREDIBLE people, the intense leadership workshops, the west coast, the workouts, the early morning runs, the food, oh the food!, the Four Seasons, the wine, the hot tub, the adventures. What a week!
I arrived at the airport to quickly find fellow Torontonian Gavin checking in right beside me! lululemon gave us bag tags to identify each other in the lounge… although we were a pretty easy group to spot! Just look for anyone stretching dressed in head to toe luon and with a wide smile and there was a good chance they were with us! The flight was quick and it was fun meeting a few of the other ambassadors from Montreal, Burlington, Ottawa and all over the GTA. Other ambassadors where flying in from all over the globe – from China, Germany, Australia and all across aMerica! Ontario was the biggest region! Woo!
Once we arrived in BEAUTIFUL (seriously stunning) Vancouver we took a taxi straight to the lululemon head office. From there we had a delicious lunch and were given a tour of the entire lululemon building, in a nutshell it was apple + google + fitness. Amazing. We went to their brand new "white space" room which is their product testing hub. They had an underwater treadmill, a massive treadmill big enough to fit a bike, a electronic yoga testing mat, a sauna room that could actually make rain!! It was every engineer's dream. And a little robot!
From the head office we went straight to Whistler on the sea to sky highway. Sure beats the 401! The views on the way up were spectacular. When we arrived at the Four Seasons they told us that lululemon had purchased the ENTIRE hotel. Like every single room! Nuts! I got assigned my room thinking that I would have a roommate but to my surprise I was in a single! Sweet! On my bedside table was a welcome package from lululemon … as if this entire trip wasn't enough!! We all received personalized scuba hoodies, travel yoga mats, a bottle of wine, a water bottle and a food box with healthy snacks and bars. So nice!
The first night was a great chill dinner event with a talk from Laurent, the new CEO of lululemon. He along with Chip Wilson, the founder, were with us for the entire weekend. That was really special and showed how much weight they put into this ambassador program. Like a kid in the candy store I sat front row and took the whole talk in. Very inspirational and action driven. LOVED it. Then came more wine and getting to know everyone! A small group of us decided we wanted to do a run before the yoga class the next morning. With a 5 am wake-up it was off to bed for me!
The first full day began with an early morning run through the Whistler trails. It smelt like Christmas so fresh and piney! The scenery was spectacular and the conversations were awesome. Basically at summit you could go up to any person at any time and they were the most friendly, caring people I've ever seen in one big room. Loved that! On our way back we got a little lost and if you know me well you know directions are not my forte. MIRACULOUSLY I was person who actually lead the group back the right way. Crazy! This started a great internal dialogue with myself that I need to believe in myself more – and stand up for it! This was something I took directly into the leadership and goal setting session.
Then came the meat of the trip. The igolu coaching with Susanne ConRAD. Admittedly at first I was slightly skeptical, as I always find myself whenever someone labels themselves as a "coach". Susanne is related to lululemon because she is married to Chip's brother. Again hmm. I was COMPLETELY wrong. Susanne absolutely rocked the house. In her three hour session (which felt like 30 seconds) Susanne totally transformed lives in front of our very eyes. We were asked to create a 10 year vision and in that to dream BIG, make bold requests, and declare a definite direction for our future. It was incredibly powerful and certainly got my wheels turning BIG time!! Such a powerful morning and if I took one thing from this entire trip it would be this session.
We ate lunch. Again delicious. They sure knew the way to our hearts!
Chip Wilson, the founder of lululemon did a talk about the history of lululemon and how he grew the company. His main message was that the skills that brought us here today got us to this point but there will be an entirely new set of skills to bring us up to the next level. Chip learned he needed to rely on others to help make lululemon what it is today.
The rest of the afternoon we were able to ski, zip line, get a massage or explore the village. I chose the exploring village option. Whistler is a beautiful little town. It has a lululemon, an Aritzia and a Roots … what more do you need? We had some fun taking pictures on the Olympic rings. Kind of a nono but it wasn't our idea so that made it sort of more ok!
The 80s après ski party was so much fun! Ambassadors love to dress up and dance! Dinner was yummy pub food with a big salad bar to offset the potato wedges. It was fun to get out to a pub and chat in a new spot. The weather was amazing the entire time! It was 19-23 degrees. Perfect patio weather! We came back to the hotel to a giant candy bar!!! And then watched a bit of Modern Family – the very first season is so cool to watch! After an episode I started to head to bed and then smacked myself a bit and got dressed in a bathing suit and went down to the hot tub! Lots of fun and again great conversations. At 11:30 I bid everyone goodnight because I had another morning run to get to!
The second run was a little longer than the first with three incredible women: Lissa, Libby and Christy. I felt like we had all known each other in another life and that this was our 2,001th run not just our 2nd! It was wild how close I felt with them only having known them for just one day! We went out for a 6 mile trail run then came back to join the morning fitness class. My group was lead by Dr. Dribble – a basketball coach, trainer and one of the most caring people I've ever known. The class was a lot of fun and creative given there were 26 people in a room that normally might hold 10!
The final day of goal coaching was divided into four breakout sessions with a lunch in between. These sessions were great because we were able to split off from the big group and really share our ideas with each other. My favourite session was called the "declaration" station. We had to write down our worst negative self talk and throw the piece of paper on the floor. Then we had to pick up a piece of paper that wasn't our own and read it out to the room yikes! It was pretty heartbreaking hearing everyone's worst critic. Mine was: you're fat, you can't do this, you're too young and not skilled enough. After that was done – phew! – we wrote our declarations. Positive messages about ourselves. Mine was: I am a leader of leaders, an old soul with a well calibrated compass. It felt good to get that done!
The last workout was called nia. I had never heard of it before – it was explained to us as a animal dance fun class. I was excited to give it a go. Within 5 minutes I was totally into it, I WAS a dolphin diving. It was an absolute blast and if you get the chance take a class!
Our last dinner was a delicious BBQ – some of the best steak I have EVER had! So great. It was awesome talking by the fire pit and meeting a few last familiar faces.
All in all I had high expectations for the summit and the real thing completely blew it out of the water. I'm ready to take on the world one burpee at a time now and I have summit to thank for that. I am SO grateful for lululemon (especially cumberland!) and the people I have met so far along this journey. I can tell you one thing, this company is about WAY more than black stretchy pants. I'm proud to be their ambassador and so honoured that I was able to attend the event.