There’s something about the trees. About standing on the earth, without being separated from it by a layer of concrete. About the freshness in the air. About seeing layers of hills as far as you can see. About the way the sun cuts through the clouds. About looking down on the ocean. 
I put it out into the universe that I wanted to create epic events for lululemon. I didn’t know specifics of what I wanted to create, but I knew the brand’s vision aligned with mine about community experiences. Then my friend Alice, who happens to be the social storyteller behind the Instagram handle @lululemonakl, shared with me her idea about what would become the Summit Club. And I was instantly a Hell Yes. 

So I gathered a team, I made plans, I got quotes. We brainstormed, we tweaked, we got approvals. I added another job into my life for a couple of weeks. I sketched whilst driving (not something I would recommend). I haggled, I asked for favours, I put my graphic design skills to the test. And then all of a sudden it was Saturday morning, we were finalising adventure packs and picking up rental vans. 

We started as a group of 24 almost strangers, although there were some threads that wove our lives together. I think the act of doing something together, rather than just meeting as a collective for say a drink, made the bonds build faster and deeper. We sweated together, cooked together, ate together. We slept together in a bunk bed arrangement that reminded me of school camps. We had real meaningful conversations with people we had just met while we trekked. We encouraged each other when the going got tough. We prepared coffee, cooked a meal for 24 and shared chocolate. 

The way back down went a little too quickly for me. I wanted to stop and enjoy the views, the peace, the energy. I didn’t want to get back to the vans, to head back to the city. I wanted to stay surrounded by the trees and rolling hills for just a little bit longer. But all good things must come to an end. And so we changed clothes, showered with baby wipes and slipped on jandals. We shared a final meal in Thames before heading back into the urban jungle. We waved goodbye to our new friends. 

What I’ve seen since then though, is new friendships. People who’s worlds were orbiting close by suddenly came a part of mine. I have been reminded that everyone I walk past on the street is most likely an epic human, I just haven’t had the chance to get to know them yet. I’ve also been reminded of how much I love being surrounded by trees, feet on the earth, breathing in the fresh air. 

Photo credit for all photos: Alice van Schaik

How many times have you vowed to radically change your life? And how often has that been on the 1st of January, in a slightly (or not so slightly) hungover state? Resolutions are fuelled with good intentions and hope, which is why I like them. But so often they are unrealistic, made without a real plan of to achieve them and can leave us feeling depressed and unmotivated the first time we stumble from our path (which is why I don’t like them too much).

I am lucky enough to work at lululemon, who are pretty big on setting goal setting, but they approach it in a slightly different way. You start with a vision of where you see yourself in ten years. This is far enough in the future to take away any self-imposed restraints like budgets, lack of knowledge or timelines. You can dream big and come up with a vision for yourself that gets you really excited. Then you work your goals back from there. See yourself in a big house in your vision? What are the ten, five and one-year steps (or goals) that are going to make that happen? Maybe you see yourself living on a tropical island, owning a dog, working only a couple of hours a day remotely with five or six kids running around. By working out where you want to be, you can then start putting some steps in place to get you there. Maybe you need to start re-gearing your career to make it possible for you to work remotely. Or maybe you need to start having kids if you see that many in your near future! This whole process has helped me to see the larger vision of where I’m going, and then also helped me create steps to get me there. Rather than setting big resolutions for the year that can be too big and scary to even know where to start, or that are too vague to know when I’ve achieved them, I am able to see the journey mapped out in front of me.

I know I want to be fit and healthy in ten years time. So what am I going to do this week to make sure that I am?

This has been a challenging experience for me. I’ve done the visioning exercise a couple of times and not everything is clear just yet. But that’s okay because there are some things that are super clear, and now I can start working towards them. Want to get on board? Jump over to lululemon and have a look at what they are up to. There are heaps of resources and posts about how to get started.

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