Into the Wild
Before children I loved a good wellness retreat. From the deliciously pampering (In:Spa) to the frighteningly austere (Chiva Som), I’ve sampled a few and enjoyed most. Post kids, my criteria has changed. I don’t want to be far away, or gone too long. I’ve got some baby weight to shift but rather than be thin and tired from a thousand colonics, I want to return strong and fit. So I signed up for the Wildfitness 3-day energiser on the Isle of Wight.
For a start it’s on the doorstep which is a lot less stressful leaving little ones behind. And it is rooted in the very sensible sports science. The philosophy is essentially ‘nature knows best’ and aims to de-programme some of the bad habits, postures, movements and myths that we have all picked up along the way. And we all have. From the bronze-medal rower to the ex-Barcelona football player, the city execs and the knackered mothers.
1. WILD EATING: I’ll do any amount of gruelling exercise but for crying out loud feed me properly. Fasting is for monks. Most people can surprise themselves when pushed by the right trainer, but not fuelled by a carrot stick. My, the food, the food. Chef, Netta, is a bit of a magician and churned out the most incredible, creative and delicious dishes meal after meal. Organic, seasonal, local and fresh, it’s my greatest sadness that I don’t cook like this (or have a chef who can).
2. WILD MOVING: There are few things as unflattering to the female form as crawling like a leopard in lycra. Once the initial inhibitions of public duck-walking or boulder hurling have fallen away, you’ll realise how very demanding and fun it is to use your body in a playful way. There’s so much of what we do that I see in my sons play, so it’s no surprise they are so lean, toned, and flexible.
3. WILD LIVING: It is huge fun. From circuits on the beach, to walking a tight rope and cracking out a 5-mile barefoot run along a hilly coastal path. Play hard and ye shall be afforded two wonderful things; rest and recuperation.
I have come back brighter, fitter, and very impressed by the human body. We’re pretty flexible, adaptable, and enduring. We’re very strong and capable. We just spend too much time sitting in front of computers and in cars and not enough getting outside and moving, wildly. I’m a convert to barefoot shoes, armed with the knowledge that a 20-minute session of pyramid running or interval training in the garden will do more for my fitness than a guilt-prompted hour-long slog. Suddenly it all feels far easier and I’m looking forward to carving out that time in the day.
If you do one thing post-baby to get back on track, go and walk(/run/sprint/squat/fall/hurl/lunge) on the wild side.