by Deborah Leedale-Brown, Lifestyle & High Performance Coach

7 Day Blog Series of the Inaugural Women’s Wellness Camp.

DAY 3 – Hiking the Bitterbrush Trail, Circuit Training & Yoga at Flatirons Athletic Club

Our second full day and some of the women were definitely still acclimating to the altitude, especially with our lodging situated at 8000ft! We started our day with a hearty healthy breakfast of scrambled eggs, organic oatmeal, Greek yoghurt, fruit and wholegrain toast, and then we headed down the mountain to a slightly more manageable altitude of 5521ft. The hike for the morning was the Bitterbrush trail at Hall Ranch close to the town of Lyons, with a number of possible loop options towards the top of this trail that would allow me to adjust the challenge according to how the women were coping.

The sky was blue and temps were seasonably warm. The Bitterbrush Trail rolled gently through open grassland for 0.7 miles then gained elevation quickly on a series of rugged, tightly-wound switchbacks. After a steep climb the trail eventually plateaus out on a high ridgeline overlooking an expansive meadow below. Everyone enjoyed the beautiful mountain vistas and we then headed back down the trail as this had been a challenging start to our day and we still had two more sessions planned for the afternoon.

We had lunch again down in Boulder at one of the many healthy cafes to choose from, the women certainly having worked up their appetites with their morning hike at altitude. During the course of the week each lunch time, one lady was selected to have her one-on-one diet evaluation with Lisa.

Once lunch was over we headed to the Flatirons Athletic Club (FAC), our base for any indoor activities. The FAC is a wonderful club with amazing facilities that include a huge gym, indoor running track, yoga studio’s, squash courts, indoor and outdoor pools and much much more. It’s a bustling hub of activity that mixes the recreational exercise population alongside Boulder’s Elite athletes – what other club boasts the men and women’s Hawaii Ironman champions, top USA Olympic marathon runners and Elite Triathletes from the USA, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. As elite as this club may sound, it is extremely welcoming and the ladies did not feel out of place at all. My plan for the afternoon was to introduce the women to a circuit based session with exercises designed to challenge the whole body with minimal equipment so that they could easily recreate it once back home. With seven women I planned a series of stations using mats, bands, stability balls, dumbbells, body bars and their own bodyweight. I had them working for blocks of 7mins at a time with recovery at the end of each 7min block. After a dynamic warm up we worked through 3 rotations of 7 minutes. We finished up that session with a short cool down stretch that then took us straight into a 45min yoga session led by a yoga instructor from the FAC. The emphasis of this yoga was active stretching, and proved to be a great way to finish the day.

With three sessions completed for the day everyone was suitably tired, and looking forward to getting showered and refreshed before heading out to downtown Boulder for dinner. One of the ladies on the trip was celebrating her birthday so we had a great excuse to drink a toast, and had a wonderful meal at a Mediterranean restaurant. During our drive back up the mountain to our lodging the women were eager to know what was in store for the next day. The morning plan was already set with an outdoor experience being provided by Colorado Life Guides, and I had already decided to give them a slightly easier afternoon knowing they would be tired after a great day of activity today.

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