On Saturday we embarked on our 9th week long Engine 2 Retreats week. 100 people came in from all over the United States and Canada, and we had someone from Scotland and another from Kuwait. Men, women, people from their early 20′s through their early 80′s. An extraordinary cornucopia of beautiful people, all who showed up for one reason:
To become healthier people.
Each day I am going to be writing about what is going on at our retreat.
Today I could share about the food, lectures, diagnostic testing, or even the striking location we are staying, but instead I want to share about friendships.
On Saturday, 100 strangers (well, mostly strangers) arrived at the retreat center. There were very long days of travel. Part of getting to the retreat feels like a journey in and of itself. As soon as people arrive they register, get their kale shirts, bumper stickers, notebooks, E2 water bottles, e2 temp. tattoos, they get their room assignments and before they know it, they are in the beautiful lecture hall and Rip is doing an intro for the weekend.
Next dinner (we had sweet potato lasagna that night) and dessert. The next part of the evening is where I think the magic happens. We get in a really big circle, and one by one each person tells the group why they are there.
It is always amazing to me. The stories. Some tragic, people who have lost loved ones to preventable disease. Some who are trying desperately to save their own life or the life of someone they love. Couples who want to be there for one another and for their children. There are people who have just been diagnosed with T2 diabetes, heart disease and other health issues that they want to change. People of all backgrounds, all shapes and sizes, all ethnicities, people from all different backgrounds. All there for the same reason.
And in those moments, that is where friendships are formed.
That is when people realize they are not alone. That they now have friends who will stand beside them for the rest of their life if they want, who will cheer them on through the good days and the bad days. Each person in that circle is starting from the same place.
Every retreat we see friendships form. I get e-mails from people who went to our first retreats, and they tell me of the friendships that formed in that one week, the unbreakable bond that is created when people go through such a life-changing event together.
I watched as the participants started to get to know one another. I watched knowing that in a few short days these strangers will be hugging and crying as they say goodbye to their fellow E2-ers.
Let’s face it, this plant-strong life can sometimes feel lonely. While the lectures, the food, the workouts, the relaxation, the fun we have is all a big part of our retreats experience, I think that the friendships formed, might be the most important part of it all.
You can follow our Engine 2 Retreats weeklong event on twitter and instagram using #e2retreats
For more about our retreats go to: http://engine2retreats.com