I’ve written lots about the challenges of conferences, calling them sitting marathons. I loved my conference in Sweden a few years ago because it provided so many opportunities for movement.
North American conferences are often the worst but recently I spent a couple of days at a workplace retreat that similarly made movement easy. Turns out it was a former luxury health and fitness spa. It went out of business and then was bought by CIBC as their corporate training centre. That didn’t work out and now it’s a conference centre. From their website: “Divergent mindsets are often at the root of the inability to agree on how to address challenges and then commit to meaningful solutions. Nestled on 114 acres of forested terrain and rolling hills, Kingbridge’s distraction-free environment is conducive to the deeper conversations needed to deal with the assumptions and mindsets that stand in the way to greater success.”
There weren’t formal hikes or anything but the trails were too nice to resist. The signage and trail names felt just a bit corny and dated but I loved the them and the running track. Their presence felt like an invitation to movement. The inspirational posters and images for trails were so over the top they didn’t bother me. The “Forest of Mindfulness” just made me smile. I made sure I got out during the day and walked lots. The conference centre itself is a beautiful building, designed by Arthur Erikson.
The retreat made me think about how much of how we move is determined by the landscapes and buildings we create. Since then I’ve been thinking about events we could hold there. Maybe a retreat for fitness oriented feminists!