The Tone It UP Retreat is the most action-packed, glamorous, Cali-girl weekend you could possibly wish for in a women’s fitness get-away. Three-hundred TIU women convene in Newport Beach, California where they have the opportunity to surf, bike, SUP, hike, play volleyball, do yoga, run a 5k, and of course, meet their adored trainers, Karena and Katrina. I attended the event with Oakley Women, who sponsored the weekend of fun. I had always admired the strength and powerful outreach of the TIU program, but on this trip I witnessed just how meaningful the community is for each and every girl in the TIU plan. When I arrived the first day and assisted the girls at check-in, the strong sense of camaraderie was already apparent. It was finally clear to me when I checked the #tiuretreat hashtag and saw, within the first few hours of the event, thousands of posts. There was an outpouring of photos and an influx of supportive replies. It was one of the most uplifting things I’ve ever seen! So for this post, I decided to share photos from the TIU community that highlight the major events of the weekend. :)
It looked like a scene from college orientation when all the girls arrived on Thursday. Everyone was finding their roommate, swapping hugs, and picking up their swag! Everywhere you turned you saw the TIU colors of coral and blue. Even the event access bracelets had a “TIU Retreat 2014” charm. In every swag bag was a pair of Asics training shoes, Oakley sunglasses, Oakley capris and sports bra, Oakley bikini, Oakley factory lite backpack, an abundance of Coola skincare products, a TIU Retreat tank top, a TIU protein shaker water bottle, a TIU snapback hat, Flash tatoos, Perfect Fit Protein & bars, Pop chips, and Core water. Not bad, eh?
The retreat kicked off with a beautiful pool-party dinner buffet (and open bar). I got the chance to meet a lot of girls while sharing tables and eating dinner. It was fun to learn where each girl was from. I think we had more East-Coasters at the retreat than locals! A large percentage of the attendees had the opportunity to meet and hug Karena and Katrina this evening, but there was plenty of time for that the rest of the weekend too. Apparently there were some pool jumpers at the end of the night!
A wonderful breakfast buffet was provided the next morning and the TIU Booty Call started at 9am on the beach. Karena and Katrina played a wonderfully dirty-get-down playlist for the workout and didn’t refrain from swearing at everyone to work harder! I loved it! The entire group looked so cute together in the matching pink and blue Asics. The funniest part of the workout was when the “selfie” song came on and every girl was told to get out her phone and post a mid-workout selfie. Too good! At the end of the booty call each girl got to take her yoga mat with a sweet Oakley carrying bag. The rest of the day was spent on fun outdoor activities. It seemed like everyone was the most afraid of surfing but that ended up being the most popular event! I got to lead the hikes in the beautiful coastal canyons of Newport Beach. It was a perfectly sunny 80 degrees and we were all tired and sweaty at the end of the day. Luckily there was a secret dinner surprise to look forward to!
Buses took us that evening to an undisclosed location. We got dropped off at a parking lot and started walking down a path lit with candles. As soon as we turned the corner, a beautiful sand beach dinner soire opened up in front of us. It looked like a scene from every girl’s wedding dream. The sun was setting, strung market-lights were glowing, seashells were scattered on flowing white table-clothes. It was probably the most beautifully catered event I’ve ever seen. On top of that, an awesome band played and everyone danced. There was a lot of celebrating that night, but everyone was thinking about the 5k the next morning!
The next day started off with a light breakfast and a really fun 5k. I’ve never seen so many happy people at a run before. Karena and Katrina were spraying bottles of champagne at the finish line and every girl got an adorable TIU logo medal. A big breakfast was catered there on the beach with protein pancakes, eggs, and bagels. Yum! And off everyone went to their 3 activities of choice that day. I got to lead the hikes and meet even more amazing girls. The Gala was that evening, so when 5pm rolled around girls were rushing off to get ready for the fancy evening. And it was very fancy. Girls were dressed to the nines, awards were passed out, and Nick Cannon even made an appearance to DJ! This was the first time in my life seeing 300 women GET DOWN on the dance floor and it was something I will never forget.
A very compassionate and uplifting yoga session took place the last morning before all the girls said goodbye at breakfast. A few lucky ones had made plans to extend their trip and head to Disneyland! It was apparent that every girl there received so much more than she expected. This event was worth so much more than the cost of the ticket and it created an even stronger sense of family in the TIU community. I felt really lucky to meet so many amazing women all working together to adapt an active lifestyle. Karena and Katrina have started something really magical that is inspiring women to be confidant and healthy all over the world. I am still feeling the inspirational vibes and thinking of all the beautiful smiles and SoCal scenes that lit up my eyes this weekend. Thanks Oakley Women and Tone It UP for having me!!! It was unforgettable.