An England cricketer, a Comparison Coach and a self-help nut walked into The Body Camp…and some amazing things happened: 11 things we learned on the health retreat
Earlier this year I spent a long weekend at The Body Camp in Mallorca with a group of virtual strangers, and learned more about them and myself in 72 hours than I have learned from some of my oldest friends in years.
Our group - a mix of mostly Type A presenters, music execs, PRs, journalists, designers, influencers, sports stars, psychologists, business founders and stylists (of ALL physical and mental health levels) - was there to celebrate the opening of the wellbeing brand's second venue. And when I say ‘celebrate’ I actually mean be put through our paces in an intense three-day experience that for most of us became a surprise catalyst for some major shifts.
Intense. But brilliant. Because there’s a certain kind of magic that happens when you take people out of their comfort zone and support them to stretch themselves mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. And this is what The Body Camp does so brilliantly.
From the purely plant-based menu to the sunrise circuits, sound baths, disco gym sessions, coastal hikes and mindful ‘innercise’ programme, guests are invited to look at - and possibly rethink - every area of their mental and physical wellbeing.
Having visited The Body Camp’s transformational Ibiza retreat at a pretty pivotal time in my life a couple of years ago I knew that I already loved the TBC experience and mission, to kickstart and empower positive change, and while the Mallorca offering is more a fitness holiday and less of a deep dive into your ‘Self’ there’s still very much a transformational vibe. As well as some very important sunbathing time.
I wanted to write a piece here on all the things I learned there. But the first thing you learn at The Body Camp is that there’s no “I” in team, and so, instead of me telling you why I think you should go immediately, I asked my fellow campers, including Comparison Coach Lucy Sheridan, former England cricketer Nick Compton, fashion Influencer and author Katherine Ormerod and one of my best buds, stylist and Fashion Editor Nicole Smallwood, to tell me their favourite thing about the weekend that we spent in Lycra under the Spanish sun…
11 THINGS WE LEARNED AT THE BODY CAMP
1. YOU CAN TEACH An old DOG NEW TRICKS
Lucy sheridan, comparison coach
Lucy said: “This weekend I learned not to underestimate myself. It’s so easy to make judgements and assumptions about ourselves, but dealing ourselves out of situations (like HIIT training and the bleep test) because we assume we can’t do something can mean that we miss out on opportunities for learning, nourishment growth and loads of fun."
2. SOMETIMES YOUR BODY WILL SURPRISE YOu
Kris Hallenga, founder of coppafeel BREAST CANCER charity
Kris, who has been living with Stage 4 breast cancer since 2009 said: “I am so proud of my body and what it has achieved this weekend. I decided that I was going to get involved in everything, and I did. I was supported to push myself to the absolute limit and now feel shattered but very happy.”
3. FEAR IS ALL IN OUR HEAD
Katherine Ormerod, journalist, author and influencer
Katherine said: “The reason I came to the Body Camp is that after having a baby 14 months ago I’ve fallen out of the habit of exercise and I thought I had lost my confidence when it comes to coping with classes. TBC proved to me that not only can I do one class, I can do four hours of classes back-to-back! I didn’t flake and I managed to push through. And it made me realise that the limitations that we set for ourselves are all in the mind. So breaking through those has been a huge learning for me.”
4. TEAMWORK MAKES THE DREAM WORk
Nick Compton, PHOTOGRAPHER and former england cricketer
Nick said: “Being part of a group again has reminded me of how much I love to be part of a team, and how grounding it is to be working with people towards a goal, regardless of what fitness levels we were all at. Having the opportunity to support and be supported here has made me feel very grateful and grounded.”
5. group retreats can work for introverts too
Melissa Thompson, Social media consultant
Food blogger FowlMouthsFood Melissa said: “I am quite shy and sometimes find it hard to let myself go, especially with strangers, and so I never thought that three days would be enough time for me to feel comfortable or be able to act like myself. It usually takes months, sometimes YEARS for me to reveal the ‘real me’ to people, so huge respect to trainer Rick and the whole team for gently but firmly pushing us all out of our comfort zones and keeping up the pep talks and positivity and the relentless high-fiving that helped everyone in the group feel included and get so much out of the experience, without feeling judged or silly.”
6. We CAN GET HIGH ON OUR OWN SUPPLY
Jenna Good, PR
Ex-showbiz journalist Jenna says: “I learned that I can feel high and euphoric and have fun and actually really enjoy dancing without ANY alcohol, which has been a massive breakthrough. Especially the dancing part!”
7. HOW TO SEt - and respect - BOUNDARIES
NICOLE SMALLWOOD, FASHION EDITOR
Nicole, whose favourite activity was playing Gladiator Jet in the Disco Gym session said: “I was quite affected by the group dynamic, in both good and bad ways, but I learned that it’s ok - and actually really important - to be who you are, no matter what situation you are in. Staying true to yourself and not compromising on your values means that the right kind of people will be always be drawn to you - and vice versa. And this is a brilliant place to meet inspiring people.”
8. OTHER PEOPLE ARE THE BEST INSPIRATION
Abi Jackson, PA Journalist
Abi, a Scout Leader-in-training, said: "A lot of self-development is about looking inwards and making space for growth within yourself - and that's so important. But also, letting all the barriers drop - that urge to compare, judge, react - and just witnessing other people's growth and joy, can be such a force for good. Everybody in our group at Body Camp went on a bit of a journey - and a big part of mine was witnessing and absorbing all the gorgeous energy around me.”
9. CHANGE doesn’t have to be hard
Shiarra Bell, Head of Artist Relations
Shiarra said: “I learned at The Body Camp that you have the power to change your life, your body AND your mind, and that you can do all that with fun and laughter. And no alcohol! Who knew?! I’m forever a Body Camp groupie.’
10. THE MIND-BODY CONNECTION IS EVERYTHING
Mika Simmons, actress, filmmaker, founder of lady garden and co-founder of Mental Health Mates
Mika said: “I didn’t believe my injured body would cope with the fitness schedule, but it did. And I believe this may have been because I felt so monumentally supported by my fellow campers. They made it so much fun I forgot I had injuries, and remarkably I was pain-free by day two. People have often said to me that pain is partly in the mind which is good to know, but what’s the solution?! Turns out it’s distracting that pain pattern with cheering, laughing and raving to guilty pleasure tunes in-between sets of circuits.”
11. SELF-CARE SOMETIMES MEANS PUSHING YOURSELF
Kay Sennitt, Psychotherapist
Kay said: “It’s amazing how far we have pushed our bodies and yet I am feeling incredible. I have never had so much fun working so hard. "
Stays at The Body Camp Mallorca start from 750euros for three nights.
The Body Camp Mallorca will be hosting the first ever Shelf Help Retreat, 1-4 November. Join Toni and the Shelf Help team for a transformational fitness weekend with a self-help twist. Final spaces remaining (700euro, SH price).