All photos in this article were taken by the incredible Kelly Balch
A Nuuness Retreat Check-In: Four Months Later
By Alyssa Godesky
Alyssa Godesky reflects on how her experiences at the first ever Nuuness Retreat in January have shaped her current attitude and outlook.
In so many ways, January feels like a lifetime ago. It was still the start of an Olympic year. We travelled. We were allowed to hug our friends. Now, four months later, I am more grateful than ever that I made the time to be in San Diego in January for the first Nuuness Retreat. Little did I know that the takeaways from that weekend would be valuable reminders and nuggets of wisdom that I fall back on now in these trying times. I wanted to touch on some of the most poignant lessons for me, in hopes it might spark something in you during this time as well.
For many of us, our time social distancing and sheltering at home is in fact a great time to work towards goals we’ve been eyeing, both physical and mental (and if not - that's cool too!). But all too often, we arrive at those finish lines, only to feel unfulfilled and expecting more from them. The Nuuness Retreat taught me about flipping goal setting on its head, a’la Steph Jagger!
In this time of goal setting, take the Jagger approach: instead of working towards these goals which involve “doing” in order to hopefully “be” something, Steph encouraged us to start with the “be.” When you practice starting with the “be,” you are set up to work towards the “do” — and when you arrive at the finish line, instead of feeling unsettled and wanting more, you find yourself now in a feedback circle which contributes back to your “be.” This is tough and for most of us requires practice re-writing the goal setting format we’ve been programming with since childhood. I’ve been taking advantage of a slightly slower pace of life to make sure my goals - daily, weekly and long term - are matching up to this as much as possible. This interview with Steph reveals more about her process.
The Nuuness retreat brought together women from all walks of life, from all over the country and with all different purposes of being there. Before we did anything? We got muuving. Muuvment can be a bridge, and I’m remembering that in these times. I live in an apartment complex with hundreds of people - I knew maybe a handful of them before COVID19. Now, with the gyms closed and people working from home, I often find myself walking alongside (at a safe distance!) my neighbors during my daily walks with my dog, Ramona. With muuvment, barriers are lessened and people open up. You get to know each other and you work together. This time has reminded me of that lesson from Nuuness Retreat, and the importance of muuving with people outside of your normal routine and social circles.
The pace of life at the Nuuness Retreat was a delicate balance between doing and resting, and this time at home has been an opportunity to re-write my home routine in this way as well. There were some opportunities where you had a choice between an activity or some quiet solo time. This structure allowed us to build our day in a way that would keep us fresh and recharged. Lately I’ve been reminding myself of this, and that sometimes scheduling in a rest time during the day is just as valuable as scheduling in an activity. Dr. Stacy Sims and Kristen Holmes taught us the importance of taking care of our bodies with our nutrition and our sleep -- this is a time to build habits that contribute to both of those things!
At the Nuuness Retreat, the opportunity to hear from other professional athletes - Alysia Montaño, Emma Coburn, Steph Corker and Rachel McBride — was a reminder to myself about the importance of listening — truly listening — rather than assuming. Of giving yourself time to digest experiences and what people are saying before you need to respond. Of asking questions, choosing kindness, and allowing yourself to be vulnerable. Because even an Olympian has doubts and fears. I took away from the Nuuness Retreat a more open mind, which has been so useful in this time. It has helped me remember that it can mean more than you think to ask someone how they are, and really wait to hear their answer, and that even the most confident people in the room need to be checked in on as well.
And finally, in case none of these spark intention within you, maybe this will: that when it doubt, s’mores fix everything! I hadn’t had a s’more in years before the Nuuness Retreat, and it reminded me of my love for them! I’m definitely making s’mores at home to brighten my pandemic days!