It’s October, one of my favorite months, and favorite season. Growing up in rural Pennsylvania, I have always loved the turning leaves, the blue skies and the crisp air. For the past 11 years, however, I have grown to love October for another reason – my annual group trip to Canyon Ranch Health Resort in Tucson, Arizona. I organize groups to take part in a 5 day, 4 night trip to the Sonoran desert resort, and can honestly say that over the years, the magic of Canyon Ranch continues to inspire me. It builds my strength, stamina and appreciation of nature, and reinforces in me the power of positive thinking, meditation and reflection. What I have come to learn that I find most inspiring though, is the camaraderie that inevitably builds within the group, and the renewed sense of self that emerges within each individual group member.
Most people who join the group trip do so for the significant discount that attending in a group provides. Once you arrive at the Ranch, however, you are free to do as much or as little with the group as you please. Some group members I see only for fleeting moments as they move from one yoga class, golf or tennis lesson or massage to the next. Others meet at meal time in the dining room or the outdoor cafe and linger over gourmet meals, getting to know people from all of the the country, (this year’s group consisted of 28 people from 11 states!) with different backgrounds, viewpoints and experiences – especially at Canyon Ranch. Listening to others’ experiences has prompted many group members to try things they wouldn’t have dreamed of trying. Whether it be acupuncture, mountain biking, a hands-on cooking class, or a Watsu therapy session, Canyon Ranch has something for everyone.
For me, one of the best parts of this trip is the hiking. Hikes usually depart at 6:00AM and range in degree of difficulty and intensity. You are usually returned to the ranch by about 11:00AM, just in time to soak your tired feet and head to a relaxing, leisurely lunch with new found friends. Before I experienced spending time in the dessert, I didn’t understand how peaceful and serene it can be. A wise Irishman once told me “You can not hide in the desert, so it forces you to go inward.” His sentiment stated so succinctly, spoke volumes. It is not just the great meals, the endorphin rush from all the exercise, the spa service pampering or even the scenic beauty that makes the Canyon Ranch experience so special. It’s the bonding with others – old friends and new, but mostly with yourself that is the most invigorating, renewing, refreshing and inspiring.
If you want to experience it yourself, email firstname.lastname@example.org or check back here on the Events page for information on next year’s trip.