Plans are underway for our 2018 WholeHealth Getaway!
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Here’s what we did last summer:
Interested in how we designed the WholeHealth Getaway? Read on…
A few years ago, my husband, sister, brother-in-law, children nieces and nephew had the best family holiday EVER. Our two families took our gaggle of young children to the beautiful countryside of France, renting a remote but spacious cottage in expansive grounds.
Between us we were four adults, and eight young children. We are all active-we have had to be since having our large family! Our kids swim, run and do triathlons. We take part in cycle sportives and parkruns. A couple of us have even run marathons. We didn’t want a lazy beach holiday, and we feel most relaxed when we are able to train, and we enjoy our generous, healthy home-cooked meals all the more after a busy day.
It can be hard to relax when you are a busy parent, but on this holiday we all got many chances to do what we wanted to do-guilt free. The children played together- we set them treasure hunts in the grounds, and they played wide games among the trees, and organised a holiday-long family table tennis championship, and for the more cerebral members of our group, a chess tournament.
We took turns to cycle the few miles to the boulangerie every morning for fresh bread for the day and freshly-baked croissants for breakfast.
We also took it in turns to watch the children so each couple could get the chance to ride or run together, as well as giving us the chance to run with sister, brother-in-law, or whatever combination fancied the activity of the day.
We spent the day at an open air pool where the children dived, swam, slid and ate ice creams, and we swam or lazed in the loungers with a book.
We visited a local town on market day, and spent the day sampling cheeses and Calvados and riffling through shabby chic bric a brac.
We took the kids on long cycle rides on the deserted French roads, stopping at our favourite patisseries or for ice creams to boost their energy and motivation.
We did run training sessions together and with the children, practicing our drills and techniques on the deserted lane to the house.
We had a sight-seeing and ice creams day out at the local town.
In the evenings, we went on a bat-watch night walk, completed a 3000 piece puzzle over the course of the evenings while drinking wine and eating (yet more) cheese, or each couple took turns to go for a romantic walk in the warm evening while the other watched the stars in the vast night sky (and drank wine).
And on the last night we had a barbecue and a talent show where our kids performed magic, comedy and dance routines that practicing and designing the costumes for had kept them busy and entertained for much of the week.
Instead of negotiating time away from the family-this was real family time, with all the members spending time together in different combinations that strengthened our bonds as a family, and fulfilled all our expectations of a holiday and more-leaving us feeling challenged, motivated, refreshed and relaxed.
Since then our children have grown up a bit, and we have continued with our love of activity and great food by qualifying as coaches and getting involved in junior triathlon coaching, swim coaching and and run-leading.
The formula we discovered that year was so enjoyable, that each of our family holidays since has continued to include all the elements of that first great family holiday, and we have gone back to France as often as we can for more riding, swimming, relaxing and cheese.
At home we met lots of families like ours through our triathlon adventures. Families with active kids and mums and dads who love the outdoors, who enjoy getting together at events, and who share similar interests.
It occurred to us-there must be other families that would enjoy and benefit from a holiday like the ones we loved to take. Not a training camp, but a really balanced but active holiday. With the chance for challenging training-the kind we enjoy-balanced with great food, lots of family time and also the chance for some precious time with our other halves. The key elements of the holiday were what we wanted to guarantee to provide; and what went on to become the WholeHealth motto: Fresh, Air, Real Food and Good Company.
And so the WholeHealth Getaway was created! We sought out a venue that was luxurious and communal. Where a big group of us could holiday together, but in comfort.
We found a location that was rural, and remote, but had facilities and activities within reach that we could access when we wanted some civilisation or to treat the children, but away from the continuous presence of activity so that the children would remember how to enjoy time away from constant stimulation, and remember how to enjoy simple activities and each other’s company.
We chose the setting for its natural beauty, and the natural resources around it; trails, hills, lakes, woods, and then we planned a programme that made the best of those features-offering a variety of active choices-group riding on the stunning roads, running on the beautiful local trails, a leisure lake nearby for open water swimming, boating and running.
And of course, food. I have practiced cooking for big groups of people-all my life really! But in the camps I have catered over the last few years, I got used to cooking and preparing large quantities of fresh, healthy food, and looking after active groups of adults and kids to ensure that they could enjoy real food after a great day.
We are delighted that many people have now experienced and enjoyed a WholeHealth holiday. We truly enjoy looking after our guests, and sharing a holiday that they will really enjoy, and go home from feeling thoroughly relaxed and refreshed.