It was Saturday morning. I prepared myself a mango, banana and cacao smoothie, and was ready to leave the house in my gym gear before The Loop had even started playing.
I wasn’t going to my usual Zumba class. No, this weekend I was doing a marathon.
I drove to St Kilda, borrowed my mum’s yoga mat and ran on the treadmill (once) for the first time in months, in preparation.
I’ll be honest. I was a little sceptical of the whole Wanderlust 108 event. A ‘triathlon’ sponsored by adidas for 3,000 sporty, Saturday early-wakers with aerial yoga, essential oil classes and meditation.
I’m guessing you’re cottoning on to the fact I’m not the exercise type. When I told my friends I was doing a triathlon they responded with laughter, which was followed by confusion, then more laughter.
In fact, the height of my preparation was changing my phone case from ‘Don’t F*cking Touch Me’ to ‘Hello Sunshine’.
Here’s what I expected: Instagram ‘fitness’ models in perfectly curated outfits, preaching hippy mantras and Insta-storying their smoothie bowls for #fitspo.
What I was met with was not, to my surprise, disgustingly positive.
Yes, there were 3,000 plus fitness-crazed lunes willing to wake up early on the weekend to voluntarily run along the beach in seven degree weather.
There were stalls selling printed yoga mats, all types of ‘healing’ products (are oils and crystals a fair guess?) and food trucks with, you guessed it, VEGAN food.
People were doing aerial yoga in hammocks and others were getting their faces painted in multi-coloured neon tribal markings.
“Let’s skip the meditation and go for a run afterwards!” I heard one lady tell her friends.
But before I had a chance to question my life choices, I met a blogger.
Not the type you (or I) were thinking. One of the wholesome kind – Amiee from the UK who moved to Australia, set up as a primary school teacher and launched her blog just a week ago to help teachers find balance and maintain their wellbeing.
We had a good yak about the freezing temperature, our fitness habits and our plans post-event.
Already feeling better about having found someone to confess my fitness anxiety to, the day’s MC began preaching over the loudspeaker.
She explained Wanderlust 108 was designed to bring together a community of like-minded individuals to engage in a fitness event to help each person find their ‘true north’ (I still don’t know what that means, and I’m useless at navigation).
We stood with our hands to our hearts, eyes closed, chanting positive messages in unison.
At the time, I was probably recalling the days of scarring primary school athletics, so taking a minute to focus on the moment was comforting.
After a countdown, the run began.
All up, I’d say I ran* about 4kms and power-walked the rest. I still don’t really know how I did it, but a killer playlist replaced the motivation of having my best friend beside me.
After eating a couple of (vegan) rice paper rolls, it was time for the second part of the triathlon.
Note to anyone doing yoga outdoors: never position your mat on the slope of a hill. I made that mistake and was forced to work extra hard on my balance. Let’s call it a challenge and not a complete misjudgement on my part.
By the time the third and final part of the triathlon came (the meditation), the sun was shining and all the endorphins manifested into a smile on my face.
An actual smile. While I was exercising. Well, if you count the ‘lie down on the ground almost asleep’ part of meditation, exercise.
To my surprise, there were no fitness bloggers in sight (or they just hid themselves in the crowd very well).
The majority of the event was made up of women (and some men), who came along with their friends or family, and enjoyed a day of fitness and positivity.
I even found my soul sister: a girl with five free drinks lined up ready for when she finished the one in her hands.
I might not have come first, but I was definitely the one with the reddest face, and I’ll take that as a win.
*obviously I mean jogged