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How Canyon Ranch Saved My Life, Part 2

(Continued from Friday)

There, stretching with all the rest of us, was Julia Roberts! Later that night we all played bingo together. Needless to say, my dear husband was impressed.

I’ve seen other celebrities there, too, like Mary Tyler Moore. But going to Canyon Ranch isn’t so much about who you will see or meet—it’s about figuring out who you want to be and working toward making that a real and lasting thing.

And it’s the perfect place to try a new activity to see if you will enjoy it and want to pursue it. Whether it’s kayaking, aqua fitness, kickboxing, or Zumba fitness dancing (or whatever the latest craze is), you can try it without fear of looking weird, because everyone there is in the same frame of mind as you are.

I’ve had complete physical checkups at Canyon Ranch, including blood tests that were way ahead of what my local doctors were doing at the time. It’s where I learned about C-reactive protein, for instance, which is a huge indicator of inflammation in the body. When you arrive at Canyon Ranch, you meet with a facilitator who can help you plan your visit to meet your goals. Let’s say you want to sleep better, or develop better posture, or get rid of back pain. The staffer can guide you to all the right classes (and take your blood pressure to make sure it’s okay.)

Once I went to the ranch for a family retreat, after I had just discovered I was pregnant (at age 44!). It was way too soon to tell people, but I also knew I had to be really careful about what I did and didn’t do while there (no hot tubs, no tough workouts, etc.). I told the facilitator I met at the beginning, and not only did she help me figure out what to do and not do, but she discreetly alerted the whole staff, so everywhere I went people knew my situation, kept it quiet, and kept me safe. I was even given a custom pregnancy workout routine. And months later, I had a healthy baby girl. Now that I think about it, I haven’t been back to the ranch since. Maybe it’s time for a tune-up!

While a Canyon Ranch visit is expensive, and many of the lessons you learn there you could learn, bit by bit, at other places, part of its value is its intensive program that helps you to focus on yourself. There are no distractions, no kids begging for candy from the awesome gift shop, no errands to run. As women, we spend a lot of our time and money taking care of other people—but sometimes we need to spend a little on taking care of ourselves, in ways that deeply matter. If you can’t afford a visit on your own, sign up for our sweepstakes. You just might win a free trip to Canyon Ranch, airfare included!

I know that whenever I am feeling on the verge of collapse, or expiring from too much stress, Canyon Ranch saves me.

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6 Responses to How Canyon Ranch Saved My Life, Part 2

  1. Victoria Everman April 27, 2009 at 7:22 am #

    I can’t say that I have ever had the pleasure of going to Canyon Ranch, but it is one of my dream vacation spots 🙂

  2. Maria April 27, 2009 at 7:42 am #

    Don’t forget to enter the sweepstakes at Rodale.com!!!! You just might win!

  3. Shelbi April 27, 2009 at 9:12 am #

    Canyon Ranch has saved me too! After many accidents, injuries, and surgeries, Canyon Ranch had the answer for me when my doctors couldn’t tell me how to live a healthy, ACTIVE life. They just told me what not to do. The medical sessions and analysis, staff, and classes at CR have helped me fine-tune a lifestyle of workouts, diet, and stress-relieving techniques that have kept me sane and healthy! It is a highly beneficial life-changing experience at Canyon Ranch!

  4. Gaye April 27, 2009 at 10:26 am #

    It really sounds wonderful; but unfortunately, I fall into the percentage of people who really cant afford a vacation like this exclusively for themselves, much less a family vacation away from home turf! Keep dreaming however!

  5. Maya April 27, 2009 at 11:19 am #

    Is there a Canyon Ranch book or something like that for those who can’t make the trip?

  6. nancy barber April 28, 2009 at 5:29 pm #

    I have been to the Canyon Ranch in Lennox and Tuscon. Both places are fantastic. There is nowhere else that I would rather spend a vacation or just a few days. I have been to the the Green Valley Spa in Utah – The Tennesse Fitness Spa – La Costa in Calif. and the Hotel DE La Xtapa Spa in Mexico. They are all very nice …. but none can compare the the Canyon Ranch. I am 71 years old (an ex_gymnast in my younger days) and I have been a Fitness and Dance Instructor for 41 yrs. The Canyon Ranch is Heaven

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