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The Life-Changing Journey: My Unforgettable Experience at The Drop In Retreat at Hotel St. Cecilia in Austin, Texas

This time last week, I was settling into my room at The Saint Cecilia Hotel for the very first Drop In Retreat. If only I had known how these next few days would forever change my life. The best part was that I was on this journey with my best friend by my side. It had been years since we both vacationed together, and this trip was well worth it.

I connected with The Drop In back in January for their very first event, which will always hold a special place in my heart. After that initial encounter with this amazing community, led by Gillian Zettler and Chandler Frisbie, I knew I had to stay connected. Music, movement, dance, and wellness is what their community and The Drop In embodies. The retreat was all of that and much more. I’m still coming down from the high of being surrounded by love, community, and wellness, so bare with me while I do my best to put into words a week I’ll never forget.

Here’s how it all went down one day at a time :

Wednesday we kicked things off with a gorgeous welcome dinner on the beautiful patio under the most gorgeous tree. It was the perfect back drop to start our journey of building a bond and learning about each other. After that we enjoyed a lovely dinner and laughed the night away.

Thursday started bright and early with an 8 a.m. cycle session. This wasn't just any cycling—Chandler and Gillian used it as a way to empower us, both on and off the bikes. They encouraged us to push past our limits, setting the tone for the entire retreat. After some free time, we all headed to Sour Duck Market for a yummy group lunch. The evening was filled with lovely conversations and bonding, followed by a fun dinner with live music.

Friday started with another awesome morning cycle session to get us going. Each pedal stroke was a reminder of our strength and potential, thanks to Chandler and Gillian's inspiring guidance. We followed up with a relaxing yoga flow led by Atxyogagirl. After some chill time, we met up for a super fun two-step class—such a blast! We wrapped up the day with dinner at Armadillo Den, enjoying live music and food trucks. So much fun!

Saturday we kicked off the morning with more empowering cycling. Chandler and Gillian seamlessly connected our physical efforts to real-life challenges, showing us the importance of perseverance and community support. We then took a cosmic nap led by AtxYogaGirl under a beautiful oak tree—so peaceful! The afternoon was all about free time to explore or relax until dinner. I opted to explore and went down to Barton Springs with Ashlea and Ziggy. The beautiful open springs were the perfect backdrop for connecting with my best friend and gaining a new one. It was such a great way to bond and grow closer. Dinner was breathtaking as it was hosted at a beautiful Texan styled home which was catered by an amazing chef and his team. We also sipped on some lovely non- alcoholic wine. The evening was absolutely beautiful.

Sunday came way too fast but it ended on a high note with an 8 a.m. soulful cycle session. Gillian empowered us as we took our final ride as a community. It was a powerful, uplifting finale that left us all feeling unstoppable.

If you're ever in the Charleston area, you HAVE to connect with The Drop In and see where they're headed next. Gillian and Chandler are the heart and soul of this movement. They lead with so much love and openness and inspire everyone to push past their limits.

One of my biggest takeaways from this weekend was discovering the incredible strength that comes from being part of a community. Through the cycle sessions, I realized how much we can achieve when we support each other, not just in exercise but in everyday life. The community I found this week will always have a special place in my heart. A HUGE thank you to everyone at The Drop In for having me. This experience has truly been life-changing.


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