Lululemon Ambassador Summit
April 4th, 2011
This morning I got up really early and got ready for Waleah and J.B. To pick me up at the Atherton at 5:30am. They drove me from Stillwater to Oklahoma City to catch my 8:30am flight. I really enjoyed their company this weekend. They were the greatest hosts and were very gracious. It was a true pleasure to be able to be in their care and they made me feel very welcome in their town. The experience of teaching there has been a really eye opening adventure. Waleah had said there was going to be major tears when they dropped me off and that was not the case. I think we all know we will see each other again very soon.
The plane left on time from Oklahoma City and it was a very quick flight to Dallas, TX. It was a very close connection and I had to hoof it to get to the other side of the airport. Luckily very smooth, no worries. I got on the plane and immediately spotted two other people whom I suspected to be Lululemon people. One of them sat down next to me and it turns her name is Cat and is from Miami. We have had a great chance to rap about the excitement of the days ahead.
With that being said, Lululemon is flying 90 Ambassadors from around the world to attend the Lululemon Ambassador Summit which is to be held in Whistler, B.C.. We are bound for Vancouver right now and to the left of the left of the plane I can see towering mountain peaks frosted in snow. A great sigh of relief knowing that for the next four days I can absorb the tremendous North West. The furthest north I have been on the Pacific is Oregon and I remember being completely blown away by the beauty of this part of the world. Towering redwood trees, powerful Pacific swell, temperate rain forest and really interesting people. I have always dreamed of going further with hopes of one day making it to Alaska. I am really happy to have the chance to get a little closer to here. Everyone who I have talked to about Vancouver and Whistler with has said the best things. They have all raved about the culture and environment and expressed a grand appreciation for this part of the world.
I think this meeting is going to be a great opportunity to meet a bunch of like minded individuals. Already speaking with Cat I am feeling amped up and excited to share ideas and experiences.
I had the idea of interviewing each of the Summit attendees with with a question pertaining to their experience of being an Ambassador and compiling the interviews into a YouTube clip to help to be able to share this experience with others. I feel like this is an incredible privilege to be able to attend this conference. It would be so much more fun to be able to share it with other people who have an appreciation for Lululemon.
Tam and I have been thinking about trying to put together a yoga retreat at a desirable location somewhere around the world. We were thinking we would like to do a yoga and surf retreat in Costa Rica. We went down there last summer to scope it out. It at least seemed like a good idea to go down their anyway since we have heard so much about it over the years. The area that I like the most was Avellanas and a beach close to it called Playa Negra apparently has built a beautiful outdoor platform for yoga. Also in the conversation I learned that someone who is going to be here has extensive experience in putting retreats together. I am really excited to learn some of the ins and outs of making this a viable option. Some of the other Ambassadors are on the plane which will make the journey from the airport to the Support Center exciting. This is going to be amazing!!!
Upon arrival into Vancouver I am very impressed with the airport. It has to be one of the nicest in the world. Went through customs and got together with 7 other Ambassadors and we got a limo and all drove together to the Lulu headquarters. Incredible building and everyone began to file in from around the globe. I have already met so many interesting and informative people. We all got on a large bus and made the scenic drive from Vancouver to Whistler. What a completely stunning drive. The view of the islands across the bay while weaving around the winding coastal road created a complete sense of awe. Someone had mentioned that because it was rainy and foggy that they felt like we were in the movie Twilight! Conversation flowed and we all seemed to sink into the reality that we were actually on our way. Sometimes the anticipation of travel creates a surreal sense of not really traveling until we settle into the moment and begin to enjoy the journey.
Upon landing at the Four Seasons we were met with a gentle snowfall. Whistler Village is everything one can hope for in a ski community. People walking along the sidewalks with their skis and snowboards tucked under their arms. Trams lifting people into the ski, tree leaves hanging heavy with snow with perfect circular skirts of melted snow surrounding their trunks from the fall of earlier rain. So serene.
We checked into our rooms and I was lucky enough to have Matt who is a running coach from Naples, FL be my roommate. We brewed up some coffee and sat out on the third floor veranda and watched the snow fall on the beautiful mountain backdrop in front of us. I can hardly believe that Lululemon is doing this for us. To be flown to a location like this feels very surreal. When we first sat out in the environs Matt was in his t-shirt and I said how I didn’t think it seemed that cold and then about 1 minute later I went in and put on about 4 more layers and laughed at my earlier comment. He reminisced about his earlier years of growing up in CT and running in shorts and t-shirt in 40 degree weather. I have to admit that being around all these elite runners it has peaked my interest to start running. Their excitement for the art of running is making me intrigued.
We went down stairs and the ceremony began. Their was some really good food and we had the chance to listen to a presentation by the owner of of the company, Chip. I was thoroughly impressed by the fact that he had revealed that he wanted to fly us all up here, 90 Ambassadors from all around the world, so that the company could thank us for our participation in helping make Lululemon what it is today. All this time I have just enjoyed working with them in the sense of collaborating in ways to help bring yoga to the community. I never really felt like they needed to do anything like this and I had thought before that it kind of seemed like we were sponsored by Lululemon but it didn’t need to be defined as such. It dawned on me the power of what his man was saying. This company is built, successfully, on the process of paying it forward. This is quite profound when I think about it. Lulu has been able to build this enterprise from the ground up through listening very intently to what people were saying. Instead of applying what he wanted he just listened and provided want we wanted. Simple right!! It seems so, and all of us know how much more challenging this is as a path versus a theory. Just think if we actually listened to one another instead of pushing our own impressions and agenda on to them. The world is a better place. I have just had time to come back to the room and collect my thoughts and present them here. I really am stoked to be here and am eager again with anticipation at practicing yoga in the morning at 6:30am with 90 new friends!
Todd McLaughlin www.nativeyogacenter.com