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Getting Back on Track

At 6 a.m., a soft knock on my door followed by a cheerful “Good morning!” awoke me from a well-deserved, deep slumber. I had expected my muscles to be sore from the hourslong hike the day before, but surprisingly I felt refreshed and ready to tackle another day of hiking at Mountain Trek in the Selkirk Mountains of southeastern British Columbia.

After months of indulging much too much while traveling, I had made the decision to get my fitness and eating routines back on track and was confident that the Mountain Trek program—the only mountain-based hiking, fitness and weight loss program in North America—would whip me into shape. The program encourages detoxification as well, both physically and mentally. Sign me up!

To reach the lodge, I flew into Spokane and then took the resort’s complimentary shuttle to Nelson, a small city in British Columbia that grew out of the late-1800s silver rush. The other guests arrived on the same day, a typical feature of the program that ensured we would begin our journeys together. They came from all walks of life: a CFO from Alaska, a husband and wife dentistry team from eastern Canada, a stylist from New York, a business executive in transition and an investor, a retired florist and a retired judge, all from California. (A max of 16 guests are welcome each week to maintain a 4-1 ratio of staff to guests.)

Most of our time during the weeklong stay was spent on the nearby hiking trails, some of which took us into provincial parks and all of which presented challenges over the three- and four-hour-long daily hikes. The scenery was stunning—secluded forests, creeks carving through rock formations hundreds of feet below, glacial-fed lakes—but the hiking was intense and we didn’t linger to admire the sights. After all, we were there to work—hard.

Back at the lodge, our time was filled with restorative yoga classes; talks by staff who shared their expertise in Mountain Trek’s five steps: nutrition, fitness, detoxification, sleep health and stress management; clean meals and snacks to refuel our bodies; and a hot tub, infrared sauna and massages to soothe aching muscles.

At the end of my week, I felt stronger and healthier than I had in quite a while. My cardio stamina increased. I was happy, well-rested and invigorated. And, as a bonus, I lost eight pounds.

It’s been four months since I left the mountains of British Columbia (during which time Mountain Trek earned the top spot on Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards list of international destination spas). For the most part, I’ve stayed on track. It’s not easy, and there are certainly stumbles along the way, but I’m taking it one step at a time, the Mountain Trek way.

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