Pilates Conference 2011

The Inaugural Annual PILATES Conference 2011 (otherwise know as: "The Running Wild Weekend"

So it was for some of us on Friday night, 27 May 2011, at the Glass House Mountains Ecolodge. We had arrived that afternoon with the earnest intent of running wild on our first pilates conference. After an obligatory exploration of the unique and intriguing property, including the orchard, bush tucker walk and a look through the forest at the pineapple plantation next door, we were ready to get down to the serious business of having a jolly good time.

At 5pm we gathered in the hallowed precincts of the Church, home to our “Mother Superior” Pamela for the weekend. Our "church" had been moved to the site on the back of a truck some years earlier. We consumed wine and nibbles with utmost respect for an hour or so until the Glass House Tavern courtesy bus kindly transported us to their premises for first inaugural pilates conference dinner - to celebrate our 2011 conference.

The feature of the night was unquestionably an Pilates Indian Arm Wrestling Challenge. The competition, organised by Pamela, was vigorously contested. It progressed with much noisy encouragement, cheering and hijinks through the heats, quarterfinals etc. Who would have guessed David was so ticklish? Gwen & Barb were finally crowned the Grand Champions and the night’s festivities finished with supper back at the Church.

Some slept that night. Whether we did or did not, we were, with the exception of Majella and Michael, all spread out like star fish, one person per bed – only 14 of us in an establishment which boasts a capacity of 30!

Contrary to the weather forecast Saturday dawned bright, sunny and crisp. Following breakfast, we were treated to a welcome Pilates session by Pamela on the deck outside her Church.

Coffee and homemade slices were enjoyed at the train carriage kitchen before setting out on the Tibrogargan Circuit bush walk in the National Park 300 m from our lodge. This was a highlight of our weekend offering fresh air and exercise with the bonus of spectacular views.

A BBQ lunch was prepared and served outside the carriage kitchen at a large table overlooking the forest. The food and fellowship were wonderful but for those suffering from sleep deprivation, the temptation of a siesta after lunch was overwhelming.

Others decided to enjoy the perfect afternoon by taking a stroll around the area. Stumbling across a macadamia plantation and hundreds of mature nuts strewn across the ground explained the previously puzzling presence of a macadamia nut cracker back at the lodge! To ignore such a generous gesture would have been impolite so the nut cracker was put to good use later that afternoon.

At 5pm we had no trouble finding our way back to the Church and sat sipping wine blissfully while anticipating another night of fun and laughter. The Beerwah Tavern courtesy bus arrived at 6pm and we were on our way to a sumptuous meal at the tavern. (Please don't think that we were not serious about our Pilates Conference agenda - ha-ha).

Several suggestions for a follow-up to Friday’s challenge included baked bean wrestling which was discounted for more than one reason. Instead, we settled on another supper party back at the ever popular Church. Much later, after more than 24 hours of pure hinterland fresh air, 14 happy campers snuggled down for a restful and well deserved deep sleep.

Sunday morning after breakfast 13 Pilates Conference tragics were led by Pamela in an excellent Conference stretch session, again on the deck outside the Church. Carol’s protests about a mysterious short sheeting operation carried out on the bed in her “executive bungalow” and requests for a confession from the guilty party fell on deaf ears as we tortured our bodies with muffled giggles.

A morning coffee appointment at the carriage kitchen heralded the departure of a few who needed to leave early for home. Most of the remainder headed off under a clear blue sky for more bush walking in the adjacent National Park offering impressive views of Mt Tibrogargan and other Glass House mountains.

A delicious BBQ lunch (Chef David on duty again) was the finale to our weekend program. It was indeed hard to tear ourselves away from good friends in such an idyllic corner of the Sunshine Coast - but there is always next year!




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