I survived Wanderlust Mindfulness Triathlon, Entity reports.

I’m not a runner. I’m not really even into yoga. I mean, I’ve gone a couple times before and I’m usually happy afterwards but with my level of anxiety going to organized exercise classes is a literal nightmare. Not to mention the fact that that sort of thing costs like $200 a month in Los Angeles so… no.

But when I got the chance to go to Wanderlust Festival I had to say I was intrigued. They call it the “Mindfulness Triathlon,” with a 5K, yoga and meditation – none of which is really up my alley – mind you. But here we go, nonetheless.

Telling my friends I was going to this… alone…  was part of the fun. Though I guess I probably should have been a little insulted by all the shocked “YOU?”s Good thing I have such solid confidence I can laugh at myself.

I survived the Wanderlust Mindfulness Triathlon, reporting for Entity.

I survived the Wanderlust Mindfulness Triathlon. Image via NBC

5K

I survived Wanderlust Mindfulness Triathlon, 5K, Entity reports.

I survived Wanderlust Mindfulness Triathlon, 5K.

After picking up a pretty, teal bandanna, checking my bag and placing my yoga mat (Incorrectly. I was literally corrected by two Wanderlust staffers) – the first third of the triathlon is the 5K – which also happened to be the thing I was dreading most.

I pictured lithe, Spandex-clad bodies zooming past me, as I huffed and puffed my way to the finish line, looking like a giant tomato. And that was mostly accurate. But the thing none of us were accounting for – despite the event being held at the Santa Monica pier – was for the 5K to take place ON THE BEACH. That’s right… running in the sand. Well, let’s be real – I was going to be walking. Trudging?

To my wicked delight, it wasn’t only me shocked by this development. I could hear all of the yogis around me totally losing their zen. “Ugh, but I was going to try and get my best time!” “They did NOT tell us it was going to be in the sand!” “What if you were wearing some nifty, new shoes you didn’t want ruined?” Good question, my shimmery, gold tatted friend – What IF you had some nifty, new shoes you didn’t want covered in sand? Which, BTW, mine still are. Lucky for me, poser that I am, I was wearing my little sister’s old track shoes, so that wasn’t really an issue.

I should mention here that in addition to being wildly out of shape I was also recovering from bronchitis so I probably shouldn’t even have been there let alone attempting a 5K. But it’s not like I actually hero-ed this thing and tried to run it so I’m still alive.

I’d also like to share that when I turned to my iPhone for company for the grueling monster of a “run” (that felt an awful lot like that hallway scene in “The Shining”) the first song that came on on Pandora was Hailee Steinfeld’s “Love Myself.” The irony was not lost on me, my friends.

Yoga

I survived Wanderlust Mindfulness Triathlon, yoga, Entity reports.

I survived Wanderlust Mindfulness Triathlon, yoga.

After the 5K we had some time to walk around the little festival area before yoga began. There were Wanderlust photo booths and booths giving out free granola and protein bars. There was a Kombucha Garden which just feels so LA I almost wonder if I went in if they’d even ever let me back into Philly. And then plenty of stands selling yoga gear. So. much. Spandex. And vegan food – which, normally I would love to make fun of, but since discovering I’m allergic to eggs it’s actually pretty convenient. I know, I’m a big hypocrite. ¯\_()_/¯

They were doing this very festival-y face paint which seemed kind of basic but then turned out to be free so I thought, hell, when in Rome, right? Then I noticed the Samsung booth was very popular… and all of the girls walking around in flower crowns. I was trying to let myself get swept up in the festival but I know how to make those myself so no way in hell was I about to drop, like, $20 on something I was going to wear once.

Time for yoga. I doused myself in sunscreen for the second time and headed to my mat. The yogi was kind of this weird, Rastafarian-DJ-type who worked with another DJ but would also sometimes break into song while instructing us. He kept telling us to “link” up with the people next to us, which I get is probably a “thing” for these lovey, like peaceful types… but not really what you want to do when it’s a million degrees and you’ve been sweating all morning.

Also, and maybe it’s just been a while since I’ve done yoga, and I repeat, I’m both sick and out of shape, but damn, this yoga was much harder than I was expecting. And again… we’ve just done a 5K… in. the. sand. I was so not prepared for all this. Lucky for me, he paused in the middle – because yoga literally went from 10:45 to 12:25 – to have a dance party. It was filled with songs with lyrics like, “No more bombs/ no more wall/ I want the whole world to be a festival.” I kid you not.

After the dance party this woman came on and she was very soft spoken and kept talking about soul and the mind body connection and saying things like “join our tribe” so I thought maybe she was the meditation part. FINALLY, a moment of rest.

JK. I was very wrong. This was mindful yoga but still very strenuous. I may or may not have reverted to some child’s pose while the more advanced people in front of me did some extra shit I cannot even pronounce. Have I mentioned my favorite pose is corpse pose?

Meditation

I survived Wanderlust Mindfulness Triathlon, meditation, Entity reports.

I survived Wanderlust Mindfulness Triathlon, meditation.

Yoga felt so. long. Honestly I felt like I was in high school again waiting for the bell to ring. But after that was over, and after leaving to put sunscreen on AGAIN, I was finally ready for meditation. And you know what, it was actually pretty nice? First of all, it was super nice to just be still. The woman who did it had the most soothing voice. Of course, I think it’s like, impossible for me to clear my head. (It’s why I don’t think I could ever be hypnotized.) So anytime she stopped talking and just told us to be still that was kind of like a panic attack waiting to happen… but when she was talking it was a great little rest from the kind of strenuous day.

Takeaway: Maybe I should try it more?

Breakout sessions

I had more time to walk around after meditation. Get an iced chai, check out some more freebies at booths. Turns out, those flower crowns are free. So now you know I had to get one. It was actually pretty cool. Samsung had a tablet and you got to design which flowers you wanted, etc. I watched the girl in front of me in line get handed hers, and immediately afterwards complained that her free flower crown was cheap. People are hilarious.

Wanderlust had breakout sessions such as AcroYoga, AlReal Yoga, Essential Oils Workshop, Flow & Restore, OM Walking, Music + Yoga: A Discussion and Photography Workshop. A lot them filled up quickly, so I ended up in the Photography Workshop. It was 1:30-1:55, so it was pretty short. Mostly just a few tips from a photographer. She was nice though.

Final thoughts

I survived Wanderlust Mindfullness Triathlon looking so basic, reporting for Entity.

I survived Wanderlust Mindfulness Triathlon looking so basic.

I spent like $50 in the Wandlerlust Adidas shop because I felt like I earned it. I’m going to wear that Wanderlust shirt like the basic bitch that I am, even though I have no clue when I’m ever going to do yoga again because you know what, I did it on Saturday… maybe not for the entire hour and forty minutes, but for some of it. And that still counts. Also, I got burnt AF. So there’s that.

But for those who aren’t allergic to the sun, horribly out of shape or sick, and you know, like yoga and running and that sort of thing, Wanderlust is actually really cool. It’s a pretty fun, mindful way to spend a Saturday morning. And hey, I’m still alive. (For now.)

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