You may be thinking where the heck has this 'Eden Escape festival' suddenly popped up from and what's it all about....
So we thought we'd start by introducing ourselves - give you an idea of who we are, what we do for a living and more importantly what we do for fun and then it may (or may not....) start making a little more sense.
So, we are Leigh-ann Newburn and Wiz Lees, we've known each other a long time, maybe 12 or so years, and have always been on paths that kept crossing, it was only a matter of time until we properly collided and came up with something big.
We both live in Shap (a little village in Cumbria) and feel incredibly lucky to do so, we're perched literally slap bang in the middle between the spectacular Lake District, the beautiful rolling Howgills, the lush and green Eden Valley and the rugged North Pennines - which, for anyone who likes getting outside, is surely the perfect spot!
We both love a little bit of the outdoors and having adventures and we both work in the health and fitness business, so in a nutshell - Eden Escape Festival is our way of sharing all of the things we love rolled into one weekend!
So we'll start with me, Leigh-ann, I grew up in Cumbria, left for a little while for Uni - then felt the draw of the countryside and came running back! As a kid you would always find me outside, never doing anything seriously adventurous - but always out, in the mud, on my bike, come rain or shine and I guess that's come with me into my adult life, with my Husband managing to push my outdoor time into the little more adventurous category. I went to uni to become a Physiotherapist and that I did, however I very quickly realised that being in a hospital environment wasn't the one for me so I found myself on a slightly different path, spending the next 5 or 6 years in hospitality and managing events.
I loved every minute of it, made some amazing friends and met some awesome people, however, any of you out there who work in hospitality will know, the hours suck and there's tons of them! I found myself spending less and less time outside, and less and less time with my friends and family - and it was rubbish. I felt stressed and depressed and not at all like I was living the life I always thought I wanted to live and also that I was becoming less and less the person I wanted to be, certainly not myself anyway. So I left my job and jumped on a plane to India to pursue the one thing in my life I did love doing - Yoga.
So now I'm a full time Yoga teacher, sharing my love of the practice in a way (hopefully) that makes it accessible and useful for everyone. I have so much more time for adventures and you'll often find me, the hubby and our 2 dogs out and about, walking, biking, paddleboarding, wild swimming and anything else in-between that looks like it might be a bit of fun!
(Passes the mic to Wiz.......)
Since a child I have always been slim and active enjoyed sports and happy in my own skin. Then I had my youngest baby and things seemed to change overnight. Suddenly I was a size 22, with zero fitness and the worst eating habits imaginable. I knew things had to change but wanted a quick fix, fast forward through lots of fad diets until I realised there is no quick fix, the only one true way to make a permanent change is training mean and eating clean!
In 2009 my journey and real passion for fitness began, I signed up for a 5k Race for Life event and started very slowly but consistently. Over the next few months I fell in love with running and realised it wasn’t just great for my body but my mind too. In 2014 I decided I wanted to know more and embarked on a year long fitness instructor course. This lead to me instructing Boot Camps in May 2015 and I haven’t looked back since! Now I had started helping and encouraging others to enjoy fitness as well as improve and progress I then craved more, so I started my qualification to become a Personal Trainer. After a further year juggling a full time job and my fitness work I decided to take the plunge and make this dream my full time job. 18 months later we are lucky to have a Tribe of the best people, every age, fitness level, shape and size the one thing we all have in common is encouraging each other and laughter, making fitness fun!
So that's us, in a very little nutshell, and we hope it might help you see where we dreamed up The Eden Escape Festival, its come from all the things we know and love and want to share.
But we're also rather excited to discover new adventures with you.
Leigh-ann and Wiz