Hello Kindred Questers!
My name is Cuqui Gorman and I am a Women’s Quest repeat camper.
I attended my first Women’s Quest retreat back in 1993…the “inaugural” retreat when the main focus was on Triathlon training…(or so I thought!). I remember being SO intimidated because of the collection of Triathlon “top dogs” that would be present: Erin Baker, Scott Molina, Lorraine Moller, Becky Delong, Jaqueline Stanford and of course THE Colleen Cannon…but I was also SO excited to learn from THE BEST in the world of triathlons! Not only did I learn triathlon tips and strategies; this first camp introduced me to things I had never experienced before: traveling solo (with my bike!), hiking and biking mountain trails, yoga, exploring my heart’s desire.
Every year after that, I would receive snail mail (yes, it was before email!) about upcoming retreats but I was in the midst of growing a family, so I’d put it away for “maybe next year.”
With each postcard, new destinations were added, however, I only dreamt of going back to The Woodspur Lodge to relive the magic of 1993.
Fast forward eight years… my husband surprised me with a birthday gift to attend Women’s Quest again! I was beyond THRILLED! The year was 2001, and it would be the retreat that turned me into a WQ “groupie” for life. I was a stay at home mother of 3…so the thought of a week away was like the Calgon “take me away” commercial! By now, WQ has transformed into this magical, spiritual, fitness camp that fulfilled every curve of my mind, body, and soul.
One of the most profound and lasting rewards of this retreat was meeting a group of women who would become life-long friends.
My first connection was with Kim Beck, who has become one of my best friends despite the thousands of miles between us. We were paired up for one of Colleen’s fun games and within seconds we knew that we were Kindred Spirits. We have reunited on several Women’s Quest retreats since then.
Another camper, Kathie Billing, would become my kids’ “Mom away from home” when all 3 of my kids ended up going to college in her hometown of Boone, NC. She was there to comfort and care for them when they were sick, needed a ride to the dentist or to just step in until I could get there!
We started an email chat group with all of the campers that year. It was the beginning of what has turned into 19 years of continued correspondence with 13 amazing women! Here was a diverse group of women who’s one common thread was WQ. We have stayed connected and have shared just about every life experience with each other: babies, weddings, divorce, new jobs, moves, illnesses, deaths, injuries…you name it, we’ve shared it! We have had reunions at Women’s Quest, have planned a few trips together and have shared many visits with one another. Our plans were to reunite this fall in Vermont…but it looks like that will be postponed to next year.
In 2005, Kim and I reunited again for the first Mother/Daughter Women’s Quest camp with our oldest daughters, who then became pen pals. I returned in 2007 for a second M/D retreat to share with my second daughter, Haley (and of course, McKinzie had to come!)
Women’s Quest has been a strong influence in my life from the lasting friendships I have made to the many heart’s desires I have brought to fruition! I am so grateful to be a part of this amazing sisterhood.
A quick note from me, Colleen:
When I started Women’s Quest 30 years ago, we were the only retreat that included yoga and meditation along with exercise. The only other programs that existed were boot camps for fitness fanatics or, on the opposite side, eleven days of lotus position and Vipassana sitting meditations. I wanted to create something that had a balance of mindfulness and athletics. I wanted to combine everything that I had learned as a professional athlete in our Women’s Quest retreats, which not only included movement and exercise but also, just as importantly, yoga, meditation, and relaxation. I had learned that they were such important keys to health and vitality. So, all of our retreats have this balance!
I had just retired from being a professional triathlete when I started Women’s Quest, so the original staff was the “Who’s Who” of triathlon. We had Erin Baker, Scott Molina, and their three-month-old son Miguel, Anna Scott, Annie and Steve Hed, Martha Griffin, Rebecca Browning, and a whole list of others. We had 25 brave women from across the U.S. that all came together for a week in the mountains of Colorado. One very special lady came, and I just loved everything about her, especially her name: Cuqui (cookie) Gorman. She has been to many Women’s Quest retreats over the years, and we even had a Mother/Daughter retreat so her daughters could come. She is a perfect example that shows when women gather, amazing connections, magic, and possibilities arise. Cuqui just taught an online Zumba class for our WQ membership last week, and it was a blast! Women’s Quest has been a vehicle for me to meet all my best friends.