Wilder Retreats are two-day or four-day running and writing retreats, exploring how the two play together. Led by Lauren Fleshman in partnership with renowned teachers in the creative space, it will be a chance to work and play together in beautiful places.
We primarily utilize running and writing, with storytelling, yoga, humor, coaching, and the beauty of the outdoors to support creative and physical courage, as well as confidence we can take back home with us to add value to the work we do on a daily basis for ourselves and our community.
We work with amazing teachers. Here's a list of contributors, past and present:
Lauren is considered one of the greatest middle distance runners in USA history. California State Champion and Footlocker National runner-up for Canyon high school, Lauren went on to be one of the most decorated athletes in Stanford University and NCAA history, earning 5 NCAA titles, 15 All-American honors, and a spot in the Hall of Fame. Her professional racing career has brought 2 USA Championships and five World Championship berths for Team USA. In her 20th year of passionate involvement in the sport, she has the privilege of working with great brands like Oiselle, Roka, Jaybird, Picky Bars, and Stance.
Lauren's pro racing years have been defined by a series of injuries and comebacks. These obstacles shaped her philosophical exploration of running, human potential, and transformation. Her mark on the sport has been defined by her authenticity, activism, and a desire to inspire confidence and connection through sport and creative expression. Lauren has attended 16 running camps and 2 women's retreats, and has held a leadership role at over half of them. Hosting her own camps took 10 years to make into a reality, and Lauren credits the work of the coaches at Canyon High School and Stanford University, Oiselle Volée and Bird Camps, Muse Camp, World Muse, Jennifer Louden Retreats, Off the Matt, Amanda Palmer, Seth Godin, and 27 Powers for influencing the way she approaches WILDER. Sally Bergesen, Sarah Lesko, Amanda Stuermer, Dr. Melody Moore, David Colburn, Julia Hanlon, and Marianne Elliott have been valuable mentors.
Lauren is the co-author of the popular BELIEVE Training Journal series. Her writing can also be found at Runner's World, Strava, Ask Lauren Fleshman, and Oiselle. She coaches the elite women runners of "Little Wing," is the co-founder and product developer of Picky Bars, the partner of pro triathlete Jesse Thomas, and a mother of two.
Writing Teacher March Workshop, 2018
Laurie Wagner has been publishing books and essays, and teaching writing for the last 25 years. She is a process guru and has a genius for holding space, helping people unzip what’s inside of them, and get ink on the page. A creative brain-stormer, she specializes in out of the box ways to tell your stories. Her Wild Writing classes- live and online - are the cornerstone of her current work. She is the author of Living Happily Ever After: Couples Talk about Long Term Love, and Expectations: 30 Women Talk about Becoming a Mother. Check out her blog at: 27powers.org
Writing Teacher, May Retreat, 2018 (2016 and 2017 as well)
Marianne Elliott is a writer, human rights advocate and yoga teacher. Brené Brown called her “one of the best teachers I’ve ever experienced… a beautiful writer and a courageous truth teller.” Trained as a lawyer, Marianne helped develop human rights strategies for the governments of New Zealand and East Timor, and spent two years in the Gaza Strip before going to Afghanistan, where she served in the United Nations.
In Afghanistan, she decided stories were her weapon of choice, and yoga was her medicine. As a best-selling author and yoga teacher she has been featured in Yoga Journal, Origin Magazine, The Huffington Post and Good Magazine. When she’s not on her yoga mat or at the keyboard, you’ll find her trail-running (very slowly), introducing her nieces and nephews to the joys of political action, or reading feminist crime fiction. Her latest book, "Zen Under Fire" is in stores now.
Writing Teacher, August Retreat 2017
Jennifer Louden is a personal growth pioneer who helped launch the concept of self-care with her first best-selling book The Woman’s Comfort Book. She’s the author of 6 additional books on well-being and whole living with about a million copies in print in 9 languages. In addition to having a national column in one of Martha Stewart’s magazines, she has been profiled or quoted in dozens of other major publications, and has appeared on hundreds of TV and radio shows, including Oprah.
Jennifer has been teaching retreats and leading workshops since 1992, and since 2000 she has been a leader in creating vibrant on-line communities and innovative learning experiences. Her recent discovery and obsession with running has led her to the trails and half-marathons. She married the love of her life at 50, and is the very proud mom of Lillian and very proud bonus mom to Aidan.
Yoga Teacher 2018 (2016 and 2017 as well)
Julia Hanlon, Wilder’s May yoga teacher, is passionate about asking questions that explore the mind, body, and spirit connection. The quest for these answers has led Julia to pursue podcasting, yoga, and running. Julia’s passion for storytelling led her to create the Running On Om Podcast. In two years, Running On Om (ROO) established itself as one of the top health podcasts on iTunes, featuring over 200 interviews with a diverse group of innovators of the mind, body, and spirit connection. In 2016, Julia left the podcasting world to pursue teaching yoga full time, but the archive of episodes continues to be an amazing resource for listeners.
Through yoga and running, Julia has found deep joy, personal growth, and amazing communities. Julia discovered yoga at the age of 16, eventually becoming a 500 hour yoga teacher at the age of 20. She is passionate about teaching yoga to runners and has taught hundreds of athletes, from elite endurance athletes in her hometown of Boston to adolescent Ethiopian female runners in Sululta, Ethiopia, where Julia worked as the program director of the Yaya Girls Running Program. Julia plans to return to Ethiopia in 2018 to produce a documentary project featuring Ethiopian female distance runners.
In May 2014, Julia graduated from Bates College, magna cum laude, with a BA and a double major in ethnomusicology and religious studies. Julia lives in Boston, MA where she can be found teaching yoga, reading Mary Oliver, and running anywhere she finds trails.
Yoga Teacher, August Retreat, 2017
Erin Taylor is a yoga coach and founder of Jasyoga, a revolutionary approach to yoga for athletes.
As a collegiate basketball player, she thought yoga was boring at first, time that could be better spent on the court or in the weight room. It wasn’t until she was sidelined by a spinal injury from overtraining that she discovered that there is a path of less resistance. Yoga was the “Reset” that helped her to bring things back into balance.
Erin founded Jasyoga with the goal of providing practical yoga solutions to as many people as possible. Over the last decade, she has infused meditation, functional anatomy, and physical therapy techniques into her practice, and speaks in a language that athletes can hear. Now accessible anytime, anywhere via her online via platform, with operations in Seattle and London, Erin’s approach has been widely embraced by athletes ranging from recreational to elite over the last decade, and can be configured to help anyone achieve their goals.
Erin is sponsored by Oiselle and is a regular contributor to popular health and fitness blogs and publications. In addition to privately coaching sports teams and athletes, she hosts popular teacher trainings and yoga for athletes certification programs.
Comedian, August Retreat 2017
Susanna Spies, president and founder of Comedy Playground, uses humor as a platform to express, unite, create, and share. Susanna is a comedian who uses a Seinfeld type of observational humor that gets laughs from the odd inconsistencies in everyday life, looked at from the unique perspective of each individual storyteller. She debuted in her one woman show “The Dryer” featuring thirty original characters, and is currently completing her book: “Give it Up!” soon to be released. With parents as educators, she always had a passion to teach and developed an effective, original curriculum as a comedy teacher.
In Susanna’s work, she encourages a lot of voluntary audience participation to help people find and tell their personal stories in compelling ways—usually resulting in hilarious standup routines from the most unlikely people. The elderly, children and young teens, non-native English speakers, and those who are simply normally too shy to raise their voice and share their opinions have all benefited from Susanna’s inspirational message and encouraging, funny delivery. And they’ve also enjoyed the attention and confidence building of saying something funny, and having others appreciate and laugh at their jokes.
“I’ve found that helping each individual find their own unique voice, and getting everyone to laugh together, is a powerful tool that has lasting benefits—both to the individuals and to their entire team.”
Retreat Director, March and May Events, 2018
Zoë was born in the land of maple leafs and 'eh', and raised in Bend, Oregon. Cross country ski racer in her past life for the University of Utah and Canada. Now a ping pong enthusiast, recreational runner, and amateur ice cream chemist and connoisseur.
With three Wilder Retreats under her belt working in various capacities from catch-all helper to Camp Chef, she is stepping into the role of Retreat Director for the March and May events in 2018.