By Bob Curley
Legendary NFL receiver Randy Moss is a morning workout freak, which I found out painfully fast on my first day attending his week-long fitness retreat at St. Lucia’s BodyHoliday resort.
Wellness never goes out of season at BodyHoliday, but just like anywhere else in the Caribbean, the summer months are slower, which means the resort needs to do something a little special to keep their rooms filled. For the past few years, that has included inviting Moss — the NFL’s second all-time leading wide receiver, and a near-lock to go into the Hall of Fame in 2018 — to run a week-long fitness program as part of its Wellfit Families program.
That the 7 a.m. workout was labelled “Beach Boot Camp” should have been my first hint that this wasn’t going to be the usual resort-style stretch and sit-ups workout; that most of the other participants were noticeably younger and fitter should have been another. A warmup jog down the beach was quickly followed by various sprints, crawls, and burpees, which in turn was followed by a profusion of sweating.
I somehow made it through the hour, although I tapped out on a routine that involved rapid-fire burpees and leaping over a newfound workout partner, with planking as the “rest” period. I was seriously concerned that I would flop onto her perfectly tanned, toned body. But by the end, after a quick dip in the ocean, exhilaration replaced exhaustion: I had just worked out with Randy freakin’ Moss!
At age 40 and several years retired from the NFL, Moss remains lean and fit, although it was comforting to hear him say that he, too, was sore by the end of a week of fitness classes, hiking the Pitons, and pickup games of beach football and volleyball with Bodyholiday guests.
“I put Crossfit into my routine now, not heavy lifting any more,” he says. “I’m done with football training.”
Moss says that “working out has always been a part of me,” and his fit-for-life approach is a great match for BodyHoliday, which offers a remarkable array of daily, all-inclusive health and wellness activities including yoga, sailing, archery, tennis, golf, biking, swimming and — best of all, really — inclusive daily spa treatments like massages, wraps, and facials. The beautiful, Indian-inspired hilltop Wellness Centre also features a full range of Ayurvedic therapies designed to improve the balance of both body and mind.
“I truly believe that if you take care of your body when you are young, your body will take care of you when you’re older,” says Moss, who leads free fitness boot camps back home in Charlotte, N.C., with his STAX Charlotte Crossfit program partner Eric McCoy. Guests who spend a week in St. Lucia with him and McCoy “can really get a better understanding of what kind of workout you’re getting [at home], and challenge yourself where you need to step things up,” says Moss.
Many Caribbean travelers are looking to tune out and spend a week laying on the beach, cocktail in hand. That’s not really what BodyHoliday is all about. The beach is lovely, and the drinks are top shelf, but if you don’t take advantage of this resort’s classes and activities, you’re missing out.
“Give us your body for a week and we’ll give you back your mind,” the resort boasts, and it’s really possible to have a transformative experience at BodyHoliday: some guests even get a pricey baseline medical health assessment in advance so they that treatments and activities can be custom-tailored to their needs. Others simply come to get a reset on the workouts they might otherwise skip back home and ease their mind and aching muscles at the spa.
No matter how you approach a visit, off-season rates make the BodyHoliday — if not a bargain destination — at least a great value. At no extra charge, the Wellfit Families program adds a week-long schedule of activities led by professional athletes like Moss, Olympic sprinters Marlon Dervish and Jamie Baulch, swimmer Michael Jamieson and rower Steve Williams.
On top of the dozens of regularly scheduled activities at the resort, the program lets you focus on building specific skills — training, swimming, running, rowing — led by some of the best athletes in the world.