Fit Farm at Rock Springs, a Healing Place For All

Fit Farm at Rock Springs, a Healing Place for All

Rock Springs Retreat Center / June 30, 2022 / Anna Rutherford / 2
Often, when people think of attending a fitness retreat, the first things that come to mind are the physical benefits. Depending on the retreat, that could be exactly what you get, and only that. But here at Fit Farm at Rock Springs, it’s more than just losing weight and getting physically fit. It’s a safe place where you can find healing by opening your heart to people who were once strangers and are now family. We’d like to share with you the story of how Fit Farm began mending a relationship between its founder, Kris Intress, and her father, Robert Intress, with just one visit.

Bob was a very career-oriented man. He taught Kris how to be independent, to earn every penny she owned, and every day when she woke up, she had a choice of what to make of it. As a patriotic American, he proudly served our country and was a Vietnam War veteran. After his time in the military, he became a successful business owner in the healthcare industry. He deeply cared about his employees, going as far as to not only remember all their names within his large company but all their spouses’ names as well. However, this didn’t translate back to his family.

Growing up, Bob didn’t have a warm and fuzzy family. His father was a doctor and his mother a schoolteacher, engulfed in their work, Bob was often deprived of affection. Years down the road when he had his own family, this was the relationship Kris had with her father. They weren’t close, and often Kris felt like the family was in the way of her father’s career, which eventually led to her moving out at the young age of sixteen. Communication between her and her father became few and far between. It wasn’t until Bob’s stay at Fit Farm that the broken ties began to mend.

Wise words Bob would often say to Kris, “We can completely get rid of heart disease in this country. All you have to do is eat right and exercise.” The healthcare industry had been a part of Bob’s entire life, but so was the struggle with his weight. He didn’t turn to alcohol, but instead, food, which was his way of handling emotions. Being a military veteran and knowing how to cut pounds quickly to make weight, he would often put himself on extreme diets, eating things like cabbage soup. However, all this did was put his body into a yo-yo effect. He would go from 350-400lbs, lose 150lbs, and then gain it all back. Deep down Bob knew the changes he had to make, but he was unable to conquer his own mental struggles within. Eventually, Bob suffered from a heart attack.

What Bob desperately needed was an environment that could put him in the right mental state to make sustainable lifestyle changes. Kris brought him to Fit Farm where he attended the program for a month. Naturally, after suffering from a heart attack, Bob was frightened. He didn’t feel like he was in control of his own body and feared anything could trigger another attack. Kris was firm with him, after all, her father’s life was on the line.

Food is a common fear among many first-timers on the farm and Bob was no exception. He was very much a meat and potatoes kind of guy, and our chefs make it a point to serve real food when creating our menu. You can eat hamburgers, meatloaf, and pulled pork, as long as you prepare these in a healthy manner and consume proper proportions as we do here on the farm. Bob was pleasantly surprised to learn he could enjoy food without butter or deep-fried selections. The trainers also worked with Bob to customize his exercises in a safe way and monitored his heart rate closely. Gradually, with the combination of the right kind of food and exercise, just like Bob had always said, he lost 30lbs and was able to regain his confidence in his movement, his heart, and himself as a whole.

The supportive environment between the staff and the guests on the farm was what Bob’s mental state was yearning for. Fit Farm became his safe place to pour his heart out and express feelings he was holding onto for so long and couldn’t set free. He got more out of being on the farm than learning to not use food as his crutch; it allowed him to rekindle his relationship with his daughter. This was the first time in her life Kris became aware of just how proud her father was of her. Fit Farm had become the healing ground for Kris and her father, and they now talk and see each other on a regular basis. It’s experiences like this that make Fit Farm at Rock Springs more than just a retreat. Fit Farm is where you face your inner challenges, where you have breakdowns and breakthroughs, where you build relationships that last a lifetime, your home away from home, and a healing place for all.


  1. Happy tears! Such an incredible example of how the heart, mind and spirit are so intricately connected to overall wellness.