Wilyo’s Week in Review: Annual Team Retreat

By Will Straughn

A few weeks ago we had the annual Focus Lab Summer Retreat (#focuslabretreat2015) and, let me just say, this thing was eventful.

During the retreat I somehow managed to get murdered in a 20s speakeasy, go toe-to-toe with the world’s largest spider while trapped in a canoe, experience paranormal activity, and repeatedly fall victim to the meat sweats. (Meat Sweats: profuse sweating caused by consuming an obscene amount of meat.)

With our 2015 mantra of "No one will work harder than me. Period." we have been pedal-to-the-metal the past six months. Now at the halfway point, it was time to lift the feet up, enjoy some awesome food, and just be with the family (a.k.a. the Focus Lab team). Erik and Bill are definitely up for #bestboss of the year awards and aren’t shy about throwing us a good time.

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During the week we found out a bunch of things about each other. One of the most notable is that a few of our designers and developers can straight up double for the Mumford and Sons. They clean up well!

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We also acknowledged that Bill Kenney has impeccable taste in shoes and Erik has zero fear of alligators biting his leg. It was said you can’t judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes (barring any alligator attack, that is).

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Now an event that I found to be particularly dramatic occurred during our canoeing expedition. We found ourselves stopped at a very sketch dock in the middle of the swamps where we decided to take a rest break.

A video posted by Erik Reagan (@erikreagan) on

Not knowing that this dock housed the world’s largest spider we decided to tie up. Upon pulling the canoe along side of the dock, my canoe companion, Joshua, yelled "Oh no, watch out! You're about to touch that spider." I freeze and go into a death panic because I am not a huge fan of this specific species. Out of nowhere, who comes to the rescue? None other than Bill Kenney! While attempting to push the spider away from himself. (I want you to remember that specific word, "HIMSELF.") Bill some how managed to push it directly toward my jugular. Amidst a paddle swinging fury, the spider somehow becomes attached to the side of our canoe and continues his death march. I guess I blacked out because I’m not really sure what happened after that. I do know this specific breed of spider (fish spider) can walk on water and hunts fish. Enough said; moving on…

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The spider attack might have been the most traumatic part of the canoe outing, but the most intriguing thing we learned was that if you wear a life vest like a diaper, you can float all day. Give it a shot next time you find yourself in a "I really want to float upright" kinda moment and just so happen to have a life vest.

Oh, and we had a birthday too! Happy Birthday, Alex!

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Now that the retreat's over, back to our 2015 mantra we go! It’s been the busiest year in Focus Lab history and the whole team can’t wait till our next time all together.

Until next time. XOXO

-New Business Dude (Will)