I just wanted to remind you that I certainly would not
want to dissuade you or anyone from intensively practising meditation, if it will be of benefit to them. Life is tenous and fragile. Buddhas arise only very rarely indeed, and we have been born human in an Age where the original Teachings are still extant (in the pali suttas). If you are a resilient type of person, both physically and emotionally, then maybe you could cope with just 'jumping in the deep end' as you put it.
Whatever you choose, I wanted to encourage you that Dhamma doesn't have
to be an 'all-or-nothing' affair. We are allowed to enter the water gradually, or more quickly, according to what we can manage. I just hope that whether you go, or do not go, that your practice of Dhamma gradually increases, regardless; in Virtue, Concentration, and Insight, through the practice of all
the eight limbs of the N8FP. However we do that, whether via retreats or right here at home, that's what really counts.