Arriving in the dark on the Friday, we found Mr Lammin’s chalet relatively easily, collected our keys and after a few wrong turns managed to find our accommodation – in beautiful surroundings of woodlands and the lake.
Once unpacked there was a short briefing in the club house, then time to socialise, catching up with familiar faces and meeting new ones.
An early start Saturday morning saw a dry but cold and frosty start as we headed to the sports field for 7.30am (bonus for me as I was told it was at 7am) – A fun and physical session taken by the Master Gayle (8th Degree) and Master Ogborne (7th Degree) was very enjoyable. It didn’t take long to remove my training jacket and hat, although my gloves did stay on throughout! And, no running involved, so far. (another bonus for me).
Back to the chalet for showers and breakfast still left plenty of time to learn a new card game or two and witty banter a plenty (I can only vouch for our ‘Swain’ chalet of course) before everyone headed to Mr Lammin’s chalet for a charity raising cake and coffee get together. By this time the threatening wet weather had arrived in bucket loads! I don’t think it stopped anyone from turning up though and an amazing £215 was raised for Avon Riding Centre for the Disabled (http://www.avonridingcentre.org.uk/)
The afternoon session was held off site, so students and kits bags evacuated the site en masse for the afternoon, heading to a local Dorchester school, we were all put through our paces with the Masters again as well as Mr Tettmar (6th Degree). This was a more technical session with a good mix of basic line work, patterns and freestyle one-step sparring.
After this the rest of the day was free time, although we headed first to the large supermarket to grab any items we had forgotten to pack or felt the sudden need for (my purchases were mainly chocolate). Back on the site there were plenty of opportunities for socialising or checking out the activities offered by the holiday camp.
Another early start on the Sunday, and it was slightly more difficult to get out of my nice warm bed but the thought of the training spurred me on, we arrived on the sports pitch in good time, and I wasn’t disappointed. Another well executed session with a mix of physical and mobility exercises taken by Master Gayle and Mr Evans (5th Degree). (I will certainly be working on my ‘jelly’ press ups and squats).
Again, plenty of free time before the afternoon session. For me personally I was able to catch up with an old friend who lives in the local area, but there is also loads to do on site including swimming and skiing.
Our last session of the week end was again held off site, taken by Master Gayle and Mr Tettmar and was no less enjoyable than the others. After a thorough warm up and some traditional set sparring we practiced free sparring (with those unable to spar given the opportunity to practice some more patterns).
Sadly, the weekend came to a close far too quickly for some of us who needed to travel back home for work (although the accommodation was available Sunday night for those who had the forethought to book Monday off). While I am writing this with a few achy muscles today I am already looking at my annual leave for next year and making a mental note of others from Swain TKD who I know would enjoy the weekend as much as I did. I’m glad not being able to run the 1.5 miles didn’t put me off attending this weekend, I have come back with a renewed positive energy and although my aim is to get back to the running app it will be for my own benefit. If you are reading this thinking ‘maybe I’ll go next year’ - JUST DO IT! Get the date in your diary. It doesn’t even need to eat into your annual leave entitlement.
The last thing I want to mention is a huge ‘thank you’ to Master Gayle and Master Ogborne, Mr Tettmar and Mr Evans for the training sessions, Mr Lammin for helping to organise the weekend, other senior grades who were on hand with helpful advice and support, and to everyone I spoke to demonstrating the ‘PUMA family’ reputation.