This summer I decided to qualify as a Nordic Walk Instructor. For this I needed to take the L2 sports and Fitness qualification as well as the Nordic Walk Instructors course. Having enrolled on the course for August I thought it would be a doddle: on line learning comprising 2 x exams, 2 x worksheets and ongoing assessment over 2 x 2 day workshops. All the materials arrived and I dutifully ignored them until the first workshop. Keen on completing this in August I took little notice of where the course was being run other than LONDON. Only when the time came to attend the course, did I need to work out how to get there and find accommodation. Soon it became clear that SOUTH London was not so easy: a 2 hour journey by train or car. No accommodation other than ‘hostel’ style. Ho hum, just get it done.
Upon arrival at the ‘hostel’ I was asked for ID, which I never carry: just a credit card, phone and small amount of cash in the main. Thinking I may have to spend the night in the car, after a very challenging drive through the London streets in the dark, the night manager with his limited English reluctantly allowed me in, having taken my small amount of cash as security. This was because he didn’t know how to use the credit card machine and had to wait for the day manager to take payment. He gave me my room key and told me to take the lift to the 7th floor for a room number ending in ‘B’. On finding the lift there were numerous messages around stating that ‘in case of the lift breaking down call this number …..,’ which didn’t inspire confidence, and on finding the 7th floor there was no room ‘B’. The first lift didn’t seem to work and the control panel was falling off, so I had used the 2nd lift to go up. I now decided to walk back down, with my bags, and ask where the room ‘B’s were. It turned out that you were to enter through the door with the number on it, to discover room ‘A’ and ‘B’ hidden behind. Why didn’t he tell me that in the first place? Or have signs up to this effect? Back up I go. On finding my room I discovered there was a shared bathroom, which had the ceiling falling down in both the room and the shower: no ventilation had led to this I suspect. The bed was lumpy, sockets falling off the wall and lights not working. I really could have just sat and cried. To my deep joy and only pleasure of this eventful evening: free wifi! Oh the simple things in life J quickly to bed for an early rise and full day of studying.
The sun rose over the amazing Crystal Palace Stadium, Parakeets were flying around in large numbers, people were actively engaging in workouts of fitness of mind and body and all was well with the world. I went down for breakfast, which was a surprisingly good buffet style continental breakfast and met up with the trainers. Two truly lovely and inspirational trainers and I knew today was to be a good day. My fellow students arrived and we truly did have a fun filled day of learning to Nordic Walk with gusto. It was during this day that I was told that we had to take the 2 exams in 2 weeks’ time. Shock horror, I hadn’t even started looking at the online study material – but hey, how hard can a L2 qualification be?
Dinner with one of my study buddies in a lovely local pub, homework completed, back to the lumpy bed for a surprisingly good night’s sleep and early rise for a second day of studying. All was well with the world when I checked out, completed the first assessments of the course successfully, and proceeded to home through our most magnificent capital city. Marvellous.
Some intense studying took place during the next 10 days for the completion of homework tasks and preparation for the exams. The online study aids were good, though limited and I found I was able to pass the practice test for one of the papers with ease, the 2nd was a little harder: who knew it was necessary to understand the full workings of the heart, veins, arteries, capillaries, muscles, energy systems……. And the list goes on! Whilst I have always appreciated how amazing our bodies are, having learnt this I can see that they are even more amazing than I knew!
I decided one night at the ‘hostel’ would be enough this time so got up early and drove in for day 1. Taking care to avoid central London and facing the congestion charge I went on the M25, which was fairly clear and led to a nice journey. Upon arrival I checked in with the day staff and went to my room which was clean and in full working order, had breakfast and met the lovely trainers for the final part of the Nordic Walk Instructor Trainers, and fellow students. Training was fabulous, all assessments passed, and exam time came. It is many years since I have taken a formal exam and even with the skills I have for calm, if you don’t know your stuff then you feel uncomfortable. I was scoring around 80% on the second paper and had to get 75% to pass. This was going to be tight, and dependant on the right questions.
Paper one, easy. 32 out of the 40 questions I knew, and did best guess on the remaining 8. Paper 2 I knew 25 of the questions and had to do best guess on the remaining 15. Not good as 28 was the minimum pass mark. And then the waiting ensued.
Time to get in the car and drive the Friday night traffic home from South London and through our beautiful capital city for the final time.
After 10 days the results came, as did the fine for non-payment of the congestion charge. No advisory notice, just a fine but I didn’t care a jot because, I PASSED! Such a relief. All assessments passed, 2 exams passed and now awaiting the results of the worksheets. These I am feeling confident with and completed them during the 10 days waiting for the exam results.
All in all it was a challenging adventure from something I expected to be easy. A good reminder of what our GCSE students go through and how important it is to have the skills to remain calm, focused and in the moment for which I have to thank Phil Parker and the Lightning Process™