Sunday, March 18, 2007

My Mar Holidays - Training in Udon Thani

It's been a hectic first term and I decided to take a much needed break and 'disappear' and get a chance to rest, recharge and reflect. So immediately on Sat 10th Mar at 3am, I left for our Budget Terminal to board the 6am flight off to Udon Thani.

Where is Udon Thani and what's there?- some of you might ask.
Well Udon Thani is a kinda sleepy country town in the Northern part of Thailand near the Lao boarder. I went up there to do some personal training with one the regional trainers in edged weapons training, Randy Hodges (ain't it cool, we both have the same name! His is spelt Randall, mine is Randell)
Over the course of the next few days, I had intense 1 to 1 sessions with Randy. Randy had also arranged for his wife, Nok, to assist in the training. Nok was patient and helped me with many of the flow drills and exercises. Between mothering me with lots of food and drink (the grilled fish was fantastic, Nok!), she was always trying to ambush me with sneaky attacks.
Randy was also a generous trainer and shared openly and unreservedly with me. Every morning and evening, he'd show up on his Honda motorbike and pick me from the hotel and we'd be off for the next 2 1/2 hours sparring, training and drilling.
In the afternoons, I took the chance to rest, catch up on my reading, watch the many training DVDs I'd promised myself to watch. And catch a much needed nap before the evening training session with Randy. The slow pace of life in Udon allowed me time to unwind, catch up on training and reflect.
We travelled everywhere by bike or Tuk Tuk: check out my first Tuk Tuk ride when we brought Randy's Alsatian, Chao Ying to the vet for her bath.

The cool thing about training with Randy and Nok was that it was an intense session but not formalised; rather it was like catching up with family after a long absence.
Lazing in the house after training with Randy, Nok, Janny (their adorable daughter) and Chao Ying (the mischievous Alsatian) was a reminder and affirmation that working hard and enjoying the company of good people are the simplest yet most crucial pleasures in life. Here's a clip of one lazy afternoon after a hard morning training session:

Thank you Randy, Nok, Little Janny and yes, Ying too for the wonderful time in Udon Thani. I'm sure we'll be seeing each other soon!

No comments: