After having returned successfully from our Alpine Adventure in Switzerland on TA Ski (For Beth and I that included the previous week on A+ Ski as well) we were all feeling a little blue with withdrawal symptoms from the snow and nature.
However this didn't last long as our needs were met with: MUD ?!
Nope not quite what we had in mind, but there as certainly enough of it to stop our longing for the outdoors for a while...
On Tuesday and Wednesday this week the DisTIL Team, led by Jonny and Josh, undertook our MIAS Training in order to complete the Mountain-Biking Instructor Award Scheme. This will allow us to take groups of young people out on rides around the area safely.
We went first on Tuesday out around oxford to test out our routes, so we all knew where we were going on Wednesday's assessment.
Most of the routes were fine, and good fun at that, with bits of downhill (often followed by a good thigh-burning uphill), and some flatter parts that allowed us to catch our breathe back. However this particular day there was lots of mud around! So much that we actually couldn't cycle through it, and we ended up walking about 1/3 of the course!
Mud wasn't the only hindering force out though. Unfortunately for us the hedges had just been cut, so there were many thorns and brambles on the paths. This led to not 1, not 2, but 4 punctures on Tuesday and 3 on Wednesday!! It's safe to say we are now all experts on changing an inner tube of a mountain bike.
On Wednesday Jonny and Josh had to change the courses slightly so that we missed out the worst of the mud (but there was still some walking to be done) and also we had a lightly different team on Wednesday compared to Tuesday as unfortunately Beth had hurt her knee skiing and it wasn't holding out on a bike, so she had to stay back at base.
But the course wasn't all just us gallivanting around Oxford on Bikes. Nope, we had some classroom based work to do as well, complete with a written test we all had to complete over the Tuesday evening.
I am happy to report we all completed it fully and have all done well on the course so far. We just have a couple more days to complete the skills side of biking, and then we will have (hopefully) all passed and be Mountain-Bike Instructors.
So that was Tuesday and Wednesday, but what about Thursday?
Well we started the day will SI (Spiritual input). We have been working on a series of characters from the New and Old Testaments of the Bible. These have been presented by each of the DisTIL team, and today was the turn of Emily B and myself.
Emily B bravely went first and delivered a packed hour on Paul. We looked at his timeline of events and how these events and knowing God have built his character into a man we can all learn from.
After Elevenses break it was my turn to deliver a section on Mary and Joseph. This, naturally, meant it was time for a mid-year Nativity drama. It was very improvised and the whole team got involved to pull off the most spontaneous Nativity scene ever!
Both sections were great fun and will be lasting memories I am sure.
Thanks for checking in, see you soon.