We had the dates for our mid-year set. It was going to be the 19th and 20th of July. First, let me introduce us: we are the Digital Marketing team of Decathlon UK. We are ambitious, determined and somewhat crazy, but always fun and keen on new adventures. There was a lot of time to decide what to do and where to go. The goal was to do something different and a bit challenging as a team and to have rather short but interesting and inspiring workshop. Did we manage to achieve that? Well, read on to find out!
Me and my colleague John Butcher accepted the challenge and formed an organization group of two. Actually, we were largely successful as a team and I have to admit, it was lots of fun. I got to know John better and laughed away with him in the meetings dedicated to the planning of the event. Thank you, John, for the support and for the games of table tennis! It was quite nice and relaxed, as we started planning well in advance. Of course, there were a few setbacks like wondering if we will have enough tents the day before the trip, but at the end, everything went really smoothly. I was worried, of course, all the time! But that is just me…
The Day of The Trip or Also Known As Pokemon Go Mania
I woke up really early after a couple of hours of sleep, still going through the details of the trip in my head. Everything was going to be okay. Come on Bella, relax! I kept repeating that to myself. I got in the taxi and we started exchanging messages in our Whatsapp group, of course, someone was late again. This time, it was Alessandro and Jaime (who also forgot one of the tents). Well, it happens. During the taxi ride, me and Charles were playing Pokemon (first day for me), so nothing else mattered. The trip was full of Pokemon, each one cuter than the previous. We got there and surprisingly everyone else arrived shortly after, so we made it to the train on time. Wait a minute. Where is Jack? He got into the train seconds before it departed. Well done. We were on our way!
The Olympic Gold
We arrived in Chester around 9:45. We had lots of things to carry with us, so probably we were looking a bit weird. There was a workshop planned with Ben Hunt-Davies, an Olympic Gold medalist, with the British 8+ rowing team, from the Sydney games in 2000. We crossed the road and entered the venue, which was really great! Large garden and authentic British style were just a few of the beauties of that place. We had about 10 minutes before the workshop was about to start, which we once again used to catch some of our new friends- the Pokemon. Siggy and Paula joined us this time for a walk around the block.
The workshop itself went really quickly, we didn’t even have time to wrap it up properly. I won’t ever forget the feeling of watching that video, the video of the final, where Ben and his crew won the Gold Medal. It was motivating and emotional at the same time. Holding that same Gold was an experience in itself. I also loved the book we had to read in preparation for the workshop, ‘Will it make the boat go faster?’. It felt like this book changed us all a bit, as we started asking ourselves what we had to do in order to make our precious boat move faster. I think that we learned to agree to disagree. It was clear we might not all have the same opinions, but we are willing to accept each other, work together towards our common goals and start dreaming together, for one bright and exciting Decathlon future.
Always ‘15 minutes away‘
We were already on our way to the Campsite when someone asked me how far off are we. I had to include this paragraph, as I was asked this question, a couple of times during the whole trip and my answer was always ‘We are 15 minutes away‘. Well, that was never true, so at the end of our mid-year that has turned into a nice internal joke. There was a small detour because we had to collect some groceries and refreshments on our way. And finally, here we were arriving at the campsite, somewhere in Snowdonia, Wales.
The Campsite and The Barbecue
The Campsite, located beside a fast flowing river, was peaceful and beautiful. We set up our tents, played some sports and started preparing for the Barbecue. Here, I will take the opportunity to thank the two people in charge of it. Thank you, Chris and Charles, for preparing everything, choosing the delicious meat and ,of course, cooking it for us. It was outstanding, and if I had to give you a review, I would encourage you to open your own little Bistro somewhere in Southern France! Finally, thank you for putting up with all of my wishes, as I know I am not easy.
I think that in everyone’s opinion the two winners, from the Barbecue, were the marinated chicken wings and the Texas Rib Eye steaks. We were really full, so it was time for some more sport and fun games.
While we were preparing the salads and other nibbles, the guys were playing football. I shall say, I was impressed. They made it to 21, twice! Cricket and Pétanque were the other two really popular sports of the day.
We also played some Apples to Apples, which was actually real fun, especially finding out new things about each other. I remember one particular moment (I am apologizing if you don’t know the rules). Paula was the judge, and we had to pick something romantic among our cards. Well, Charlem’s moonlight didn’t win! Shocking!
I was woken up by the heavy rain. I cannot miss mentioning here, It was absolutely dry in our Quechua’s tents. I kind of panicked, as we had to leave in about an hour for what had to be the best part of our trip. What were we going to do? There wasn’t plan B either, as I was determined we had to make it to the top and I believed the weather will be nice as it was the previous day. Okay, I got it together. We went to have breakfast and go through the options. By the time we were finishing our full English Breakfast the sun was slowly starting to shine. As we were approaching the beginning of the hiking path, It was already shining brightly.
The hike was moderate to hard level. There were moments some of us thought it might not be possible to make it up there, but we did! We were all at the top, well, almost all. Siggy has hurt his leg somewhere half way through and he had to wait for us, but he was with us spiritually. We took that photo at the top, all happy and feeling accomplished. Helping and encouraging each other along the way was one of the best things we have done as a team so far!
On Our Way Back
We were kind of tired and silent in the train back to London. Some were sleeping, others listening to music or trying to solve some Sudoku puzzles. At the end what was important was that we were all happy. I would never forget this team meeting because, there, I fell in love. I fell in love with the beautiful nature of Snowdonia, the experience we had, and most than anything else, with my team.