The start of a long week of traveling Sean and I woke up by 9 and packed ourselves ready to go. Today we’d be headed to London to meet up with some more free runners! Since today was also to be my last day in Nottingham that meant that I’d need to take everything with me. Luckily, Sean’s mum drove us to the train station that morning to save us from having to walk and take the bus. But what I was most happy about was that Koren had already taken my super huge Blue Bag that was filled with all the donations so I wouldn’t have to lug that throughout the city.
Our plan was to meet up in London, spend the afternoon training, before heading to Red Hill to stay the night at Koren’s. When we first got into to London our first task was to find where these guys were training. To give you a visual, I was carrying around two medium sized bags and one small one, and Sean had two bags with him as well. At this point, due to the back injury Sean was still recovering from, our pace was relatively slow and labored.
We finally made it to their first training location and there were 5 or 6 guys training. The place again looked as if it had been created for the purpose of free running but the guys insisted it was just a good find. Since Sean wasn’t able to do much training he spent the afternoon coaching me. I’m still no where’s near at the level of everyone else but I was able to do a few jumps that I never would have thought plausible.
The second place we went to train ended up being like a mecca for free runners. I think it was the combination of it being a bank holiday, and beautifully sunny, but we were joined by so many runners. These guys would come up with something they wanted to do, a challenge, and they’d spend as much time as they needed perfecting it. Everywhere you looked there were people jumping, flipping, and running. There was also a large span of ages that were there. There were kids ranging from late twenties to young teens. Sean was saying that every year the kids seem to get younger and better, performing stunts harder and more difficult than ever before. This was definitely apparent as I watched kids half my age flipping and jumping without a care in the world.
Around 4 in the afternoon Sean, Tim, David, and I traveled across town to a pub known as, The Worlds End. This place was really cool and had a loft above the bar where we stationed ourselves for the better part of the afternoon. Since I had all my stuff with me still, and they each happened to have bags too it looked as if we were all backpackers. This also meant that we had loads of things to entertain us. First we played cards while having a few drinks but once we realized we all knew how to play Catan we knew exactly how we’d be spending our afternoon. Playing a board game in a loft of a pub turned out to be a pretty great location and atmosphere. As I’m sure you can imagine we were able to make the board game a bit more interesting with a few appropriately adapted rules. Tim was our grand winner but we were all a bit happy to finished I think because it meant moving on to our next location for some much needed dinner.
We grabbed our bags and took a train to Camden. Camden is a section of London that is known for its markets and cheap food. We ate a place called Bang Bang chicken. It was equivalent to Chinese food you’d find at a food court. This of course means it was exactly what we were looking for!
Our next stop of the night was to Islington where the guys knew fellow runner and friend that was going to be playing guitar at a bar. Although this ended up being a bit of a hike to get to it ended up being totally worth it. Max was the guy that would be entertaining us with his guitar skills and he was really great. More impressive was that fact that he was born without a forearm on his left/strumming arm. If you were just listening you’d never know. This guy was truly talented and an absolute inspiration!
We spent the rest of the night hanging out at this pub before making the journey to Red Hill where Koren’s family resides. The trip wasn’t the easiest but we did finally make it. At this point we had carried those bags throughout this entire journey and we were in desperate need of sleep. It had been a very long Monday and on Tuesday we’d be making the long drive to Cambridge!