Rota Mini Summer Camp

Green-belt Michelle finished up a two-week summer camp for kids and Edgar had to go pick her up. He decided to stay an extra day in the area at Rota Lodge for some family fun and a little training. Having invited everyone to partake, a couple of us decided to take Edgar up on his offer.

We hurriedly packed the car after karate class and my whole family drove North and met up with Edgar, Lasma, and Michelle at the camp. Michelle gave us a hearty welcome and even had a hug for Sensei. We also met with friends Maris, Vita, and their children.

Our first afternoon we took a walk, played, set up camp, gathered firewood, and prepared a bonfire that would last most of the night. After cooking our meals over the open fire, we enjoyed good conversation and an eclectic ensemble of music consisting of Country songs and Latvian folk tunes. Marshmallows were toasted and S’mores assembled. Some there enjoyed their very first taste of this camp treat.

Sempai Mark joined the group after Midnight arriving in style on his motorcycle. We slept (mostly) through the night comfortably in our tents.

The next morning, still unaware of exactly what awaited us that day, we all enjoyed breakfast at a nearby diner. I was wise/lucky? enough to eat a relatively light breakfast. 🙂 Afterward we went back to camp and Sempais Mark and Edgar, Jeremy, Maris, and I donned our karate gi. The men kissed their wives goodbye and hoped we’d see them soon.

Over two hours later and not a moment too soon, we joined the rest of our group at the meeting place: a beautiful spot on the river with small waterfalls and an area suitable for swimming.

The “Edgar Run” was much more than a run… it was an experience. The workout consisted of a “run” through the woods. I didn’t know what to expect at each turn. Some parts were jogging up or down hill… but every now and then there were surprises: sprints back up a hill you had just descended, jumping over small gullies, climbing over, under, and between downed trees, climbing a hill with someone holding you back by a belt, swimming, kata, stepping over boulders in river, doing wheelbarrow walks, kihon on river stones, push-ups and squat thrusts in fast-running water, punching under and into waterfalls, and seiza mokuso in cold water that bordered on spiritual.

Not knowing what was next and having to call upon bursts of strength, energy, and spirit made for a great training. I really felt I earned my next meal. My thanks and appreciation go to him.