May 24-25 2013 we went to Nantes to celebrate 70th anniversary of Centre Hébertiste Nantais
We had already heard of Centre Hébertiste Nantais, but searching for them on Internet gives only few information in French. As our Munich group only existed for less than two years, we were happy that Christian Beugnier, the president of FBH, connected us with Geneviève Romsée, the vice-president of CHN, who was organizing the event. The participation was absolutely for free; and we – four MN athletes from Munich: Philipp Fuegmann, David Trang, Polina Kondratjeva and me, Nadja Hahn, – were accommodated altogether at one guest family. All we needed to care about was just to book the flights.
23rd of May, Friday – Getting around
We met up at the Munich airport and the direct flight with Volotea took us to Nantes in just two hours, so we spent the afternoon at the famous Machines de l’île centre riding the Great Elephant.
With obstacles up to 7 meter into the sky!
And sheds full of equipment, with changing rooms and toilets!
Many nice people were already waiting for us there, among them Geneviève, Annick Guillou, Michel Borot, Jean Delandtsheer from Belgium and Diego Carosso from Italy! We were introduced to our host Dominique Lemoine and spent a beautiful evening at his and his wife Anne’s house having delicious dinner and chatting a crazy mix of German, French and English.
24th of May, Sunday – Parcous at the stadium and birthday party!
For us the day stated with grocery shopping at the market in the city centre of Nantes. That was a perfect opportunity for Philipp to practice his French skills!
After the lunchtime the official event started, there were over 60 people of all ages up to 91! And it was very international as well: people and groups from different countries, among them from Le Centre Hébertiste de La Brède, FBH centres of Esneux, Thuin, and Visé in Belgium, Centre Hébert de Kinshasa in Kongo, Diego Carosso from Turin in Italy, and we from Munich, Germany!
The event started with lining up and a greeting word of Geneviève.
For the first part of training several groups according to fitness level were offered and everyone was free to decide which one to join. A warm up consisted of running
and plateau training.
Afterwards we worked through a variety of obstacles, such as climbing the ropes…
carrying in a team…
quadruped movement pushing a ball in front of oneself etc., etc.
The first part of a program ended with tug of war.
After a short break we had a new route on the obstacles in mixed groups of four people. You could end up having two women, a 3-years old child and 70 years old men in a group. This time the exercise were more playful: balancing with a heavy item in a hand, a sack race, skipping the rope
A relay race in mixed groups was the end of the entire program. That was pretty much the real spirit – having four groups, with people of all ages in every group. Was that the competition? Yes! And no!
We just had some time to go home and refresh ourselves and then went to the birthday party of CHN in a community centre. We were starving but somehow we missed the tables loaded with food and found ourselves already standing in front with others singing some French songs.
I could never imaging people of that mixed aged could have that fun all together making music, singing, dancing, and talking about Hébertisme. We also had a beamer session showing old fotos of the centre; and enjoyed speeches of Leon Hermans, one of the pioneers of méthode naturelle, and Christian Beugnier, the president of FBH.
And at the end we learned what teamwork means – in just 10 minutes food, tables, chairs disappeared, and the floor was swept – without anyone standing around and giving commandos. Just everyone did a little bit of work. Impressive!
25th of May, Sunday – Parcours in the park
In the morning together with Dominique we helped straining ropes in the trees to prepare parcours.
The training started with running from the stadium to a local park and some fun climbing and balancing at the walls of a canal system.
Arrived in the park, we split into groups and went through the parcours that included jumping, running with load such as sandbags, throwing the hoops, carrying people with the help of sticks…
and all sorts of climbing the ropes.
After the parcours the first groups from other cities already left home, and the rest were welcomed to join Dominique for a march through the neighborhoods of Nantes.
The weather was just very very hot and as we came back to the stadium, we, four young athletes from Munich and Diego, just laid down half dead in the shadow. Meanwhile all the “seniors” were standing at the tables with drinks chatting as if they had just started. I was so impressed by the picture that I stood up, went to Dominique and said how impressed I was by the young generation being that exhausted and old guys being that incredible fit. The reply of Dominique was just legendary: “Hey, I am not old!”
We spent the evening cooking and having a dinner together with our hosts, relaxing and chilling at their garden
26th of May, Monday – going home
In the morning we still had some time for a short walk through the city of Nantes and sightseeing with Diego and Jean, visiting Cathédrale Saint-Pierre and Castle of the Dukes of Brittany before we flew back home at the afternoon.
The city of Nantes and its people are in our hearts forever!