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Magnetic North Pole Camp – Day 2

From Hoang Duc Minh,Vietnam

7 a.m. We all got up, and nobody were lated. Since it was cold, all the team were very excited to start the jogging. Everything seem to be okay at first, then I found that it was a challenge to me when we started to run up the mountain. I tried my best to keep the distance with the whole team. Most of the team were abled to maintain the speed, but after a few minutes, some of us had to slow down. It was really a challenge for us, a challenge of our limitation. Each time I feel that I couldn't run anymore, I see that the break point is not so far ahead. Then, I keep running. Finally, we reached the goal. After the last break, all the team run down the mountain. It was the most beautiful jogging I ever have in my life. The top of all the mountains were covered with snow, the sun was rising up from behind the mountain. The air was cold but fresh. There is smell of grass, the cow, and the land in the air we breathed in. I saw the happiness on the face of other team members. Yes, we have won the challange and achieved our award.

9 am, we gathered at the seminor room to welcome the instructor team of Mercedes – Benz. Our main activity of the day: Mercedes-Benz Eco Driving Experience. After watched a short clip about the history of Mercedes and listen to a presentation about eco-driving, we split up into 3 groups. Every people have one turn to drive a Mercedes’ car. Our instructor only observe us and calculated our fuel consumption and average speed.

13:30. After the lunch, we came back to the seminor room, this time we are given 6 silver rulers on how to drive a car economically, and envrionment friendly. It is very simple, but effective. We were also introduced to new technology of Mercedes: The F-Cell. It is amazing: No CO2 emission, reliable, efficiently and it’s really strong. The problem is it’s cost: not reasonable. But it showed us: how we can be different to change this world, to protect our planet.

16:30. We were back to our car and the driving. This time, it was totally an amazing. I had a feeling that my intructor became a different person. He start to talk, talk and talk about what is the real right way of driving a car. Lot of information came to my head. I was very impressed with his word: “Driving from A to B without accident doesn’t mean that you know how to drive a car”. Then, all of us put in practise what we had just learned from him. Statistics showed that we all reduced our fuel consuption while increasing our average speed. I want to say that my intructor is the best driving teacher I ever met. We all thanks you very much.
20:00, we were introduced to the Mayo Clinic’s fitness test that we will be doing next 2 days. It will be very challenging since it will test all of your limitation (balance, speed, durable,…). I am nervous, but I am also excited too. Each challenge is an opportunity, right?

From Ariane, Canada

6:30. We got up and it was still pitch black outside. With our shoes tied up and our bodies still sleepy, we went out for our first morning exercise. We jogged up hills and stretched a bit, which felt really good after a long day of travel. It was quite challenging for many of us, since we don’t all live in coutries where mountains are part of the landscape. The sun rose as we ran up the hills of Chateau-d’Oex. The wind was sharp and the warmth of the sun heated us up. We soon distanced with each other, our paces being all different. When we all arrived at the top, the view was breathtaking. We admired the landscape and soon headed back down. There’s no better feeling to me than running down the street in Switzerland with a bunch of amazing people on a bright sunny day. I mean, could any better situation exist? It just felt amazing.

After a quick shower (I swear it took me something like 3 minutes), we had our well earned breakfast. And then, we had real first activity: The Mercedes-Benz driving experience. We started out with a presentation about eco-driving. After, we split up in 3 groups and all got the chance to drive a Mercedes’ car. Our instructor was calculating (with a tiny machine called the ecoLOG) our fuel consuption. Since the weather was so clement, I got the chance to drive the Mercedes’ cabriolet and honsetly, it felt incredible to drive this car! We went back inside to get an introduction on how we can drive more ecologically and reduce our footprint on the planet.

They gave us tips that are really easy to follow and frankly useful. Later, they also informed us about the new energies that Mercedes are trying to commercialize. The one that really impressed me is the F-cell energy. It’s basically hydrogen that makes the car roll. You just need to fill your tank like any other car to make it work. Unfortunately, there’s only few of these “hydrogen stations”, so it is currently hard to rely on these cars. I find it inspiring to see how progress is leading us and how international companies like Mercedes-Benz are taking environmental issues seriously. I just wish we could invest more, as a society, to promote this kind of green energy. It’s presently really expensive to get those cars but I’m optimistic that whitin a few years, it will be cheaper and more accesible to people. If we could all reduce our fuel consuption, it probably wouldn’t change the world, but it would at least bring us a step closer to an environmentally-friendly planet.

I could write a lot about that, but I’ll just make it short. After receiving our tips, we went back in the cars and actually put in practise what we had just learned. Statistics showed that we all reduced our fuel consuption without altering our speed. In fact, we almost all increased our speed the second time. So let’s say that it is evenly fun to drive ecofriendly!

Tonight, we are to be introduced to the Mayo Clinic’s fitness test that we will be doing tomorrow. Of what I’ve read about the previous selction camps, it’s supposedly quite challenging. So I guess I’ll have another short evening and try to sleep as much as I can in order to be in great shape!

Generally speaking, the group dyniamic is pretty good. It’s incredible to meet people with the same mindset as you and to be able to share with them your story and your philosophy. It’s only the second day and what I’ve experienced so far has exceeded my expectations. I’m sure the remaining days will be as equally amazing as this one. So, I’ll just keep enjoying my time here and appreciate every every second of it.


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