4th December 2007 - Short Diary


Feb 21, 2007
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Hi Guys, Reason it's short is that I withdrew on the 2'nd full day.

Arrived at Lympstone around 13:20 and walked up to the accommodation block, one of the corporals shouted at one of the guys and immediately let some of the applicants know what they were attempting to join.

Entered the accommodation block and was told that ours names were on one of the doors to the 4 rooms. Located my room and chose a bed my bedding was already on and all I had to do was make my bed and empty my bag to my locker.

There was just one other guy in my room at this time, so we started to just relax and have a chat for the next few hours while the other guys continued to arrive through the day.

Although been there before several times, Lympstone never stops changing and the new buildings springing up everywhere just shows how much money is being invested in the place. Went for lunch around 17:30 and came back for around 18:00. Then it was off for a small lecture from one of the corporals on the course. He was just giving us a little insight into what was going to happen over the next few days. Then it was off to the learning centre where I was selected to sit some tests on the computer. The ones that are selected are the ones who have not got at least a grade "C" in Maths and English at GCSE level. It takes around and hour to complete and if you can manage to write with a pen without stabbing yourself, then you should pass. After that, you get back to the accommodation block and have the choice of going for an extra meal at 21:00. Back from that and off to bed with lights out at 22:00.

Wednesday, up at 17:45 and showered, shaved and cleaned up before breakfast at 06:15. Then up to a speech for the course Sergeant Major who talks in details about the course and what you should aim for. Bit surprised to hear him say "Forget what you read on these forums (didn't mention this one specifically, so not sure if he knows about it or was referring to it) they are full of *text deleted**text deleted* and nonsense. Listen to what the corporals tell you on this course and nothing else." Thing is not to take things personally down there and I don't take what he said personally as he didn't mention the site specifically and I still believe it is a help to guys. Although he did say he read them regularly and does take notice of the posts guys make on them and there attitude to joining.

Anyway after the RSM finished his speech it was off to the 3 miler. Got outside the camp and onto the lanes which is the course for the run. A light warm up and then "fall in" so that the bigger guys were at the back. Set off at a steady pace and arrived at the half way point in 12:30. Turned round and set off back at the individuals best possible speed. It was raining when I did it, brilliant weather for running however the combat bottoms get heavy with water and your legs feel like 1 ton every time you go to lift them. But I'd rather have that than run in boiling hot weather. I got back in, in around 10:05 (They don't tell you your time, but you try to work it out from the tag numbers on the time of the guys who missed the cut off) I think a guy did it in around 8 mins, a smallish guy who was a boxer, he did very well. A small warm-down and back to camp. Couple of lectures and off to lunch. Didn't eat much as I knew what the bleep test was like. Back to the accommodation after lunch and changed for gym test 1.

Gym Test 1, no warm up that I can remember as the bleep test starts slowly and builds up which is sufficient to be a warm up. Our course was 58-60 strong so they split the group in 2 and had the ones who weren't running, facing the opposite direction. I was in the second group and at about level 8 started to struggle hung on and hung on till I got to level 10 where I missed the bleep for 10.2, then 10.3 and caught back up for 10.4. A PTI at one end shouted at me "White 7, they are scrubbed" I turned to hear what he said and as I did, the corporal who I was now running towards thought by me looking at the pti, the pti had said I was out. I wasn't, the corporal meant that my 2 failed attempts were scrubbed and I was back on 3 chances, but it is a lesson to everyone just keep going till someone drags you off or starts screaming at you to come off in no uncertain terms. As it happens I probably wouldn't have hit another line but I could have had 3 more failed legs and got from 10.4 to 10.7. After your go, you get to walk in a circle while the others continue to finish.

Then the group split into 2 and started the press ups, one side was counting and one doing the press ups. Guys the technique has to be spot on, they ain't going to accept your technique. They get you to do 2 correct press ups under supervision. They know that you know the right technique, so no excuses. When I was counting my oppo's, I heard out the corner of my ear that the chap next to me start and got to around 5 when a corporal told him he wasn't doing it right. He continued to do his own technique and the corporal just told his counting oppo to reset to zero. At which point the guy resorted to the correct technique, got 4 press ups outs and then stood up, saying he couldn't do them like that. So he ended up with a total of 4 press ups and more than likely a instant fail. I ended up with around 47 or so, so not bad but it's an exercise you should be really max'ing out on. It's some free points this one if you just practice.

Sit ups now, again the correct technique is shown by the instructor and you are asked to demonstrate you know it in front of a corporal by doing 2 test sit ups. 2 minutes to do as many as you can, the sit ups need to be the correct technique again or numbers will be knocked off your score. I think I did around 57 or so.

Then split into 3's for the pull ups and they give you a chance to wipe your hands before the test, so that you can get a grip. The standard was pretty good on the troop I was in, I got 6, others were allowed to carry on and do there best with some getting to 12+.

Onto the swimming pool and line up where they check your shorts and not even the "lycra" kind of shorts are ok now, it has to be speedo's. They don't go off on one at you, they just show you what is and isn't required. Up to the diving board and jump off, swim up to the shallow end of the pool along a width of the pool and back down the length of the pool to the end you started. Climb out and back to the changing room where you get back into your kit and line up outside.

At the end of the swimming test, as I was one of the first to complete it, I was on my way out of the changing rooms when a load of recruits ran in. I was held one of the doors open for them and which point they all started to say "Thanks staff" "Sorry staff" they actually thought I worked there and I had a little smile to myself.

After that it was back to the accommodation block and square away our kit and shower again. Smart civvies are required to be worn at all times on the course, smart civvies being shirt and tie, trousers.

I decided I wouldn't continue with my application that evening, been thinking about it all day and decided that night. I had a word with the corporal who was great about it and talked openly to me about the good and bad bits about continuing. It wasn't like talking to Trisha and there was no bull, it was an open discussion and he was honest and reminded me what the corp had to offer. The best mates in the world and a great life with plenty of prospects on offer.

I got up in the morning and decided that I'd like to end my application to rejoin. They were understanding of my reasons and I took a bit of friendly banter from the corporals and went down for the train.

Drove over to my AFCO today at Manchester and explained my reasons to the Careers advisor who dealt with my application and thanked him for his efforts and he was OK with me being honest with him.

That is about that guys, I consider the process a complete success in that fact it made my mind up for me, and gave me a kick up the backside I needed in my private life. Met some great guys, not one bad bloke on the course and had some great laughs. Could not ask no more from it.

Any questions just fire away!



New Member
Feb 3, 2008
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how high is the diving board? and how many pressups, sit ups and pull ups are required?

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