LOVE IS...a straight line of star pickets stretching into the distance.
LOVE IS...a straight line of star pickets stretching into the distance. Contributed

Fine art of fencing proves to be 'stimulating'

I NEVER thought I'd say I like fencing. But I do.

I was thrown into the deep end my first week at Spring Creek, working on a 3.2km boundary fence. I had no idea what to do. It is difficult to describe how frustrating it was stepping out of an environment where I had achieved success.

At Virgin Blue, I spent my days leading others - coaching and mentoring on how to run projects.

I still miss the intellectual stimulation of working with highbrow executives, challenging them to change their ways of working.

In contrast, I was way out of my depth working on the fence.

I just didn't have the strength or the dexterity in my hands.

It was demoralising. Instead of leading, I was following and feeling that my contribution carried little weight.

At the end of that fence, I questioned whether I wanted to be good at fencing.

I'd never had any ambition to be a fencer. What the hell was I doing? But I stuck at it. Mainly to support Christopher and because I knew, if I was to experience this new lifestyle, I had to immerse myself in it. It has been worth the persistence. Now when we work on a fence, I know exactly what is required.

It's just like a project really - it has a start and end point and gives you that same sense of satisfaction when you finish.

I love seeing the star-pickets stand in a beautiful straight line reaching out over the hills.

There is one other little secret to my success - podcasts on my iPod.

Though I've learned to enjoy the physical challenge of fencing, I still miss the intellectual stimulation of working with highbrow executives, challenging them to change their ways of working.

Podcasts help bridge some of that gap. Constructing a fence is physical work but relatively menial and repetitive.

Podcasts mean I can listen to experts and intellectuals from all around the world at the same time. Hooray.

It's the balance I need - physical exercise with stimulating intellectual debate in the background.

I love it. There I said it again. Who would have believed it?



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