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?