The hardest thing I find about being a communicator is being back in the office. Sitting at my desk surrounded by reports, being bombarded by meeting requests and wading through an insurmountable number of emails gets me down. I miss the long uncomfortable drives in an old four-wheel drive, I miss the heat and sweat and dirt. I miss listening to stories.
They warn us before every trip overseas about reverse culture shock. I’ve been travelling for more that ten years and I still haven’t quite mastered the trick of settling back in. This time I tried to be prepared. I lined up social events with friends, I booked a debrief with a Councillor, I even arranged to spend a weekend with my mother. The problem with all of this is that my plans changed. Suddenly I found myself in Melbourne when I expected to be in the mountains of Bolivia, I was merely cold when I expected to be freezing. And all of the great plans I had put into place are still a few weeks away.
There is always chocolate. The trusty bowl of fun sized chocolate bars sits comfortably on the coffee table in the lounge room and offers some sense of normality. But now every time I reach for a delicious treat I recall the advice given to me by one the trainers on the emergency communications course.
‘The best advice I can give you is to make sure you are fit.’
I choose to believe that it was pure coincidence that as he was speaking his eyes dropped to my tummy rolls, which I have affectionately named Tim and Tam. (For non Australians Tim Tams are the most incredibly unbelievably delicious chocolate biscuit in the world).
His words echoed those I heard earlier from our resident emergency security guru who warned me that I need to get fit in order to pass the next level of required security training.
So given my current state of hometown blues and apparent lack of fitness I have spent the last week searching the internet for exercise ideas. I thought about trying Krav Maga but I am probably a little too old for that. Then I thought maybe I could try Tai Chi, but I’m hoping I am still considered too young for that. I already have the Zumba DVD set, which is great, especially with the added swoosh of the wooden floorboards but I’m not convinced my out of step salsa will be enough. So I have decided to commit to making a phone call to inquire about maybe joining kickboxing gym if they have classes that suit my schedule.