Sunday, February 11, 2007

Risky business

Something must be in the air. Since I've got back from holidays I've been taking more and more risks - most unlike me. Good risks too, risks like leaving work on time without finishing the ten gazillion things which I could stay and do and leave two hours later, tired, hungry and near tears. I've joined a gym and started doing aerobics (is there a bigger risk than allowing an aerobics instructor into your life?) with the result that I can do more than two stomach crunches without collapsing in a heap and I come home cheerful and content instead of grumpy, tired and starving. I've started eating far more often than I used to, with the handy result that I no longer get headaches at work and have much more energy for all the sport I seem to be doing.

I have enlisted a new teacher with no experience and he seems to be doing fine. I've been frank with my boss about the need for working tape recorders. I've winged lessons that went extremely well, I've sailed past stuff-ups in class that would have made me hyperventilate six months ago. I've started an English book club with Germans and native-speakers. I've ignored letters from the television fee people threatening me if I don't reply to their questions about if I have a TV and if it's registered.

Yesterday I had to teach a tae kwon do class in German – admittedly there were only three people there and I had done it once before with Simon – but managing to get through an hour and a half of giving instructions in German and thinking of good activities to do left me feeling very pleased with myself. Even if I did make some embarrassing grammatical errors.

And today I got a short lesson on scuba diving from a lovely student who needs to improve his teaching in English skills, and learnt how to breathe underwater and bob up and down and do lots of things I was utterly terrified of before doing them. It was so exciting under the water – we were in a big swimming pool at the uni and there was a polo game going on in the other half of the pool. I was concentrating so hard on my breath that I got a shock looking over at all their legs and bums shaking round in the water, above me. It was still and quiet and magical; I can see why my student turned it from his hobby into his job. I think I'll have to reconsider never going scuba diving off the Great Barrier Reef.

So clearly there's something about my holiday that's made me more adventurous. Perhaps it's going home, filling up on all that love and security and then feeling confident enough to take on the world. Whatever it is, it's bloody great.

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