People always say that settling back into your home country after living abroad for any serious amount of time is a difficult and slow process. One where you need to take it day by day, step by step to ease yourself back into the 'normalities' of everyday life in your home country. Thing that were once familiar an intrinsic seem out of place and even weird.
I got back to Australia 18 days ago and I have to say that luckily I have not had to deal with any of the expected 're-entry syndrome' that I had been concerned about. to be fair, I haven't so much settled down into a routine as yet, quite the opposite. I have been out climbing, catching up with friends and enjoying myself immensely and even when I 'settle into a routine' it's not a normal 9 to 5 existence because I am working on my coaching business which means holding down slightly different hours to most people.
So all in all - no re-entry syndrome!
The little differences are what stands out the most, really. Being able to have fresh baked wholemeal bread, lightly toasted and slathered with avocado, sea salt, cracked pepper and a side of Camembert with a glass of fresh orange juice for breakfast is one up side to living in the west that I am particularly fond of! Good red wine is another. No government imposed internet bans on blogging and social media is another.
Not everything is rosy, of course. A government with leaders and opposition leaders that I wouldn't trust to house-sit while I'm on holidays, let alone run my country is one gripe I have. The fact that everything is way more expensive than I'm used to is another.
But then there's the weather, too. In China I didn't see blue skies too often. Here I have had almost all blue sky days so far. Cool temperatures in the shade, yet warm, biting rays of sunshine if you want them all under skies so blue that it took me a few days to get over feeling like it all looked too fake to be true.
I spent some time hanging around Canberra, settling in, meeting up with old friends, going climbing on the local granite, heading down to Nowra for some steep sandstone on the weekends, climbing on the rhyolite of Hollywood, training in the gym, generally having a blast. After that I went and spent 5 days straight climbing on the amazing sandstone in the Blue Mountains, revisiting my old home and falling back in love with the place.
Now it's time to knuckle down and get stuck into building up my business. Athlete By Choice (www.athletebychoice.com) is now a fully fledged coaching business being run by yours truly here in Canberra, Australia. I have started working with the climbing gyms junior squads, I have my first private clients starting tomorrow, business cards and posters are on their way. It's all go. I'm pretty psyched to be getting stuck into it and it's going to be exciting to see how far I can take it. Here's hoping it goes as well as I'm hoping!
The other big part of my first few weeks back in Australia has been working with an amazingly talented young kid, Angie Scarth-Johnson. An 8 year old girl who in the last few weeks has flashed V5, redpointed V7 and V8, and redpointed 26 and 27 (5.12c/7b+ and 5.12d/7c). This kid is phenomenal. Perfect movement, contact strength, mental toughness... her climbing IQ is through the roof, it's amazing to watch. This kid is going to be huge, the future of Australian rock climbing is here... watch this space!
So that pretty much sums up my thoughts on how things are going so far back here in the Land Down Under. It's pretty great so far - here's hooping it continues!
I want to quickly shout out to a few good folk before I finish. Firstly go check out JJ O'Brien and his blog at http://www.jjobrienclimbing.blogspot.com.au - he wrote a really nice little peice about my last climbing day in China. Check it out and all the other great interviews and write ups he has on his site!
Also a big thanks to all the people supporting me being back in Australia - Climbing Anchors (www.climbinganchors.com.au), Tendon Ropes, Metolius, CAMP, Kailas & Evolv - Thanks for making it easier for me to spend more time on the rock :-)
Here's a few photos and videos of the last few weeks - enjoy!!!
Angie sending 'Nappy Nuggets' V8
Angie sending 'Turkey Slap' 26
|Danny Ewald running a lap of 'Ain't No Sunshine' 28, South Central, Nowra|
|Angie Scarth-Johnson sending 'Nappy Nuggets' V8, Lot 33, Nowra|
|Danny Ewald cutting a fine silhouette at South Central, Nowra|
|Ray Spencer throwing down at Hollywood, Canberra|
|Melissa Mooney crimping hard on a delicate yet powerful 24 at Hollywood, Canberra|
|The Climbing Anchors Team (www.climbinganchors.com.au) - Angie Scarth-Johnson and myself||.|
|Autumn colours in the Blue Mountains|
|Sateki & Claudia Scarth-Johnson looked after me all week here at the Blue House in Blackheath. So much good food! :)|
|Angie Scarth-Johnson sending 'Wrong Movements' 27 at Centennial Glen, Blue Mountians|
|Angie Scarth-Johnson basking in the glory after sending 'Wrong Movements' 27 at Centennial Glen, Blue Mountains|
|Angie Scarth-Johnson sending 'Turkey Slap' 26 at Bardens Lookout, Blue Mountains|
|The kiddo and I at Bardens Lookout.|