Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Time to Face the Music

Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Time to Face the Music

Article excerpt

aDONaT stop, youare pathetic, youave only run five hundred metres.a Janet dances around me. aShould have come running with me in Europe.a

Wish I was still in Europe. Waking up late, Marcel beside me, aroma of fresh warm croissants wafting up from the patisserie on the corner.

Janet bounds off, I stumble behind her chest heaving, gasp for breath. I prefer to swim, but the muffin/croissant top requires harsher measures.

She does a loop, comes up behind me. aMore effort Dusty, or youall be ordering from the Cupcake catalogue.a She sings it, runs off with it still in the air.

Bitch. I jog.

Take your mind off it Dusty, think about the case. A body, a dead woman with a bullet hole in her head. The first woman who went missing off the bridge. That makes it different. That makes it a real case.

I shuffle/jog/walk, ahead see a dozen people in trendy camouflage - jungle-print board shorts, singlets. Boot camp on the beach. Most of them look as fit as I am, groan, struggle, sweat as they crawl through the soft sand on their forearms, wriggle their torsos.

Up front is the drill sergeant. He barks orders, yells at individuals, urges them to improve their performance. Iam guessing thatas the intent, basically heas calling them alazy f***ersa who should move their alard arsesa.

And I thought Janet was bad.

I attempt a bit more pace as I get even with them, donat want look like a loser.

Then I realize the yelling is coming from Hank. Shit. Iave been avoiding Hank since I got back, but Iave been thinking about him. Iave been tempted to phone, call off the break, but Iam not sure how heas going to react - I mean everyone knows about Marcel, and my French affair, Iam sure Hank knows.

Hankas drill sergeant voice barks, aBreak.a Then barks in my direction aDusty!a

Time to face the music.

He bounds over to me. aLike to join us?a

Heas taking the piss.

Hands on my knees, I glance over at his victims, most on their backs whimpering, brushing sand of dripping faces.

aNo thanks.a

Hankas wearing camouflage trousers with lots of pockets, tight around his butt, a t-shirtas stretched across his chest, logo reads aTough Muddera.

aWhatas this?a I wave an arm at the wounded warriors prostrate on the sand.

aTheyare doing Tough Mudder, Iam training them.a

He sees my lack of comprehension, or realizes I can hardly speak, explains. aItas an obstacle course, ice-water, mud tunnels, walls, ropes, up to 10,000 volts of electricity.a

Sounds even worse than triathlon.

aDesigned by British Special Forces, itas hardcore. They compete in teams, help each other out. All about stamina, strength, teamwork. They need to get fit.a

My heart rate has returned to normal, the kind of normal it is around Hank. aSince when did you start training people? …

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