I am never eating sugar again




Monday found me at Coyote Spur for the second day in a row! But this time I broke down and actually ate something … and only felt mildly ill for about 45 minutes.

I am struggling for some reason to think of anything interesting to say about what I’ve been doing at work recently. We are designing how to separate out the incubator from the existing operation. This is a hard slog, but actually as I wrote in an email today it is quite important that we start with getting the purpose right because if the raison d’etre is off, what we’re doing isn’t pointless per se but it is less powerful than it might otherwise be.

We have a crew of executive MBAs from Henley coming in two weeks from now to help us work through this, research best practices, etc. I am actually slightly terrified for this. Not sure why, though, possibly not so much the volume of work but the intensity that I know is coming! In any event we want to have some real thought behind the model before they get here, so that is one key thing I will be slogging through this week.

I am pretty excited about a new project we are doing a feasibility study for. I had one of those “aha” moments that comes when you think you have identified an unmet market need. At least, that’s how I perceive the feeling because this is the first time I’ve experienced something like that before. Hopefully market research will prove that I’m right!

On Friday afternoon I had what was actually kind of a mind-blowing conversation with my boss, about the power of the mind and how to train it. I am fascinated by his work capacity – the man has a level of focus that I do not possess. I don’t [yet] have the self-discipline. But it was very interesting and a little bit scary that the things he was saying really resonated with me, and resonated with me in a way that they would not have a year or a year and a half ago. Some of what he was saying I either naturally do, or have recently started to do, and I can feel that there is more potential there but I can’t yet control it. Like, for example in talking about emotion: I have relatively recently become pretty analytical about what I’m feeling and I’ll let myself revel in an emotion (good or bad) for a short period of time before abstracting back out and figuring out what I want to do with the situation that it is affecting me in a way to take me off of a rational balance. He goes further than this, but that’s a whole other subject. Watch this space, because interesting things are happening here.

Thursday evening after the CrossFit workout I was invited along to rowing class at UCT. I sure as heck wasn’t going to turn that down! Took it relatively easy though but it was good to spend a solid 20 or 25 minutes total rowing, and practicing technique. Sometimes I still can’t believe I never learned this stuff at St. Paul’s. Then after a quick dinner I went over to drinks night at Buena Vista Social Club. I had a mojito which was pretty stupid because I forgot it had sugar in it, and then I felt ill. I had to get up early the next morning for work anyway though so it gave me a good excuse to excuse myself.

Friday’s workout consisted of those blasted overhead squats. I am now, I think, over disliking them and am more interested in continuing to practice so that I can get better. That evening I headed down to Muizenberg for dinner with a co-worker at her house. We had some fantastic roasted stuffed butternut and chickpea salad. When it’s my turn to cook for the vegetarians we’re having frittata (which they had never had!!). But again, a great time – great people, good wine, interesting conversations. That’s pretty much all you can ask! Oh and a cat that decided my lap would be a nice place to sleep. Good thing on a cold night! Then when I got home another cat followed me into my apartment and I wasn’t able to keep it out because I was too busy carrying an INCREDIBLY heavy bag of potting soil. That bag must be 50 kilos, it’s just ridiculous. Now I need to figure out how long to keep these around to work out with before using them for their intended purpose!

Saturday, Saturday. So we were one person short for the planned team workout, so instead we did an obstacle course where we had to, as a team, carrying one weight plate at a time, the weights from one side of the room for the first round, and back for the second. Yep, crawling under benches and jumping on things and doing forward rolls is my idea of a fantastically fun thing to do on a Saturday morning! Then I practiced pistols and handstand pushups and I was very happy that I got three handstand pushups in a row all the way down to the ab mat (when I practice them at home I can’t tell how low I am going).

Then I baked a cake. Reine de saba and I whipped the egg whites up by hand thank you very much. Rather overcooked it actually; I don’t have an oven thermometer. C’est la vie, it still tasted pretty good. One of our coaches was having what can really only be described as a sugar party. Oh my goodness I feel ill even thinking about it now … let’s just say that sugar plus wine plus not very much food is not the best combination. Combine that with both rugby teams losing (the Springboks lost to the All Blacks in a very close game – they missed a key tackle at the very end, though, crushing, then WP got outmanned by the Sharks. At least I think that’s what happened … memories are a bit hazy from there on out).

I managed to sleep through the other party I was supposed to go to, and the next day was not exactly the best I’d ever had, well at least until my friend came over for some wine and his birthday dinner (we went to Beluga for sushi and more wine), and then wound up staying up to all hours of the night talking and playing music on YouTube. Good times. AND I got to see someone walk on his hands across the room … that was just TOO COOL. But literally … I couldn’t even eat fruit the next day.

Oh also on Sunday they blew up (well, actually collapsed in a controlled demolition) the Athlone cooling towers, which I watched from Devil’s Peak. Of course they went down three minutes early (!!) which means that I didn’t get a good photo of it. I was taking a “before” picture which turns out actually to be the first millisecond or so of one of the towers getting blown but by the time the camera had recovered it was too late to take another picture and the towers were down – but at least I saw it which is more than I can say for some of the other people around me!

So this morning I did something really stupid. I blame the lack of sleep. We were doing deadlifts which was OK because it didn’t require a huge amount of coordination but then the workout part was 5 rounds of 5 deadlifts at 70% of 1RM and 10 burpees. All fine … except that in about round 3 I started dropping the weight between lifts and then despite one of the guys at our gym spraining his thumb a month ago (to the day, actually….) by stopping the bar with his thumb what did I do? Yep, well as I say if you can’t laugh at yourself for being an idiot about certain things then your life will be very difficult. I didn’t sprain anything but broke the nail below the quick and it’s tender, and will be for a while. Stupid, stupid, stupid, yeah it’s been a bad 48 hours for me. Better decisions starting now and I will also say that I don’t think my pillow has ever looked so good…

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