Should Have Been, Would Have Been, Could Have Been



Saturday morning’s workout at CCF involved me falling. Not on my head this time, though … we had to do a team workout with thrusters (this is where you start with the bar at your chin and go into a front squat then go immediately into an overhead press where you press the bar over your head), where the rep only counts if one member of the team is in a handstand. I started on the thrusters and did like 22 or 23 or something before slowing down and telling my teammate to come out of the handstand. Then after maybe 10 seconds rest I went into my own handstand. Not entirely sure how long I lasted … something on the order of 30 seconds would be my best guess and I was so focused on letting my teammate get her last rep in that I somewhat overestimated my own strength and wound up crashing down rather than landing gracefully. Good news is on later sets I was much better at yelling out when I was coming down!

The rest of the day found me in Newlands at my boss’ house with another co-worker where I worked on something unrelated to my job but critical to complete as soon as possible. Good to get it done (ish … I still need to spend a few hours cleaning it up I think) so I can focus on my real job because goodness knows there is enough work for two people there. Although I certainly enjoyed the time, and the more insight I get from these guys the better, it is just truly inspiring, it really is, and there is so much that I have to absorb. I keep saying, I love strategy and think I have a pretty good strategic mind but compared to this guy, boy, I have a lot to learn and I can’t learn fast enough. At least I am a pretty good do-er, but I always knew that stuff came easily to me. Oh but what I was starting to say was that I could have done this work much faster in my own home because conversations about determinism, people management, and the Mayan calendar, while fascinating, take time. It is fantastic to have someone cook lunch for you though and attend to your every need! Patience and love of a saint, I’d say!

We also paused to watch the rugby game. What a shitshow. After being down 31-6 or so to Australia, the Springboks managed not only to come back and get ahead only to lose in the last like 20 seconds due to a stupid penalty that resulted in Australia scoring a kick. Ouch, that is like classic Cal football snatching defeat from the jaws of victory kind of performance although really, REALLY, they shouldn’t have gotten into a hole like that to begin with. What I learn from this is that I should just not watch the Springboks … the All Blacks game (this is New Zealand, for the uninitiated) game I watched two weeks ago had a similar result. Fortunately for me, during that game I had already had enough to drink that I didn’t care so much about it… this time we didn’t drink so much because we still had to go back to work after the game!

So that evening I also managed to fix a computer game I had been lent. This thing is my new fascination because it uses biofeedback – you control the game using your brain. For example you have to move rocks across a screen and stack them using just your brain, or move a balloon across the screen without letting it float too high up or too low down. I was so good at the moving the rocks that I wondered if it was fixed a little bit and I wasn’t actually doing it so I specifically stopped concentrating and lo and behold the rock dropped down and it took me 30 seconds to get my brain back in the groove. But, as I suspected, the mental state I know as ‘the zone’ is exactly what you need for this sort of thing. As you move through the levels you need to learn more and more control over your mental and emotional state and this, of course, is the whole reason to do it. Yes, folks, this is how I spend my Saturday nights –working until 9pm, and then playing computer games. As this was the night before the night before Fight Gone Bad, I needed to sleep. Well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Sunday was also pretty chill. Woke up, had some breakfast, and went to yoga. Man, some of that stuff is pretty hectic I tell you, and my hip flexors told me today. LOL, well, also apparently I am low on calcium because my arms just couldn’t take this absurd 11 minute pose (and what is it with 11 minutes anyway??). OUCH. So I marched right over to Woolworths and bought some yogurt and got milk for free, so I marched right home to make some Dunkin Donuts coffee.

Later that evening I went to a going-away party for a friend in Sea Point. This was interesting … there were two co-workers there (this friend had done some volunteer work for us). The first one took one look at me and asked if I had been working. Sadly I can’t tell a lie … guess the glazed computer look lasts a while! The second one cornered me after about an hour (by the cheese … nice move there … until we moved to the balcony that was by then deserted); and we talked for about an hour; he had a couple things on his mind. I agreed with everything he had to say and am still trying to sort out the best way forward. Thing is, I am fiercely loyal to my boss and my organisation and I don’t say that lightly but at the same time there is always room for improvement and I am trying to figure out how to fit into that.

But darn it … after I just had my ego knocked back into check these bloody people this weekend just ARE NOT HELPING. Stop it people, stop it … I don’t need a big head, but hey I’ll take the positive feedback. Who wouldn’t?

So then I tried to leave at a reasonable hour and, well, needless to say I failed and wound up staying another 90 minutes or so. Yep, I’m a sucker for red wine. But as I had the aforementioned Fight Gone Bad the next day I did leave at a reasonable hour.

I had intended to do the workout in the morning but when I woke up at 6am I found myself tired and dehydrated. I really hadn’t drunk enough water during the day and certainly not enough in the evening, so discretion being the better part of valour I put my frittata in the oven and went back to sleep. It was a good thing because it didn’t hurt to be at work early to check in with my Henley MBA crew before the morning meeting.

The first few hours of the day we spent downloading thoughts about the incubator vs portfolio management company to the crew, and talking about the current status of our relationships with our stakeholders. Following that, the team headed out on a Purple Heart site visit while I stayed to catch up on the status of a couple of things, including pulling my boss in on a tutoring business concept because what we had been missing all along was his insight into what the funders had in mind, and how we need to position things to them. Good news is he is on board with our plans for the business, but we will need to be careful with positioning.

When the Henley team returned, we went out to a FoodTent in Milnerton. Now this may not be the Cape Flats but the guy who runs the place is an absolute inspiration and we are going to use him for some R&D in terms of how things grow, how much we can harvest, etc. Fascinating. Things are so hectic that using the 20 minute return drive to catch up with the guy who runs FoodTents was absolutely critical. Yes, that’s sad but true…

So after planning with the crew for tomorrow I changed and raced off to the gym for the Fight Gone Bad challenge. When I first got there I was a judge/coach for one friend of mine who absolutely rocked the workout – she was doing the intermediate level and just crushed it, and wound up winning the most improved among the women, so good for her! This workout is insane though, I had literally been dreading it since the first time we did it. Now I like tough workouts, ok I really like tough workouts but holy heck this is I think the only workout I’ve ever done that literally scares me. So what is this ridiculous workout you ask? Well here is the explanation direct from the CCF web site:

This workout consists of 3 rounds that are each 5 minutes long: In these 5 minutes you move from station to station and spend a minute on each. After this 5 minute round, a one-minute break is allowed before repeating. The stations are:
1. Wall-ball: 9/6kg ball. (Reps)
2. Sumo deadlift high-pull: 34/24kg (Reps)
3. Box Jump: 50/40cm box (Reps)
4. Push-press: 34/24kg (Reps)
5. Row: Calories (Calories)
The clock does not reset or stop between exercises. On call of “rotate,” the athlete/s must move to next station immediately for good score. One point is given for each rep, except on the rower where each calorie is one point.

Whatever. Anyway. It is just death. After one round you feel tired. After the second round you literally feel like death and then you need to do the third round! So on the last time I did this 8 weeks ago I scored 242. This time my target was over 280 except that then someone put in my head while drinking that I should score over 300 (it’s amazing what I remember vs what I don’t remember when I’m drinking…) so then I wanted to get over 300. Well, I scored 287 but here’s the thing: one of my contacts fell out near the end of the second round push press so I lost 3-4 reps handing it off to my judge, but here is the real kicker: on the final round I used the men’s weight wall ball (which as you can see is 50% heavier than the women’s ball!). I had about 7 or 8 missed reps because I couldn’t get the ball high enough and I was wondering what the hell was going on … was I that tired, or was it depth perception … wasn’t until after the very end that the guy who shared the station with me told me that he was pretty sure I used his wall ball on the last round. LOL. Well, I might not have gotten quite to 300 but I would have been damn close. But it doesn’t actually matter what might have been … what matters is what is, so I’m a bit annoyed with my mistake but hey: next time 300 is going to be, um, I won’t say easy, but I’m gonna get it net time: I was that close, really, when you think about it. So there.

Afterwards we had our paleo potluck (I made the frittata without cheese and surprisingly it was pretty decent!). After what seemed like hours of collating scores we had our awards ceremony. My improvement was “only” 18 percent or so, which was only fifth (!) among the women, we had some people just smash out improvement, which is great. I did manage to come in first in overall score. A win, but a win by default because our resident Olympic-level athlete had not been feeling well and did not compete (she scored 322 8 weeks ago). Eh, like I said, doesn’t matter what you could do, it matters what you actually do. But I was pretty happy all things considered. I have not been so hot with my diet the last two weeks or so; time to knuckle down there and as I have friends coming into town in mid-September I will naturally be taking some time off because yes, it’s about time for that. Problem is, if I don’t work out during the week every day the work stress gets to me. Noticeably. But then I love the Saturday workouts! Not to mention that the last time I tried to take a day off the workout involved rope climbs and handstand pushups so I changed my mind.

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