FoodTents Build, National Heritage Day & the Return of the Prowler!

Well, the first two days of the week were spent on site at Philippi putting in our first GrowZone! This was very exciting and the event went well overall although we obviously have some lessons learned for next time. Let me just say that I have never been so happy to see tomato seedlings as I was on Monday of this week!

The first day we put up four tents, and six on the second day. Already between the two days we learned a lot; this was our first time putting up so many tents at the same time. But it was really fun to get out there literally in the dirt and dig, plant seedlings, yell at people for not planting tomatoes deep enough (be laughed at first for pronouncing tomatoes the American way then for pronouncing them the South African way … sometimes you just can’t win!).

On Monday after finishing up I went to the gym, then to dinner at Beluga with my friends visiting from the States. That was a lot of fun except boy something was not right with the service on that particular evening … strange! Sad to have my friend leave, though, but I will see her again!

Tuesday was the last day of one of my co-workers so we mourned this loss while celebrating the completion of a hard two days of work over a few beers in Bellville. On the way there I saw a robot hawker (this is someone who sells things at traffic lights) selling sets of bow & arrows. Now, strawberries I understand. Garbage bags, ok, yes, I can get that too. Bow & arrows?

Anyway: 2 for 1 Castle draught happy hour … where else can you get 8 beers for R64? That is less than $10 people. Even PBR is rarely that cheap! So my original plan was to have one beer, maybe two, then head back into town to train at CCF. Obviously, that didn’t happen. So it may not have gone the way I planned but I had quite a lot of fun. No regrets other than that I had to deal with dehydration the next day which caused me to miss another training session so I was a bit annoyed with myself at that. But, as they say, you make your bed and you must lie in it.

Wednesday and Thursday passed in as many blurs, really. Literally I spent all of both days either in formal meetings or talking to people. Not sure how interesting I can make a bunch of meetings. Also, I have a lot on my plate and I need to start digging in. Talk is cheap and there is a lot to be done, not a lot of time, and not a lot of people. Well, as was pointed out to me recently this is the really hard part.

I guess the other big takeaway from this week was a lot of conversations about everything we should be doing better. Good news is very little I wasn’t already aware of, and awareness is half the battle. The other half, of course, is execution and getting everyone to see things in the same way and move to the beat of the same drummer… well, challenging!

Thursday night I kind of forgot that Friday’s workout was 7am and not 9am so I wound up going to bed a little later than I probably should have, but it all turned out OK because Friday’s workout was nothing too taxing. Although one-armed ring rows … a lot harder than they sound! I am getting much better at coordinating long strings of double-unders though, oddly enough I do them much better in a workout under time pressure than when just practicing. Strange because I would expect the opposite, that the stress and tiredness would cause me to become less coordinated. Well, who knows? Followed up breakfast with brunch @The Sandbar in Camps Bay with our coaches and another guy from the gym, during which we found out that apparently a lot of women don’t like to eat meat. I am not sure where they are finding these women. Crazy.

Friday was a public holiday, National Heritage Day. Apparently it’s also a day when a bunch of people braai but after brunch I started feeling a bit of a cold coming on so the day consisted of trying to kill the germs with wine on a bunch of wine farms we visited: Uva Mira, Dornier, Waterford (for the chocolate, which is always good when I have a sore throat!), and then Delheim after a [paleo in my case…] tapas lunch. So we went to the store, got a couple things, and my friend made chicken soup for me for dinner which I managed to eat after a two-hour nap. Then I pretty much immediately went back to bed and slept another 10 hours. I was determined to cure myself because I heard that Saturday’s workout was going to be fun, and it was.

So the posted workout was 5 prowler pushes of 20m each, 50 wall jumps, 50 kettlebell swings, 50 pushups, and 5 rope climbs. In the event we wound up doing it in teams (my partner & I finally lost a competition but to be fair, the other team had 3 people and we took less than 50% longer to finish than they did…. ;)) where we had to do a total of 10 prowler pushes, 200 wall jumps, 200 kettlebell swings, 200 pushups, and 10 rope climbs. Rope climbs are not one of my relative strengths so I did 2 of those, half the prowler pushes, more than half the ledge jumps (I am quite good at box jumps and jumping on the higher box is actually great training for me to become better at jumping on the lower box), and I think slightly less than half the pushups and kettlebell swings. So, definitely got in a good (and fun!) workout. Man, that prowler is ridiculous. I think after my third or fourth push I went to do some pushups and could only do like 6 or 7 without stopping! I tell you what, that thing is … well, actually words can’t describe it very well. If you haven’t pushed the prowler you can’t fully appreciate the fear that thing puts in you. Ouch.

Following that joyful event (and the requisite post-workout foam rolling and lying on baseballs), I took my friend to the Old Biscuit Mill for lunch and to stock up on meat. I just love the guy who runs the Neighborhood Butcher, on this occasion he gave me R50 of free meat! And boy is it good … need to get there a little earlier though, he was sold out of chickens, which is a shame because boy are those good! Of course, Old Biscuit Mill being what it was we did run into someone that I know (two someones in fact!), and now we need to plan a group outing to Mzolis!

Then we went to the beach! The weather was nice and not too windy. I managed to fall asleep which was fantastic, except then I woke up because the wind had come up and it was cold, and I looked up and what did I see but two of the guys from my gym. Small damn world. Then, I was groggy from sleep so I decided to wake myself up by practicing freestanding handstands. Needless to say I fell over a couple of times …. But that’s why I was doing this on the beach!

While heading to a bar for drinks, ran into one of our coaches (who I thought would have done his second workout of the day much earlier, to be honest), who then joined us for dinner after his run. Good times although I will admit for about the fifth time the entire explanation of the science around paleo was literally in one ear and out the other. All I know is, it works. Sunday morning found the three of us in the same place again for breakfast. This was a relatively effective deterrent from me doing the work I was meant to be doing, sigh … can’t complain, though, other than that I should have more self-discipline. But, sometimes self-restraint is not a lot of fun.

The weather turned to pouring! It rivalled some of the worst days of winter, and my apartment complex pathway turned into a river. Quite literally, I took a photo on the way out to visit a friend who is house-sitting for a while in Oranjezicht. This visit resulted in an unfortunate interaction between a cat, a tablecloth, and a glass of red wine that for some reason just amuses me to no end. But also we had to cut the conversation a bit short because we had to get back in time for a pickup for movie night but a lot to ponder. Also, I am very pleased (relieved??) that my thought patterns and reflections have settled down from the absurdity that was occurring two weeks ago (my goodness was Henley only two weeks ago??). At this rate the end of the year which is only three months away will seem like years! But, I guess everyone needs a burning platform and I guess also that when you finally wake up from existing to living, I suppose that must be what being addicted to drugs is like. But stability in my thought patterns is good; and very calming. Sometimes growth can be so rapid as to be disconcerting! But, speaking of self-discipline: I have a few things to do still before I sleep.


One comment

  1. Hi Ellie – we got Rob to the plane. He made his connection in ATL even though his plane was delayed 1/2 hr. here. He'll be delayed into Johannesburg also probably, but won't have any trouble making that connection. Have a wonderful visit with him! We will miss you at the Greenbrier (birthday dinner for JT – 88!).

    love, Bethe

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