If it’s not one thing, it’s another


I’m injured again. Ran the Impi Challenge yesterday which was a 12km obstacle course race with 17 obstacles and somewhere along the line I sprained my knee. As I guess it goes with these things I didn’t realize just how bad it was until I stopped at the end. Luckily there were doctors from Mediclinic there and so I got checked out immediately and learned that it wasn’t torn, there was no fluid under the skin (just a big bruise!), so it’s just a bad sprain. 7-10 days and I’ll be back to normal. Although I do heal quickly I have to say I am wondering just how realistic that timeframe is because this hurts. Badly.

The worst part is I am not even sure what happened! I think it was on the tower we had to climb where on the way back down we had to climb down some webbing and when other people got on at the top it caused the whole thing to swing pretty violently and I bet that’s when it happened. I should also note (yes, Mom, now I am bragging) that despite being injured I stuck to my guns about the fact that this was not an evening on which I planned to drink, and so I didn’t drink.

Some of the obstacles were pretty cool, though. We had to crawl underground (there I used the bear crawl because it was easier than a normal crawl!), wade through a swamp, jump off a platform into water, climb under a series of posts (think crawling under a weight bench at the gym … not that the guys at CCF have ever made us do anything like that!), run across a series of palettes in water (if you went too slowly they would sink!), climb over a 3m wall and my personal favourite, climb over a series of posts (well, one post on either side with a cross-bar in between) that were taller than I was! This is the only one that was remotely challenging for me because it came just after a big long hill and you basically needed to sprint, jump up and grab on with your arms and then swing your legs up, over, and around on the other side. Oh, and did I mention they were also uphill?

So it was super fun although any ideas I had of running competitively were shot down when we had to queue for 20+ minutes at the first obstacle. Oops. They released us in groups of I think 50 and I was in a middle group so really the only way to run competitively is if you happened to be in Group A, or B, or maybe C. But, c’est la vie. Also after I realized I was hurt I took it easy and was mainly more interested in finishing without hurting myself worse!

But my life isn’t all about the Impi Challenge now is it? On one day last week I hit another set of double PRs on press (38kg for 3 reps, and 40 for 1), and had a pretty decent performance on my scaled version of Fran. And then on Thursday I was just exhausted and couldn’t do wall balls to save my life. Hmmm makes me a bit sad now to write this because it’s going to be quite a while before I’m back in the game, sigh…

The week was pretty busy at work. Incubation for our low-cost housing venture kicked off in earnest, we met with the V&A and another design firm, planned hamper market research and listed out different Cadbury touchpoints, and a whole bunch of other stuff that I can’t actually remember at the moment. All that I remember is that it’s busy. According to one of my co-workers I have been particularly busy the last three weeks, to which I think I said: “is that all?” When I first heard the phrase “time poor” I don’t think I fully comprehended it. I’d been busy before, but time poor is actually a different thing entirely, and it actually does speak completely to priorities. How we choose to allocate our time when there is more going on than we can possibly actually deal with; well, it’s challenging to get the balance right and not focus on things that are actually relatively unimportant in the grand scheme of things.

So yesterday really made me pause and think (and this started before I injured myself thank you very much). So often we move forward so fast we kind of forget why, and even in social enterprise where we constantly try to pull ourselves back to our raison d’etre … so I was driving to the race and there was this news story about this woman and her child who had burned to death in a shack fire. Now this stuff happens all the time here, of course, and all I could think about was how couldn’t we work faster to get our enterprise up and running (because the technology is, among other things, highly fire resistant). Of course there is government red tape involved and I am sure that is going to bother me too, but that really brought it home.

Then yesterday evening a friend and I went over to a co-worker’s place (a shack, yes) in Khayelitsha for dinner and to hang out. So one of the women we met was telling us about how she used to be brilliant in school but she had to drop out to support her brothers and sisters. Now around here people say “shame” as shorthand for “that’s a shame” (not “you should be ashamed”) and to me this is the very definition of shame. That is just tragic! I am sitting around feeling pretty sorry for myself at the moment but of course, I have had every opportunity in life and yes, maybe I’ve made more out of them than some other people but really, really, this is shocking and sad and of course when you meet someone facts on the ground turn from statistics and stories into reality. It was also funny driving out of the township and the streets were dead. It is, of course, too dangerous for anyone to walk the streets at night in Khayelitsha. Shame.

I also had a bit of an epiphany on the drive home: the reason I like spending time with my boss so much (other than that he’s interesting, of course), is that I’m a natural leader but it’s tiring to lead all the time. When I’m with him is pretty much the only time at work when I consistently don’t need always to be the one who figures out what to do next, and where I am comfortable being led. I think that’s another thing I like about CrossFit: I don’t need to think at all (which isn’t to say I don’t have to concentrate: the two are different). Actually, thinking too much gets me into trouble sometimes (snatch, I’m talking to you…had a mental block on this lift for some time now, sadly).

My knee threw all my plans for today out of whack (well except my plan to go see a movie tonight). I slept in (you only heal when you sleep, after all!) then I went by work to have a check-in with a co-worker and to pick up an intern that we have for the next 7 weeks, bring her to Sandbar, and talk in more detail about the project that I think will be the best fit for her during her time here. And now, I have some work to do before dinner time! Dinner is going to be very similar to lunch, actually: a big salad with some red meat (in this case, free-range grass-fed kudu steak: cheap, healthy, and tasty!).

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