So I guess it was, in fact, a commitment thing rather than anything more insidious. After I decided I wasn’t going to take my under-performance at work any more I all of a sudden improved. Tuesday was a great day, Wednesday I was kind of running around like a crazy chicken but I’m very excited for the video on the Hub that Adin’s film school is working on; we should be getting some work from them on the actual contents early next week which is tremendously exciting.
Thursday was also a very busy day and taught me a lesson, which is that when I get mentally tired I revert back to old behaviors. So in the morning we had a great FoodTents meeting talking about various different routes to market and I did what I thought was a decent job of not telling the team the next steps but guiding them and letting them figure it out. By the afternoon (maybe it was the sugar from the expired Snackers …) I was too tired and just told the team what our next steps should be around developing this franchise model further. I was a bit annoyed at myself later, but it is what it is, and I did learn a valuable lesson.
Friday was good fun: a long company meeting talking about FoodTents in some detail, followed by brainstorming Hub events strategy, and then a Heart Capital sales/strategy/equity structure discussion. So we’re constrained by our ability to raise funds and to execute. What else is new, but raising funds would help us hire people to problem-solve and execute. Sometimes it’s a bit lonely, but it will come, and it’s exciting, and as I’ve said before the real difference this time is that this is legitimately hard, so I/we will appreciate success that much more. I had fun during the Ask Jeeves days but I didn’t properly appreciate it first of all because I was young and second of all because we didn’t really deserve it. Right place, right time; easy come, easy go. Although I guess that happened for a reason, too, because it gave me some great skills and contacts, and a reasonable level of financial cushion.
This week was also pretty chilled; on Tuesday I went to see Pecha Kucha again. For the most part I was again tremendously underwhelmed with the quality of the presentations. I need to quit talking about it and actually plan out my own presentation next time around, which I think is in April. But, I did meet a guy from a very interesting company that is taking quite a holistic approach to, well, I’m not quite sure how to characterize what they are doing. You can check out their web site here. So, maybe that’s the reason I went instead of getting to sleep super early.
Speaking of sleeping this Trail Series has left me trashed. I have been sleeping 8-8.5 hours per night and am still exhausted! I meant to train at CrossFit on Monday but just couldn’t get out of bed, as I think I mentioned above. Tuesday (day before the race), and Thursday (day after the race) were planned rest days, and then there was Wednesday’s race itself. I am a bit embarrassed to say that there was just nothing left in the tank. I soundly beat the other girls who had raced 3-4 other times, and fresher legs beat us, but I was running significantly slower than any of the other races. About 3kms in or so I decided just to take it as a training run and not kill myself, so I think I wound up placing 11th which was my discard, and I won the series 14 points to 30 (not a bad margin actually). Come the Winter Trail Series where the races are a week apart I will make sure I am better prepared. But it was pretty cool to get to go up there and collect a trophy (not that I like trophies – I brought it the next day to the gym as the start of a trophy wall for their athletes). The post-race party was kinda chilled; I celebrated with some Sauvignon Blanc and prawn curry. First time I’d had rice since I can remember, but what the heck.
I was still quite tired for Friday and Saturday’s workouts. I feel like I forgot everything I learned at CrossFit Fenway on clean technique. I just need to practice that stuff like every day. When your form isn’t perfect, muscle memory isn’t very helpful. Then we learned wall climbs which were fun except that my wrists started to hurt, and then I woke up very sore the next day in my mid-section! Can’t complain though, and it’s nice to have some variety back in the workout. Saturday’s beach workout was great fun, Hoover ball (we somehow won!), and then a really fun team workout where two members would do exercises between runs while the other two held plank position. Super long and chilled lunch at Sandbar was also exactly what I needed.
My main non-work, non-Trail Series obsession this week was my opera singing car guard. I used Max’s Mac to get the video off my camera, then we posted the video to Facebook and it pretty quickly went viral. Love that. The guy has raw talent although he needs training. But boy, what a great story if he somehow gets discovered!
So Imogen Heap was in town this week. I’d heard the name and some of her songs but hadn’t really put 2 and 2 together. She and her partner Thomas were in our offices on Tuesday and I spent a good amount of time with them on the phone on Wednesday, discussing potential future collaborations around FoodTents. They did a charity concert on Thursday night that I could have attended for a big discount but I was far too tired. I did go to the Friday evening show, though (after dropping by the dinner I was supposed to go to that night!). Kind of fun to get to say “I don’t have a ticket, I’m on the guest list.” Thanks to my co-worker Max for that one, and the show was actually kind of mind-blowingly amazing, and then we had some wine afterwards with Thomas until the Paul Cluver staff came to quite politely tell us in Afrikaans that it was time for us to get the heck out of there so they could close up for the evening. Their 2009 Pinot Noir is surprisingly good, and it was surprisingly not too surreal to be at the same venue twice in less than a week for two very different events! Also, the stars are absolutely gorgeous out there in Grabouw (it’s about an hour’s drive east from Cape Town). One of these days I’ve really got to go camping …
So I’m excited for this week to come, and actually the next few after that. Sunday is going to be fun with a walk on the beach at sunrise (was supposed to be a Lion’s Head climb but, well, someone wasn’t very careful with his feet!), yoga, Crystal Pools, and then work. The work week starts off with some intense planning then a meeting at the V&A I’ve been looking forward to for about 6 weeks now. I feel like the FoodTents work is finally starting to come together and the team is starting to gel. That’s extremely encouraging but it also reiterates the amount of focus and attention required to do something right. Imagine that, starting multiple businesses at the same time is way harder than starting one; and there is probably a critical mass somewhere in there: more than about three and you’re going to fail unless you have super strong manager/entrepreneurs on the ground. Then on Friday my friend Jason from America arrives, so this week is quite the calm before the proverbial storm (plus he’s bringing with him the much anticipated Nexus S!!). After he leaves I’m going to go into quite an intense period of disciplined training both out of necessity (the CrossFit competition season is starting) and because I’m quite sure my liver and body will need the rest and I’ll want nothing more than a self-imposed nutrition challenge!
Because it’s been weighing on my mind I will repeat how worried I am for my friends in Egypt. Seeing pictures of Hany show up on Facebook in an album titled “Defending our property” carrying a rifle, and with kids in the album armed with guns and knives … scary. Thinking of Sherif potentially not being able to get to his insulin … also scary. What scares me the most actually is that I can’t really think immediately of what a safe solution would be. Mubarak steps down, who takes over? The military? Bad answer. The Muslim Brotherhood? Bad answer. So what happens when there is no credible opposition because the ruling party has so effectively stifled them? Maybe this is part of the problem Iran had; much as there was an uprising there wasn’t actually a credible political alternative. I mean Mir Hossein Mousavi was really only the political leader of the Green Revolution because he was cheated out of office but I don’t think he’s actually the ideological choice of a lot of the revolutionaries.
Similar in South Africa; people of all colors can be scandalized by Jacob Zuma telling voters in Zulu that voting for the ANC would take them to heaven and voting for any other party would lead to hell. Although my editorial comment here is that George Bush took much the same approach in the lead up to the Iraq war just a hell of a lot more subtly. A vote for the Republicans is a vote for safety and against terrorism, a vote for the Democrats will lead us down a slippery slope towards appeasement and Muslim extremism. Is it really that different? But anyway, no credible opposition: COPE is going nowhere fast, and the DA has a big perception problem. Big. So what are disillusioned ANC voters to do?
Random thought and not actually related to anything in particular, but it’s great to have friends who can see through you, and set you straight, and bust your chops when necessary. What is hard, though, is when you see people struggling and you actually do know quite well what is the source of their problems but they are not yet ready to hear it. I was asking a new friend last Sunday how to get rid of my workaholisim, and he basically told me it wasn’t that easy and there was no secret but I had to get there on my own. I have a friend now who I kind of want to slap over the head because he’s kind of being a dumbass and can’t even see it. Well, we trip over our own feet a lot but I guess that’s how we learn, and just like with my team at work you can’t tell someone what they are doing wrong, you must just ask the right questions so that hopefully they figure it out on their own at some point. But hey, the answer is inside you, and you’ll get where you need to get eventually.
• “You think America is SECULAR? And SANE? HAHAHAHAHAHA!” – Damon
• “At some point you just need to stop eating the chocolate cake.” – Peter
• “Fearless people don’t wait for other people to tell them what to do.” – Annette
• “Martin Luther King didn’t start the civil rights movement by saying I have a nightmare, did he?” – Andy
• “Whatever Toronto has on TV, San Fran has in real life, all screwed up.” – Pieter
• “Quit staring at Owen Middleton!” – Keith (for the record, I was doing no such thing)
• “Total infestation is damning to a farmer.” – Phumzile
• “If anyone can sell vaporware it’s you two.” – Ellie
• “Well, if you weren’t [drinking] you’d probably be winning these races by like 14 miles!” – Grant