Broken, then fixed

I am now fully understanding the sound mind in a sound body bit. On Sunday and Monday I was so completely exhausted (not just soreness but overall exhaustion) that my brain was not functioning properly. I was trying to work on Sunday and miserably failed. Monday morning I couldn’t even snatch 15kgs (it was too jarring) and had to supplement with coffee to get to my “normal” energy levels. If I recall correctly, that’s what caffeine addiction feels like, or just being very out of shape, and it sucks! So, the body and the mind really are tightly interlinked.

However, I recovered pretty quickly. By Tuesday I felt fine but still only went maybe 80-90% in the workout. I was very happy with my form on the front squats, actually … trying to stay light in the lifting and let my body recover but 51kgs for 5 reps felt really light. Wednesday was a rest day, and I feel completely fine today although the workout was very light since this is a bit of a recovery week. One thing I learned though, do NOT attempt to do tabata power cleans without chalk, by about round #6 I could barely keep grip on the bar and as a result my form deteriorated badly but it had nothing to do with tiredness. Oh well, live and learn…

Roland showed me this very cool sleep app on the Android (yes, I’m on about my phone again…) called Electric Sleep. You put it next to you when you sleep and it tracks your movement patterns and can wake you up when you’re in light sleep vs deep sleep. So Sunday night my sleep was all over the place; I was tossing and turning. I was in a very broken down state at the time and was healing for all of those 8.5 hours. Then Monday night, a much more normal sleep pattern resumed. Very cool to be able to see that visually!

A thank you to everyone who made the last post the second most visited on this blog (it was in first place for a few hours then an older post regained the lead). Apparently I should write more about CrossFit competitions. Guess I just need to compete more then, hey? Registered for the Opens today after one coach said this morning something along the lines of “There are already 7 people registered in the Africa region but you’re not one of them!” and then the other one sent me an IM to ask why I hadn’t signed up yet. In my defense I would like to say that the site went up 2 days ago and the deadline to register isn’t for a week and a half. But the cult will do what any cult does, which is to ensure compliance by key members I suppose.

A new day dawned on Wednesday. These last two days have been just amazing, and are just the beginning.

Also the weather turned this week, I think on Sunday. It’s nice … the days are cooler, the leaves are starting to turn. Sadly the day length is also fading but I love all seasons of year here, although the New Englander in me did find summer a bit long and hot so we’re actually heading into a period that suits me a bit better.

This week has been mainly about grappling with FoodTents operations:
• Reviewing all existing sites in laborious detail
• Reviewing upcoming activations in detail
• Setting the ops teams on adding a lot of data to the supplier database
• Understanding the work that was done on the COGS model and the amount of work that still remains to be done
• Producing a market research survey for the GrowZone operators to fill out
• Putting together next steps for the Philippi GrowZone and discussing with the operators of the Philippi Market
• Long meeting with Bridget & Rob at Abalimi, and discussing my thoughts around potential partnership internally
• Engaging with the individuals running the Philippi GrowZone, finding their issues and discussing steps forward
• Visiting a garden in Khayelitsha to discuss status and the best way forward
• Engaging in the sales process with a very difficult customer
• Designing and posting a job ad (if anyone knows a qualified business coach please send them my way)
• Reviewing a proposal for a deal with a very well known brand … I’m not celebrating anything until the ink is dry and money is in the bank account, of course
• Systems design … well, we know the system, but documenting it all so we can scale up

Yeah, I think that’s most of the big stuff. That I can remember right now at least. I feel like I’ve had a semi-productive week, which is always a good feeling. Changing strategy and building a business from the ground up is hard work, but very rewarding. The next big reward will be to see the systems put in place actually making a big difference on the ground because ultimately that’s all that matters. You can feel busy and actually be busy all day long and never actually make anything happen. That’s what’s so cool about building a business or taking a product from concept to reality (I am still in love with the Exit41 call center app, I must say…).

This was also a bit of a rest week socially … tried to take it easy and do yoga two nights and not go too crazy on the work side, either. Tuesday evening I went over to my boss’ house after returning from the Cape Flats. We had some tea, then three of us and two dogs went for a 90-minute hike or so on the back side of Table Mountain. The natural beauty is breathtaking and, of course, I can’t help but think how I don’t actually spend enough time out there enjoying nature. There’s never enough time to do what you want to do. For example, part of me is quite jealous of all the guys at my gym who are coaching the basics classes. I really like showing people how to improve their technique (and I haven’t even been trained in how to coach). But I just do not have the time to dedicate to doing it properly, and I don’t want to over-commit myself. See, people, I am learning … slowly!

To the degree that I have 5 extra hours a week I’d rather use it on work. I just would; I know that’s where my real passion and comparative advantage is. That might be one key to happiness, or at least it has been a pattern in my life: if you don’t truly love your work you’re missing out. We’re all afraid of different things, and in some cases might even feel trapped by a certain lifestyle or family commitments or whatnot, but this I know: life is short. Too short not to love what you’re doing 8+ hours a day.

Wednesday evening I drove out to Somerset West and had dinner at Waterkloof with Angy who I met at last Saturday’s competition. She’s South African but has been living in the States since she was 15, and is currently in L.A. We had a really lovely time; great food, great view, some good wine, and a lot of similar experiences in work, life, CrossFit …

Tonight’s yoga set started with a “warmup” of 5 minutes a side in warrior pose, and actually managed to get more difficult from there. I mention this because my dinner with Angy last night also reminded me of the journey of self-discovery (of which kundalini yoga can be a powerful tool, if you let it). Once your eyes begin to open, once you begin to start down that path things become very, very interesting.

Well, we do live in interesting times, although I don’t feel like I have much of anything interesting to say at the moment. But then again after writing about the Fittest in Cape Town competition, and since I can’t go into details about our business in a public forum, c’est la vie. If every day were like FiCT I would certainly die of exhaustion and overstimulation!

• “Does that mean you’re a professional athlete?” – Adin (upon hearing I won money in the competition)
• “Never underestimate what you are capable of.” – Neil
• “That’s beautiful.” – Peter (having read a Facebook message I showed him)
• “I bet you can run circles around those men back there.” – Rob
• “He’s not my son. He’s older than I am.” – Ellie
• “Women!” “Well you guys were just going off earlier about how the only thing that’s important is the appearance of the woman, so I don’t see how you have any credibility whatsoever in this conversation.” “No, I think you’re right.” – Max, Ellie, Max
• “Hey man, I can play politics with the best of ‘em. Let’s go.” – Ellie

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