Yet another new beginning

Things have felt very unsettled recently. There are a lot of reasons for this, some of which have roots in circumstance, and, at the risk of sounding like a quack, some of which are just related to the state of the universe and the world right now. These are unsettled times. I was relaying a story the other day about how I was telling my chiropractor that I healed quickly and he said something along the lines of “and that statement right there means that you will.” Placebo effect, or something greater? At some point you must just have faith I suppose. Also, time heals all wounds. But there was a time when I would have dismissed such a statement as unscientific, Eastern quackery. I guess people change.

So my job is changing, for now … I put out an estimate yesterday for how long I think it will be before I get my old job back, and we’ll see how accurate I am (the guess was 18 months). It seems like the only constant we’ve had since about October or so is change, and this is a big one. The current plan is to spin out our existing in-house social enterprises to entrepreneurs-in-residence (we’ll see how this goes in practice), and my role will then change to running the incubator/accelerator/business consultancy. Which actually means, right now, putting theory into practice because this is a different method of incubation from the one that was developed before my time. I would say that we have probably 80-90% of the pieces in place, but figuring out how it’s all actually going to work in reality is, in a word, a lot of work. But at least I’ll have the time since I’ll be freeing up from operations. Once the incubator is running well and there is enough money coming in the door to provide venture capital to our own enterprises, that’s when I’ll get my old job back.

I’ll admit I’ve had a bit of writers’ block in the last week, and there are excuses I can make for that due to the circumstances, but that’s really just excuses. My friend I had over for dinner the other night suggested that perhaps my mind and body were fighting back a little bit and trying to insist that I not push for 100% focus all the time. So maybe my mind was a bit burned out (or overtrained!) and this has been a forced rest period but I think I’m done resting now.

So aside from the excitement of change, we did get confirmation of a big deal coming through (although no money in the bank yet … apparently Monday is the day), and some inside information that another really big deal is being planned but that one we won’t know for sure on until May or June. Patience is a virtue, right? But time is good, it gives time to put every positive effort into place to make sure we get what we want.

Another topic that’s been running through my head and conversations in the last week has been that of vegetarianism. It seems to be a recurring theme in many spiritual practices around the world to give up eating flesh in order to get closer to enlightenment. There’s a lot of material on this … eating meat lowers your vibration, and you take on the negative energy of the animal as it was killed, and, and, well the list goes on. Ultimately, the argument seems to be that eating meat means you are a slave to your ego or some aspect of your earthly self that likes eating meat (or in the case of me, NEEDS to eat meat if I am supposed to reach peak athletic performance). So, yes, I get all this but what I don’t understand is the logical rationale behind why one must purposefully harm (or, to put it more mildly, not optimize) our physical bodies in order to grow our spiritual ones. Why isn’t a balance of mind, body, and spirit what we are striving for? It’s what I strive for, at least, and I don’t particularly care for the idea of saying that I care more about my spiritual growth than my physical health. Also, the dogma bothers me because all dogmas bother me. So what I suppose I must do is find a real guru (shame I didn’t ask Gurmukh about this when I saw her) and ask because it could actually just be one of those religious things that is handed down from time immemorial and no one really questions it because it passes the sniff test but when you dig a little deeper it doesn’t make sense. At least, it doesn’t make sense to me.

Speaking of my physical body, it’s getting stronger. We did weighted strict pullups this week and the last time I tried a strict pullup it was ridiculously hectic so I didn’t want to try doing another one …. Until I was forced to. And guess what? It was easy! Not so easy with 5kgs between my legs and I feel like I would have had a good chance at 7.5kgs but my right shoulder started to hurt so I decided discretion was the better part of valour. Maybe I can credit the band-assisted strict pullup sets I’ve been doing weekly after class, or just greater strength in general.

While my right knee has been a bit injured I’ve been practicing pistols (one-legged squats) and I think I’ve finally gotten it down … on the uninjured leg. So once the injury heals up we can see how I’m doing on both legs. But that’s quite cool; I couldn’t really do pistols a week ago (of course I hadn’t tried in goodness knows how long, but still). Much improved technique on split jerks … I got the weight up to something challenging and did about 15 reps there because I wasn’t happy with my technique. No point in increasing the weight more if your form will just deteriorate worse, so this is one area where you have to leave your ego at the door … I had the lowest weight among the women in the advanced class for both hang snatch & jerk. But I suspect I made more progress on perfecting my form. Or that’s just my ego talking.

Saturday’s workout (part of the Throwdown Series) was a super fun one:
• 750m row
• 21 deadlifts @70kgs (155 lbs)
• 30 ring pushups
• 15 deadlifts
• 20 ring pushups
• 9 deadlifts
• 10 ring pushups
• 750m row
A ring pushup is where your feet are on a box and your hands are in rings (like gymnastic rings), and you lower yourself until your shoulder touches the ring, then push up until your arms are fully locked out, with your palms facing each other. I finished in 15:28, and I must say it didn’t even feel that long but then again 6 minutes of it or so was the rowing. I paced myself well; maybe too well in fact, I probably could have shaved 20 or 30 seconds off if I had really been pushing it but I was concerned because the last time we did ring pushups I was able to do a total of about 10 before complete muscle failure, and Chris had warned us to make sure we broke maybe 3-4 reps from failure just to make sure we didn’t wind up spending a ton of time walking around waiting for muscles to recover. This time I felt super strong and actually only the first round was really challenging.

Afterwards I wound up spending another 2+ hours at the gym between doing my band-assisted strict pullups, ring dip negatives, and then right when I was about to leave Chris was starting his workout which involved flipping a huge tire and doing rope climbs. So I went downstairs on a bit of a dare to see if I could flip the tire (the answer, yes), and then he handed me the stopwatch and so Grant videoed him and the two of us sat there providing a running commentary on his rope climbs. So afterwards we each felt the need to climb the rope once just to demonstrate how we could do it better than he was (more true in Grant’s case than mine) so he punished us by making us do 2-3-4-5 rope climbs and tire flips. So I wound up climbing that rope 14 times. After ascent #11 my palm ripped open and I was going to stop but the boys told me to suck it up. After ascent #13 my right index finger ripped open. Damn I have soft hands! Plus I didn’t have my rope climbing socks so I rubbed off a bunch of skin on my right ankle but that’s ok actually because my favourite scar was fading a bit. I was also happy because usually my grip goes after about 8 rope climbs, so I was really happy to get to 14 without severe grip problems. Apparently, this is what I do for fun on Saturdays.

Now I just hope my hands can heal properly for next Saturday’s workout which rumor has it will include wall balls (uggg! Especially with my knee in this state!), box jumps, and chest-to-bar pullups. That should be interesting because I am not used to doing chest-to-bar pullups so I won’t be able to string them together. I’m anticipating a bruised sternum. 11 weeks to go until the Regionals, and 8 of the 9 weeks leading up to it are a CCF-sponsored paleo challenge. This should be interesting. I have to say that I have been feeling pretty great almost two weeks into my self-imposed paleo challenge. Not drinking and sleeping a lot seem to suit me; imagine that! In a way I’m actually quite annoyed with myself for not being more serious about CrossFit earlier, in the same way that I’m annoyed that I didn’t discover this stuff when I was 24. But there’s no sense crying over spilt milk, it’s really all about how much better I can get from here.

Today should be more [conventionally] fun as it involves chestnut foraging, browsing a bookstore, and dinner at my favourite restaurant in Kalk Bay. And maybe a couple hours of work, because otherwise I wouldn’t be me, would I?

The photos this week? Three boys and one 136kg tire (that one explains itself), pics from a Hub event we had at Two Oceans Aquarium, including free diving by a mermaid, and you can never have too many pictures of Devils Peak.

• “More than CrossFit? Whoa, that’s full on!!” – Jeff
• “You come all the way across the big waters to tell the local yuppies about Jack Parow. THAT’s impressive. Or you’ve just been hanging out with Jaco too much.” – Marc
• “It’s like a sport. You have rugby, cricket, and brandy & Coke.” – Jacques
• “Is there a CrossFit addicts anonymous?” “If not, there should be!” – Ellie, Jeff
• “If you don’t have some scars, you’re not doing it right.” – Chris

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