A wonderful terrible week

So I wrote a bunch of stuff and decided it was all pretty boring and whiny so here’s a summary of what didn’t go so well in the last week:
• I got a cold or flu that gave me a fever and knocked me on my ass for 2 days (although this did lead to the story my boss has told incessantly ever since of how he came back from a meeting to find me lying on the couches in the company pajamas working)
• Because of my fever acupuncture was particularly horrible. The doctor stuck me with needles in my arms and neck to help with the fever and the ones in my right arm caused a very negative feeling. Eish.
• Knee tendonitis flared up again
• Yet another week in which I couldn’t do the CrossFit Open workout which hurt particularly much because this is one I would ordinarily be quite good at. Technically, I could have done this one but objectively the risk of exacerbating existing injuries was too high.
• Oh and the Flyers lost twice. They are the #2 seed in the east and are now down 3-2 vs the Sabres. Not. Good.

So I swallowed my pride and did what I should instead of what I wanted to, got my one lift to stay in the competition in, judged a couple people and practiced muscle-ups. Damn shame because I’m quite certain even on a bad day I would have had the #3 score in the region on this one. We’ll find out when I heal up and do it for real.

Essentially I’m bummed that I’m not back to 100% yet. That I can’t train is part of it but more fundamentally I don’t like being broken. I can’t wait for the day when I can actually run and jump around like normal, injury-free. I’ve also found my limit of patience; I was quite ok with this whole injury thing for the first two weeks but actually I was nearly in tears yesterday when I saw one of the girls in our gym after the workout. She was on the floor, exhausted, and I was just devastated. I actually had to go spend a few minutes alone before coming back to judge the next heat. Even at the market after, I am so glad one of our coaches was thoughtful enough to bring me some sausage to eat because I was feeling so down that I wouldn’t have eaten anything otherwise, although watching the boys chow through some serious sugar cheered me up a bit. I am not sure how they do it. I can’t take the stomach ache, but then again I also don’t have a sweet tooth.

I know it is ironic because there have been many more upsetting things when you look at it objectively that have happened to me in the last few months, and it’s not like this is Regionals I’m missing or anything. But I guess that’s how life is; sometimes the little things set you off and emotions are just brain chemicals anyway. Maybe I’m so busy always being calm and rational in serious situations that I finally reached a bit of a breaking point.

On a side note, if I had to pick a sectional workout to judge five times, it wouldn’t have been this one. There’s 100 minutes of my life I’m not getting back. It was fun the first 3 times … but by the third time on the same day I was quite bored of it. But I am finding that I’m loving coaching and judging. No real surprise there I suppose. My mother said it best once: I don’t like learning, I like knowing. I actually do like learning, but I love knowing. And it is nice to be a big fish in a small pond and even look past this year to the longer time horizon. Hey, a year ago I couldn’t do most of the things I can do now, or even 6 months ago. So it’s cool to think how much better I’ll be in a year because the learning curve is still rapid, and at a certain point you do hit a bit of a plateau but mine is far away still, considering the rate at which certain things are improving (or were…).

On a more positive note I lost a half a kilo in the last week and a half and I sincerely doubt it was muscle … we’ll call it a reduction of about .5-.75% bodyfat. A combination of not eating as much plus making some better food choices has helped. Knowing the secret doesn’t much matter if you don’t consistently practice it, and my body has stabilized at around 14-16% which is normal athlete range but in the interests of experimentation I want to see what happens if I drop down a bit more: will I gain some speed and get stronger at bodyweight exercises without losing strength.

At least I’m not burned out at this point, either at work or at the gym. I went to yoga this morning to cure myself feeling sorry for myself (it worked). So from tomorrow time to start doing some serious training at things I can do. Getting that muscle-up would do wonders to cheer me up, so there’s my new goal: get that muscle-up before my other injuries are 100% gone, or before my 1-year CrossFit anniversary (10 May). Nothing like a deadline to focus the mind!

And actually, this week was quite awesome! Significant progress at work; this place is going to look completely different a month from now than it does today. Super exciting. I better take some “before” pictures soon! On Thursday we had the formal launch of the accelerator. This is going to be my baby until we can find someone else to take it over and I can get back to my true love which is starting our own social enterprises (this time with real money for real staff!). But the accelerator is such a cool thing. I am not aware of any other incubators that do what we do which is a combination of consulting, fundraising, sales, and actual on the ground assistance. We have basically a 1:2 ratio of consulting hours to hours of literally assisting in the business. The two are so complementary when you think about it and the absolute genius of our system is that with social enterprise, the whole accelerator can be grant-funded. So that takes care of the problem of how to pay for it (er, well it will once the funds have been raised to pay for enough staff to get us running at full speed).

The other absolute genius is that when you think about it, a business is much better positioned after a year or so of operations (especially when put through the ringer of an incubation methodology that makes sure the market, product, operations, etc are all well-understood and well-planned) to go after capital. As an entrepreneur, writing a business plan is really only useful for the purposes of generating investment. For your own purposes of figuring out what to do, business modelling is all you really need to do, but after a year or so once you know your business and have figured out how to adjust your original concept and business model to the actual market realities, you can literally write a business plan in a weekend and it’s going to be a lot better than what you would have written a year earlier. Add to that a real track record, customer base, and positive trends (well, hopefully at least!!) and you are now on a much more solid footing to be negotiating for venture investment. So we all know all this (or at least it sounds quite logical), right? Sure, but here’s the missing link in my own mind until this week: with social enterprise, that first year or so of operations can literally be grant funded or funded with soft loans, if you play your cards right. And how cool is THAT? I mean I’d seen that upside when it came to our own businesses (i.e. the job I want to get back to) but it hadn’t occurred to me that it could apply more broadly.

So there are some benefits to social enterprise. On the flip side you see that it’s not as sexy as a charity (who wants to donate money to a solution that might be sustainable and where the owners do want to make some profits when you could donate your money to an orphanage), and it’s not as profitable as a purely for-profit enterprise. The secret is scale. A social enterprise on its own can’t easily get grant funding for that first year of operations. But at scale…. Well, without giving up our trade secrets, you get the idea.

I’m excited because it seems like this can really work, and we have the right kind of momentum (at last, the pieces are all starting to fall together). Boy it’s been a rocky road, and maybe I am more mentally beat down than I even admit to myself. But it’s time to get charging again … just, maybe, with a little more balance this time. I’m happy with my lifestyle at the moment and the balance I’ve found therein. But hey, we only learn lessons when we’re ready. It took me a while to learn a couple things in my own life, and it took us at work some long hard months of slogging through to learn some key lessons about core competencies, positive energy, and letting go of the shore. After all, one of the key lessons I’ve learned recently is that the energy you get out of a situation reflects the energy you put in (the traffic’s always the traffic, it’s how you respond to it that determines if you get road rage or not).

Thursday night was a Greenpop gig at the Assembly and that was awesome as a chance to hang out with Peter, hear Jeremy Loops (!! I am still just in awe of this guy), and support Greenpop. Right as I was leaving, in walks a friend I hadn’t seen in ages, who was looking for another friend I hadn’t seen in ages. So “I’m leaving now” turned into 2 ½ hours. But hey aside from the fact that the smoke and all the shouting did no wonders for my physical health … what an awesome time!

Friday was a public holiday, and started off with a massage (awesome) then I went to the gym to stretch and wound up staying for like 3 hours (how does that happen???). Funniest thing was watching one of our guys do a workout then immediately lie on the ground and watch the video recording he had taken of himself doing the workout. Very post-modern.

I later learned that there is such a thing as alcoholic ginger beer. That is very exciting, or will be in a few months. Heh. I took a group of people to a wine farm that had some good food and a fantastic view (and the Sauvignon Blanc wasn’t bad either. Yes, it took South Africa to teach me to appreciate white wine!!). So that was super fun.

Saturday started out just awful as I mentioned, but then the sausage and coffee at the market were amazing and I spent the rest of the day with a combination of boys from the gym. First we went to see a movie (Sucker Punch). Very entertaining. The dialog was terrible but the cinematography was great. And it had everything in it from scantily-clad hot women kicking ass to zombies (it’s hard to cheat the range of motion when zombies attack!), a train job, Vermont (apparently it’s quite sinister?), and Tekken. So that was a nice escape from reality in every sense of the word and I do always enjoy getting quality time with the boys.

Sunday, yoga followed by a freaky reiki experience. I had done something weird to my ankle yesterday walking (of all things) and I was quite worried as a new part of it was suddenly inflamed and ice, rest, etc. overnight did not help. So after about 8 or 10 minutes of reiki, it was not only apparently healed but the whole area of the leg felt like what it feels like when you put on one of these anti-inflammatory patches or gels: the whole area first felt really warm when she was doing her thing, then very cool after. Even weirder than that, though, because I’d never properly experienced reiki before but hey if you believe that’s more than half the battle, was that the woman who did it said that she hadn’t done reiki for a long time because when she did it she heard voices. When working on my ankle, someone named George had a message for me that “I could shave time but I must go more slowly in order to progress.” This meant nothing to her but obviously meant the world to me. And if that isn’t weird, I don’t know what is. Afterwards, I got a big dose of Sandbar with Roland (friends are the best when they can order your food for you!!). It’s his favourite place and it’s closing in a little over a week and I am quite upset …. The omelettes and cream cappuccinos are amazing.

This week also featured a great Skype call with a Babson classmate. I’m trying to cause some trouble. We’ll see how far I get. More info when I have it.

So overall I can’t complain. In the grand scheme of things, work is going better than it ever has, and hey my right leg may be a disaster but my upper body has never been so strong. I suppose I am also learning lessons about patience. I guess I’ll listen to George, whoever he is (or was).

• “Not that I’ve done it before. My friend told me.” – Jacques
• “You’re like a man when you’re sick!” – Max
• “Men never change. Ever.” – overheard while walking to work
• “Her tenacity scares me a little bit.” – Roland
• “Making it to the inner sanctum isn’t easy.” – Peter
• “Most men are boys.” – Sam
• “I’m like a grandfather clock without the grandfather.” – Dan
• “The fact that it’s a cult is a little disturbing.” – Dan
• “It’s cute that you can name your callouses after days of the week.” – Dan (not true, actually, only the places where the skin actually rips open)
• “For those who fight for it, life has a flavour the sheltered will never know.” – Wise man (Sucker Punch)

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