Music, wine, Greenpop, BeAfrica, and two cool cameos

What’s happened since the last time I posted? A lot, actually! Rest week ended, Nick Busink arrived from Switzerland, we finished the BeAfrica (formerly Love to Africa) jumpstart workshop, I knocked off a bunch of to-dos at work, went to a Greenpop plant day, attended three music shows, and got drunk off my ass. But more slowly…

The big things going on at work at the moment are following up from jumpstart workshops we’ve already started. The BeAfrica next steps are quite concrete and in areas where I can really help (market research and product design). The Greenpop team have been quite busy and two of the three are (or will soon be) in Zambia for a bit but things will get restarted there. But there are a lot of balls in the air, as usual: everything from trying to find an HR intern to help us source more interns to helping clear out the space for renovations to writing one-pagers for each of our social enterprises to working to get the U.S. non-profit set up. And that’s just off the top of my head. This is why I use basecamp.

It was kind of work-related but I have been working with Greenpop for a while now without ever having experienced a Greenpop plant day. So I told Lauren I’d hit up the next one they had on a weekend, and I did so on Saturday. I unfortunately wore white adidas pants because I assumed you couldn’t get THAT dirty planting trees. I didn’t figure on the horse manure. But this was a super fun day; a bit hectic because of more volunteers than expected but Lauren did a great job organizing the day and I now have a sense of that Greenpop ‘magic’ that I had only heard about.

This day featured a cameo appearance by Gareth Morgan who I know from a while back and with whom I’ve stayed in sporadic contact. But it was good to catch up again and hear what was new in his world (other than the anti-frakking lobbying that we’re all aware of): he’s now a whip in Parliament, and has an interest in coaching and personal development. So we’ll talk more when he’s back in town in August.

CrossFit-wise not much to report because rest week only ended yesterday. Last evening’s workout involved more muscle-up progressions (I was in a bit of a hurry so never made it to an actual attempt), and I’m feeling a bit out of shape that 3x 50 squats and 10 hang power cleans felt so difficult! Today my legs are a bit sore, and in this morning’s repeat of Regionals WOD 6 I managed to do it 21 seconds slower than my first attempt. Interesting difference though: last time the ground to overhead was way harder, this time I really got caught up on the toes to bar, couldn’t hold onto the bar (maybe because it was really cold!!), and had something like 5 or 6 missed reps. Still, a super fun workout and a good introduction to the sport for Justin.

AND, I am so glad to be back. I wrote Chris an email Sunday night to thank him for making me take a rest week because I haven’t felt this much energy and desire to train for a long time. It is true that I had never taken a rest week other than for illness, injury, or overtraining so to have done so now will enable me to go hard for 5 weeks, and I couldn’t be more excited.

The more hectic thing in a way is trying to sort out the team for the CrossFit Games: trying to put together the best team in the best manner possible, and all within the constraints of not having enough sponsorship money. But we’ll work it out.

So, on to the fun stuff! When I used to live in San Francisco I was quite into the local music scene: going to see private shows by bands like Cake and Third Eye Blind. Then in Boston, I didn’t really have any “ins” although I guess I was getting there by checking the jazz at the Plough & Stars on Sunday nights. South Africa’s music scene is, like a lot of other things South African, quite insular. There are some amazing bands here that no one in America has heard of, and the local talent is also quite good. Actually amazingly so. On the lineup for the past few days:
• Friday: Jeremy Loops & co at Knoxville. Of course I’m a fan of his after finally hearing him play at the Hub a few months back, but hey just because your friends have a band doesn’t actually mean they are good. Jeremy happens to be very good. Yes, his greatest hits get a bit repetitive but actually I’m most enjoying hearing the new stuff he is working on. One-trick ponies are only interesting for so long, in the same way that one-dimensional people are only interesting for so long.
• Saturday: Two Minute Puzzle CD launch. These guys I missed hearing at Assembly a few weeks back because I got there so late, and then on Saturday I had started drinking at 2pm (ran into a friend at the Biscuit Mill and between the wine stand and the beer stand I think I was already drunk by 4pm…) so in all honesty I still haven’t heard these guys properly but they seem to be quite good.
• Monday: Louise Day and Ard Matthews at Studio 7. Studio 7 is a very cool venue: it’s actually someone’s house in Sea Point (and damned if it isn’t literally right next door to the house of someone else that I know!), and they do small private shows for 50 people max. I had heard Ard play at TEDxCapeTown and fell immediately in love. Louise I had not heard before but she was mesmerizing and I will definitely be hearing her again. Ard was, of course, amazing…. And since I’m a fan I can pass along that he is offering his latest album for free from his web site once it’s done, and fans can choose to donate to the degree they are capable. Apparently R20 is R8 more than he would have gotten per album sale from going with a record label. Sharks. So I’m all for the internet and fan power enabling artists to get more of the proceeds; we’ll just have to see how this model works!

So that was just the shows in the last few days. I was just thinking too about how cool that silent gig with Tonik and D-seven a few months back was. So I guess the moral of the story is, it’s good to know people and, as with all such things, once you’re in a network it’s easier to move around.

The laugh of the Studio 7 party is that while I may have been in South Africa for over a year now, there are still some parts of the culture that I am not tuned into at all. This guy Peter Grant was there, star flyhalf (whatever that is) for the local rugby team the Stormers. He was just cut from the Springboks (national rugby team) earlier in the day because he’s been injured this season or something so doesn’t have the strongest track record. So I guess he can watch World Cup from his couch with his beer and pizza (but that’s another story).

Anyway, the point of the matter is that he’s like the local sports equivalent of Tom Brady. Now trust you me, if Tom Brady walked into a room in Boston I would sure as heck pay attention. I wouldn’t have picked this guy out of a lineup (other than that he’s tall and does look like an athlete). But I was about to go home because I needed sleep when I was told that no no, I was the guest of honor (long story there) and I must meet the star of the Stormers.

Cape Town. I love it here. Now, time to hit up the chiropractor then go help move heavy objects around the office.

• “I don’t know if I want to meet the cult.” – Deon
• “These guys *are* CrossFit.” – Jobst
• “He said WHAT to you?” – Jobst
• “It’s true. Not that I’m a good friend. But that I’m going to kill him.” – Ellie
• “I eat paleo, not drink.” – Hermann
• “Why are we talking about CrossFit?” “What would you rather talk about?” “Nothing hey.” – Mona, Ellie, Mona
• “Regular people shouldn’t be able to do that. Oh wait. Regular people can’t do that.” – Mo
• “A person must never be a follower.” – Mona
• “You may not want to put your head there.” – told to me at Greenpop plant day
• “If I accomplish one thing in Parliament it will be to get these sweets bags banned.” – Gareth
• “There’s a line between showing off and being stupid. And I almost just crossed it.” – Ellie (note: later in the day, I jumped way the hell over it)
• “It looks comprehensively extreme.” – Rob
• “You were just telling us about the chenin. Before I got distracted by the biodiversity zone.” – Rob
• “You’re a total fitness freak. And we know about you.” – Rob
• “I believe that you can do anything that you decide you’re going to do.” – Jeremy
• “Don’t you think it’s kind of obvious?” “Ag, maybe.” – Ellie, Mona
• “What am I, the paleo police?” – Ellie
• “I *am* the paleo police!” – Ellie
• “it sounds like u may just enjoy bruising egos given the chance ;-)” – Kyle
• “Remember: safe bets don’t make us happy.” – Joe
• “We’ve decided that we’re not going to let anything get in our way.” – Peter
• “I’m the biggest baby on the planet.” – Ellie
• “It’s gonna get nasty.” – Grant
• “There’s gonna be wreckage in the streets.” – Jobst
• “I’m not going to stop eating pasta.” – Jeremy
• “That would make a good slogan for you guys. ‘CrossFit: we make dangerous drunks.’” – Jeremy (not like I didn’t fully deserve that comment or anything!)
• “Are doing muscle-ups with a broken hand a good idea?” – Kerry
• “I don’t believe that any higher power would ever authorize killing another human being for any reason whatsoever.” – Ard (hence the disdain of organised religion)
• “If I’m a Puma guy, is Reebok going to be ok with that?” – Peter
• “I thought he was a Peter Grant impersonator.” – Rob
• “How old is he?” “Who the fuck knows? He’s from Durban.” – Melissa, Rob
• “Yeah but now he knows I’m in a cult.” “I think he liked that.” – Ellie, Rob
• “Are you a sponsored athlete?” – Jobst
• “Get ready to die.” – Chester
• “Anyone could do it.” “The thing is not everybody does, right?” – Ellie, Peter
• “Talented people need coaches more than average people — because talented people have more to give, they also have more ways to fail.” – Marc
• “Don’t worry about me, I won’t be touching any.” – Nonhlanhla


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