This is the fundamental question, isn’t it? How much of ourselves do we reveal ? We’re conditioned from a very early age to conform. As many of you who know me know, I don’t like to appear vulnerable. I don’t like to be seen to fail, and so I only really like to attempt things publicly that I know I’m going to be decent at.
What might be more surprising, along the lines of ‘I really do care what you all think’ is that I actually really like vulnerability in others. I find it quite endearing. Full-on weakness, not so much, vulnerability yes. Sometimes an inflection point can be traced back to a moment where someone accidentally revealed more than they might have meant to, and in that moment there was a more fundamental insight into that person than the defences we put up generally allow. Well, life sure is interesting isn’t it?
Quick one because I am needing to be on the road in 5 hours (!). Sorry, Jobst.
CrAzY busy week. Trained twice in the morning because I had stuff happening in the evening. On only one of the days this week did I do anything that really impressed me, and that was a 1 rep max lift on strict overhead press. This girl Liezl had set a gym record of 45kgs in the class before me. My previous max was 40 and the last time I tried this I could barely do 40 and failed miserably at 42. So I was thinking I’d be happy to get 41 or 42. Lifted 40, it felt easy, so I added a few more, and struggled through lifting 43 but got it up. So I was quite happy. Then just for fun, and even though I thought I’d fail, I put on those last 2 kgs and gave it a try.
Now here I should really thank Roland, who taught me that the trick on press is not to give up when you reach the sticking point and just keep on pushing. Somehow I managed to push my way through this one and actually got it all the way up even though it took about 10 seconds! I was particularly proud because I pushed myself through a “mental fail” when I got to the sticking point and thought I couldn’t do it.
Two new interns started this week. One, Tina, is from Germany and is a very cool girl who will be working on the fundraising side. Another, Yaseera, is a local: quite young but smart, ambitious, and a problem-solver. She will be helping on the HR side to help us find more interns. Very excited.
This was also our first week downstairs in the Hub because the upstairs offices are being renovated, which is very exciting. I’m really enjoying the vibe of working from the Hub and everyone together. Had a couple of good meetings with Greenpop, and a jumpstart with Uconomy. This one was a bit more hectic because we had to talk through economics & layaways & money multipliers. Not quite planting trees!
Dinner with Nick at Codfather in Camps Bay on Monday night was interesting. We talked through almost all aspects of the business, from the funding model to how investable are social enterprises in South Africa right now. He raised the point that my mother had raised in email earlier in the day which is that life as we know it in Cape Town is unsustainable. We’re living in a bubble. The quality of life is so good for the price it’s almost laughable actually. And every day we get into our cars happy as clams while the black domestics walk to our houses from the train station. And we get annoyed with the robot hawkers, and the car guards who want our R2 day after day. There are indeed aspects of life here I’m not a fan of, but you take the good with the bad. Come to think of it, vanilla and chocolate mix really well together as flavours if you are a good enough baker.
Tuesday night I took Tina to the screening of Short & Sweet, where they showed 9 short films. I enjoyed some a lot more than others. My favourite one was actually one with a huge number of American brands tossed together into a cartoon with a gangster Ronald McDonald. It’s going to be weird to go back there in a couple of weeks. I’m excited and terrified all at the same time.
Wednesday went to see a screening of 1 Giant Leap with a bunch of friends. This movie would have been much more insightful for me a year ago. At this point it didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know, but it was beautiful to see it all together, and with some beautiful music (speaking of which, missed Black Bear’s beautiful music at &Union after but met some really interesting people!).
Life is amazing, if we just actually notice. Frustrating as it may be at times: failing, picking ourselves back up again, waiting, and waiting, and waiting some more for things outside our reach to happen, and the thrill of victory at accomplishing things we thought impossible. The human condition is fragile and beautiful, but ultimately none of this really matters. We all do what we’ve always done, which is to struggle along as pack animals and try and do our piece to contribute and hope that others like us because we so desperately need that validation. Especially the ones who most look like they don’t.
Booked my tickets to LA. It’s really happening. Last year when I started CrossFit they played videos of people at the CrossFit Games from prior years. I used to look at them in awe. Now I’m one of them (Granted I wouldn’t have even made Regionals in the States, but whatever. Big fish. Small pond.).
• “My eyes? You’re complimenting my eyes now?” – Ellie
• “For once I actually like Facebook a lot.” – Chris
• “Well that’s the $10 million question, isn’t it?” – Nick
• “You gotta be who you are.” – Cathleen
• “If he thinks he is, he’s in denial.” – Sam
• “Because I’m a foreigner …. The rules don’t really apply to me.” “You’re right.” – Ellie, Jaco
• “That’s not actually new. That’s from last week.” – Ellie
• “What, is this heavy for you??” – Peter
• “I think I was the highlight, to be honest.” – Nathan
• “Push boundaries …” “Get hurt?” – Nathan, Ellie
• “You’re going to have to engage in some outrageous behaviour. Or I can invent some. But I somehow don’t think that will be necessary.” – Keith
• “People are actually quite dumb.” – Peter
• “Life is all about going for what you really really want to go for. All that really matters is that I go for my dream.” – Florian
• “What a waste if I don’t find out what I really really want? If I don’t do what I really really want?” – Florian
• “I’m talking less than 10 years here, unless people start to see some hope.” – Ellie
• “Look, I believe in purpose. I believe that things don’t happen by accident and that each person created was done so with a reason, a purpose, a destiny.” – Henry
• “Nobody cares about how much you’re suffering. They don’t buy suffering, they buy success.” – Peter
• “My relationship with Ellie is something fundamental.” – Peter
• “And for those around it’s not to judge. Just unconditional love.” – Philippa
• “It’s not about being selfish. It’s about being true to yourself.” – Justin
• “Texans are not Americans.” – Keith
• “You’re a good designer. I like your designs. I hate my phone. I want to smash it on the floor.” – Jeremy (maybe you had to be there)
• “Oh crap. You’re right, they must talk about us too, huh?” – Ellie
• “I think you’re obsessed …. With paleo!” – Mona
• ….. not even 5 minutes later: “I love my kitchen. Oh God I *am* obsessed!” – Ellie
• “Middle of July seems likely.” – Babett