Coaching

I had no idea where half the places in my last blog post were until I checked the map, so I can’t expect the half of my oddly diverse reader base to. Seriously, I have some strange wallflowers out there. Some of them seem to come from that paleo chocolate cake recipe.

Anyway, here is a Google map I drew, so you can see in more detail. I even pinned some of the key places. And, for the record, here is part of the soundtrack, and the song that spurred the quote: “I think I’m in love. I’m just not sure with who!”

This was an abbreviated work week, obviously. On Wednesday we did yet another jumpstart workshop, then Thursday I had check-ins with BeAfrica, SeeSawDo, my HR intern, and desperately tried to catch up on email. That night was the unfortunately named Girl Geek Dinner (Geek Girl sounds so much better) … where I reconnected with some people and listened to an interesting [female] speaker talk about leadership. Friday we had a speaker from Tyred Furniture and Andy from icologie in to speak to us, in the first of our rejuvenated set of Friday speakers. Then I shared my eggs with Andy and we caught up for a bit before a bunch of us went into a multi-hour Hub meeting.

I must say that I left last night a bit down. I was just thinking about all the ways in which I am falling short of my goals for myself. There are things I wish I had done weeks ago and just because I’ve been busy with other things isn’t actually a good reason. I’ve been so busy taking care of all the small things that I’ve been leaving major things to the wayside, and that’s actually really just not cool. I did manage to book my LAX-BOS tickets and assemble my Buddy Lee jump rope last night though, it was really great to have a relaxing evening at home. Fridays had been my rest nights until all of a sudden they weren’t any more, and in any event tonight promises to be anything but quiet.

But, as usual, my failures have had to do with a lack of total commitment. It is true that I, like anyone, can do anything I decide to do. But I must actually decide, and commit to myself, because if you don’t fully commit, like if you believe you will fail, then you very well might.

The theme of this week for me was leadership and coaching. The main takeaway I had from the speech the other night is that what’s important isn’t so much your own ability to do, but your ability to inspire and lead others. I feel like I knew this quite well a few months ago but forgot it, or at least forgot to apply it more. It really isn’t about what you say, or how much you want to show off how smart or good you are or whatnot, but how you make the other person feel. Apparently people think the most interesting people are the ones who let them speak about themselves. So: again, presence and care.

The Friday meeting at work was quite interesting. I saw some sides of some co-workers that I hadn’t seen, and was by turns very impressed and very frustrated. Interesting, interesting, interesting. I’m certainly nowhere near a perfect leader but there is one thing that I’ve concluded recently and that is that a good leader acts like our CrossFit coach Jobst.

I reacted rather viscerally to this article from the CrossFit Games web site. To save you some time, the author argues (correctly) that the coaches should make sure that athletes going into the Regionals knew the movement standards. This guy A.J. Moore had a bunch of kettlebell swings called back on him during the mid-Atlantic Regionals, and as a result didn’t make it to the Games (the author’s conclusion was that this was his coach’s fault).

To me, that removes the level of personal responsibility a), and b) I think if you get to that point coaching has already failed. In our case, as team captain, I studied the team workouts for strategy, studied the movement standards, walked the team through the movement standards in practice and before the events, and checked all of their forms on the warmups. Did our coach tell me I needed to do that? No. But he was a good enough coach to teach me how to fish, rather than give me fish.

Now he and Chris also offered feedback on strategy for workouts, and they are more experienced than I am at this sort of thing so their feedback was absolutely useful but my point is that had both of them been hit by a bus, I would have known what to do because I was a) conscientious and b) prepared.

In order for this equation to work, however, you need willing participants on both sides. That latter bit cannot be over-emphasised either. The best leader in the world can’t work with someone who doesn’t want to be led.

Now, speaking of coaching, I’m psyched to be going into my third team workout in as many training sessions. Chris is doing a great job preparing our team for the Games, and continues to impress me as a coach. He always seems to give me exactly what I need (well, usually), and always with a smile on his face. Now there’s another good leader. But anyway upcoming is muscle-up practice followed by a team workout, then lunch & some work, and then Chris and I head out to Stellenbosch for a track workout. He’s going to sprint. I’m planning on doing Helen. We’ll see how that goes for me. 😉

I’m still feeling very tired from that trail race the other day. Sorry, central nervous system, but clearly this is good for you.

This trip to America is going to be jam-packed! I’m somewhere between excited, apprehensive, and terrified. It should be an interesting trip, and what happens in the next two weeks before I go should also be interesting. There is a lot that I need to get done! But for now, off to team practice.

• “We need Greenpop to show us how to plant plants? Seriously?” – Ellie
• “Well then don’t turn around.” – Ellie
• “I’m sending all good wishes for all in your life. It seems you are on a wonderful, authentic path, utterly true to yourself. It’s wonderful to witness.” – Elizabeth
• “It will fricking eat you alive. That’s a fact.” – Ralf
• “That is a secret that you shouldn’t know!” – Ray
• “Become so wrapped up in something that you forget to be afraid.” – Lady Bird Johnson (pulled from the Heart Capital fishbowl)
• “There is no balance. It’s a fallacy. You make choices; you make priorities.” – Mardia
• “What you focus on you make happen. So what’s your focus?” – Andy
• “Imperfection comes in various forms. Some are deal-breakers.” – Ellie
• “It’s not that you come across as intimidating it’s that you make sure that people understand that you *are* intimidating.” – Jaco
• “You have no idea how excited I am to see Laa-Laa! …. I can’t believe I just said that out loud.” – Ellie

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