Helen, Fran, and Diesel Vanilla

Three days, two benchmark workouts, four bands, and some knuckling down at work.

Saturday morning’s team workout of rope climbs and tyre flips (and rolls, and jumps….) was super fun. It was good to see that I can climb the rope again with my ankle, although I need to work on a different foot lock because the one I am using now is way slower than another one but I slip when I try the other one. After this workout I felt like I looked like a video game character from Tekken or some such between the Reebok outfit, the diamond knee socks (for the rope climbs), and the pink tape around my wrists. I had a lot of people staring at me at the Biscuit Mill, I can say that much.

Helen was a lot harder than I anticipated. Helen is 3 rounds for time of 400m run, 21 kettlebell swings, 12 pullups. I’ve been running 400s a lot recently and easily keeping them to about 1:45-2 minutes in one of these workouts, so I figured something about 10 minutes should be do-able. Not quite. Finished in 11:35. Chris had given me the advice to go hard on the runs because most people feel they left something on the table at the end of this workout. All I can say is, at the end of this workout I did not feel that I left anything on the table. Except maybe on getting up to the pullup bar, which is a bit hectic at that venue. But hey, it was also my third workout in 24 hours, but I’m still not entirely sure how it took so damn long. Oh, well, next time.

Fran, last night, did not go so well. At all. 8:38 for 21-15-9 thrusters @29kg and pullups. My judge was quite strict with the range of motion on the pullups, and he called back a lot of reps that I would have thought were ok. But that doesn’t matter and it’s actually a good thing because you can’t actually tell what’s going to happen in a competition standards-wise, first, and second I should probably video my pullups because maybe I don’t actually have a good sense of full ROM which would be a good thing to catch now. What is not so good was that a) I lost it mentally and stopped going all out and b) I ripped my hand open with two reps to go, and it’s a good one too. But at least I now know what to do … straight to the salt.

I’ll get another shot at her during my level 1 certification in a month. Quite looking forward to that, and to the quality of training I know we’ll get in the States. There is a level 1 cert here in Joburg in September but I wanted to learn at the epicentre of CrossFit, which is the USA. It will be cool to learn not just what proper form is, but how to correct errors. I find that I really like coaching and judging and leading so it will be quite cool to build up my skills in that area.

Indian summer is when you get a week of summer weather into autumn. I am not sure what you would call the weather we have now, which is a week of spring-like weather in mid-winter. It’s been in the low-to-mid 20s, and Saturday was properly hot (or so it felt at the time). Nice to get a bit of warmer weather before the massive shock to the system that is going to be the Los Angeles summer! Even though I know it’s not here to last it feels just great. Mona and I had outdoor lunch and coffee on Sunday which felt amazing (as did some fun shopping and a much-needed catch-up!).

But Saturday after Helen and stopping by work to let in the construction crew, I took a nap (!!) then headed out to check the bands at the new Zula. New Zula … not like the old Zula. This is a bar on Long Street where I spent most of World Cup, outside on the balcony chilling. New Zula is much more of a proper concert venue with an upstairs and downstairs stage, and three separate bar areas (in addition to the two bars by the stages). Good stuff, actually: a little rough around the edges at this point but I think the acoustics are quite good. Saw Wolf Town (one of the guys from the gym’s sister is the lead singer), and then a little bit of Holiday Murray, before heading over to Mercury to join up with Jaco & his crew for a bit of birthday celebration at a dubstep show. I had promised Jaco that I would drink with him for his birthday so I did. Not enough that I felt much of anything, but enough that I felt poisoned the next day. … and THAT is my problem with drinking. Either you don’t drink enough and have poisoned yourself for nothing, or you drink too much and wind up making an ass of yourself. Finding that happy medium is actually quite tough.

I was meant to run a trail race Sunday morning but my knee was feeling tender Saturday night and when I woke up Sunday also so, so I bailed and got more sleep. All in all, a good choice because I would have wanted to race and it would not have been good for my knee or my ankle. Shame to have to choose because I love the Trail Series … but coach is right.

That evening I went to a very small show by Diesel Vanilla at the house of some music producers in Vredehoek. Apparently they have some stuff on YouTube but I couldn’t find it easily. Beautiful, though, stunningly beautiful. Also it was quite cool the people that you meet at such events, I met a chef and his girlfriend, who recognized me from Mercury the night before. Apparently I have good hair. I thought it was quite cool to meet people who have music taste that runs the gamut from dubstep to Diesel Vanilla. But wow. I would listen to them again, any time.

Monday night after Fran was dinner with Ray. The most amusing thing was when I walked in and he said he’d made pasta, and was that all right. I thought he was joking until I realised he wasn’t (because that’s exactly the sort of joke that would be really funny). Fun time, though, talking mostly CrossFit and rugby. And no, I didn’t eat any pasta.

There is a lot of disruption at work right now with construction of a new boardroom going on downstairs. The noise and the dust are not really a lot of fun. But I made great progress yesterday and this morning at something that I had been not making the time to do, and I feel really good about that. Just taking the time to do the important things is so crucial, and even as I write this I am thinking of all the other things I still need to do. Which I’m going to get to just now, after lunch.

• “His email just said: ‘The okes are stupid!’” – Chris (oke is South African slang, basically means guy)
• “You’re American! All American girls have tattoos!” – the Dutch Girl
• “Paddy’s worried about the roof.” – Rob
• “AND she’s smart.” – Jacques
• “A hungry CrossFit man is not like a normal man.” – Ellie
• “What exactly do you think is going to happen in LA?” “……” “Uh-HUH.” – Ellie & Mona
• “A person must just learn not to feel sorry for themselves.” – Mona
• “What did you say? You’re going for your nails? Oh no, wait …. acupuncture!” – Mona
• “‎… If you get a chance, take it!!” – Pierre
• “So the point of this story is that we still have that jail.” – Peter
• “I mean it’s not like we run guns for some warlord, neither of us… ;)” – Chris
• “Right now you have to think of yourself as a professional athlete.” – Jobst
• “Oh, look, it’s bleeding again. Cool.” “… Exactly.” – Ellie, Jobst
• “It’s not like he’s Michael Jackson or anything.” – Ray


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