Buttercup Princess

I’ve been reading a book called On Being Certain that is making me much more comfortable with uncertainty. The blurb I was reading the other night talked about Charles Darwin, and how he had essentially concluded that it was impossible to conclude one way or the other if there was such a thing as God. Makes a lot of sense, actually. Our brains are wired to see patterns, and so we see patterns where none exist. Our brains want there to be an answer, or an explanation for things, so we assign labels to thinks that maybe just are.
Bellinda, in the middle of manhandling me early Friday morning (speaking of which, the words you most do not want to hear from your masseuse? “You’re quite f*cked, actually. Sorry.”), gave me an insight into one of my gym mates that was quite welcome. Sometimes it is that outside perspective to give us a new insight, or remind us of something that we already knew.
The end of last week was quite a bit much like that: discussing things we kind of already knew but now need to take to the next step of committing to paper and to plan. In quite a couple areas actually: some market research questionnaires that are near completion, some research objectives, a long call it tactical take on how to build the Hub as a business, some HR stuff … it’s cool that things we’ve been working on are getting to the point where the deliverables are almost done to my satisfaction. Completion is a nice feeling.
Another thing that’s a nice feeling is rest. This next week coming up is a rest week: I train Monday and take the rest of the week off (60km walk Thursday/Friday I am counting as active rest). I need it. My body is tight, and sore, and I’m mentally and physically too tired to go all out in my CrossFit workouts. So the scheduled rest cycle is well timed. This is how I know I need a rest week: when I actually WANT to take a rest week, and am actively looking forward to it. Did manage to have some good fun last week though: Chris gave me a good tip on my cleans (my knee was feeling tender so I was doing power cleans), and after one of his adjustments my 53kg bar flew up so high it nearly hit me in the chin! I am actually quite enjoying all the Olympic lifting, I just wish I had more time to practice it. Friday was also quite cool, when I managed a bodyweight front squat, not an insignificant accomplishment when I realise that my lower back was insanely sore from repetitive power cleans a few days before.
Re-measured my body fat and it’s about the same as it was a few months back, which means I’m at a pretty decent equilibrium. Considering that I essentially eat as much as I want so long as it’s paleo, that’s not too bad. Next up is to try and see what happens to performance if I can drop it a little bit.
I have also managed some huge improvement in my elbows and shoulder from the pressure point work I’ve been doing with the yellow and black balls of pain.
This weekend was FutureFit, and a whole bunch of parties on Saturday night. I was just saying the other day how you get out of FutureFit what you put into it, and maybe I didn’t put as much into it this time for some reason. The subjects were personal branding, social media, and then we went through the fun exercise of doing a vision board. I feel in some ways like I didn’t learn as much as I had in the other two blocks but there were a couple thought-provoking things.
Firstly, the concept that we are the aggregate of the 7 people closest to us. Not sure I necessarily believe in that as such, but it is true I think that we tend to resemble the people we spend time with. I did actually think of the 7 people I spend the most time with or I feel the closest to, and am now thinking about whether or not those are the right people. Do they influence me in a good way? Is their energy a positive energy or a draining energy?
I was reminded of the recurring theme that emotions are neither good nor bad but exist merely to allow us to have some insights into what is going on in our subconscious. I was recently angry about something and was saying how I wanted just to embrace that anger and let it burn out because I felt that anger was an appropriate feeling to be having. I guess this is healthy.
My sense of myself is that I am very genuine in that what you see is what you get. I don’t put on a different face at work or at the gym or when out to dinner with my friends. Yes there are things I hide and things I’m insecure about and the little white lies I tell. But what is not actually clear to me is if people perceive me as I perceive myself. You never know just how you look through other people’s eyes. So I want to think about a way to ask, and find out. And maybe I’ll find that for some people, what I aspire to be in my own head they already see me as. Or the reverse. You just never know until you ask.
From the feedback I got in writing at the session, it looks like there is a pretty high consistency, which makes me happy. One of my favourite quotes was Elize, reading the back of my t-shirt (it said ‘Suck it up Buttercup’), saying that she thought of me that way, just having an attitude of ‘Well, ok, then, let’s get on with it.’ Not in a harsh way, just matter of fact. That’s a description I’m comfortable with. I would always rather be called diligent than smart, and pretty on the inside than pretty on the outside. Not that I don’t also want to be called smart and pretty, my ego needs stroking just like everyone else.
Come to think of it, we’re all insecure. Every single damn one of us. It’s just a question of to what degree, in what area(s), and how we go about hiding it.
That’s why I not-so-secretly love my nickname. Although some of the baggage that comes along with it … well, hell, it is what it is. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
Another thing I more completely realised this weekend was the degree to which I really do like people. Often my instinct at work is to take a meeting offline and go work on something myself and bring it back to the group when it’s 80% done and ready for review. But actually, I do my best work when in a group trying to solve a problem, or talk through an issue, or work on something together. We had to write up a description of ourselves for an exercise and this is what I came up with: ‘I really really like people, and experiences, and I dislike mediocrity and boredom. I tackle big challenges and I get stuff done, with people, and have fun at the same time.’
It’s strange because I actually started it by writing about what I do, but then I realised it was actually all about how I feel. Reminds me of the thing I shared with the group in the first session, where we were meant to say something that no one knew about is that would surprise the group and mine was that I really did care what other people thought.
Choices. What else is life, right? With whom do we spend our time? What do we put in our bodies? Do we adore what we do? How do we actually spend our time? Is it the best use of our short time on earth that it can be?
I am now going to sleep. I only got 6 hours of sleep last night, which is not enough. The evening started with a braai up at Babett’s (I went off paleo but man the malva pudding was good….), had a great time and met some super cool people. Afterwards I went down to the Harley Davidson Club of Cape Town to watch a Johnny Cash tribute concert. This featured a band called Taxi Violence who I had heard of but had not heard and oh my goodness. It reminds me of the time I first heard Jeremy Loops play when I think my jaw hit the floor and had to be retrieved about 10 minutes later. I was standing there in this club literally spellbound. I will definitely be hearing those guys again. The show finished about 12:30am, at which point I headed over to the Swing Royale party which was rocking amazingly well and the swing band was just great. I can’t wait for the next one, when hopefully I can attend all evening long. But long story short, I got insufficient sleep and, after all, for a rest week to have its intended effect I must actually rest.
·         “You don’t party on wine because it’s a hell of a hangover.” – Johan (hmmmm….)
·         “Both.” – Jobst
·         “I think my pronunciation is changing.” “To be more South African?” “Yes.” “Good.” “What? Did you just say ‘good??’!!!” – Ellie & Nathan
·         “Nothing in life is ever achievable if we are scared to step out of our cradle and take that first step.” – Ronnie
·         “I’m delighted that the future is in your hands.” – Michelle
·         “You don’t have butter or coconut oil? What DO you have?” – Ellie
·         “There goes my plan.” – Jeremy
·         “There’s more to be accomplished hunting in a pack.” – Gary

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