Things I forgot

Among other things, that doing too many of the same movement with no matter how light a weight, might make you just a little bit sore. Yowzers.
In all the excitement around Rocking the Daisies, I neglected to mention that Steve Jobs died and Sarah Palin decided not to run for President.
On the subject of Steve Jobs I am no fan of Apple as a big evil company. In terms of design they do a stunning job. Best in the business. Jobs himself may have been a bit of an abrasive personality. I won’t claim to know details but hey sometimes you have to be a bit of an ass to get stuff done. One of my bigger problems is that I’m not enough of an ass sometimes. Or a lot of the time, even. But look at what he brought us (or influenced bringing us): GUI operating systems. Computers that aren’t just ugly boxes. The iPod. The iPhone. Pixar. And more than one amazingly inspiring speech. He may have died young and he may have tread on quite a few toes to get there and I am avowedly not going to become part of the Apple cult if I can avoid it but there is no denying the impact that the man had, and I’m happy for Apple to exist if only to provide competition for the other guys out there.
One photo that passed around Facebook in the last week was one of Steve Jobs aside some starving African children and a caption that went something like: “One man died and the world mourns. One million die and no one gives a f*ck.” Well, yeah. That’s kind of how it goes hey: you change the world, people mourn. You don’t, they kind of don’t give a f*ck outside your immediate family and friends. Unfortunately many children growing up in Africa might be the next Steve Jobs if given the proper education and opportunity. But they won’t. Not in my lifetime at least, although I’ll do what small piece I can to try and change that, because, well hey it beats a corporate job.
Sarah Palin. Nutcase. I am ashamed that there is a certain segment of the American population that she appeals to. But hey Julius Malema appeals to a certain segment of the SA population as well. I wonder if she, like he, is smart enough actually to know what she’s doing. In any event the world is definitely better off without her as a potential President, although it might well be good for Obama if she won the nomination. I was explaining the polarisation of American politics caused by the dual party system and the primaries to our new guy at work on Friday. I never even got to gerrymandering. Well, there are messed up politics all over the world, but that’s a subject for another day.
Another crazy week at work, this time caused because I was essentially not doing anything all of last week except for the one document, and then I took two days off. There was also some consulting work with a hard deadline at the end of the week, and that took up a lot of time and focus: actually it all happened between discussing the deal on Monday, writing the SOW on Tuesday, and doing the work Wed-Fri.
Tons of small things in the week, but big things:
  • A visit out to the FoodTents GrowZone (former Mama Rosie site, now completely run by FoodTents, including a baby seedling nursery!)
  • Mid-month status reporting meetings with Wines with Heart and The Hub
  • Planning next steps around WWH market research
  • I learned a lesson on not being clear with expectations, causing a document that should have been done Thursday still not to be done
  • Trying to make the best use of a marketing intern who will only be around for two weeks (note to self: must also define minimum time periods for working with interns …. )

We are really getting things moving at a good clip. I love our new daily 8:30am meetings (or having these back, rather: we used to do them when I first started but stopped in early 2011). I do still need to take even more time to step back, plan, and strategise how best to apply my time and resources. But overall things are quite good, and it’s very exciting for me to see some of the new faces and hear about their progress. Good things are happening, in due time yes, but also finally. Although hey, you can’t appreciate the spring unless you’ve been through the winter.
The focus of CrossFit for the week was prepping for the upcoming team competition since all the events have now been announced. Although the movement standards keep changing: we practiced one workout where I had to do 100 pushups, and then the day after we practiced the movement standards changed to make the standard easier for women (you don’t have to push up in a straight line but can push up to knees first then raise the knees: WAY easier).
Oddly enough after the rest week my double-unders all of a sudden dramatically improved and I can now string a couple together in a row when I get the rhythm right. I was getting quite annoyed that I was stagnating here. It’s a simple thing but it’s not the sort of thing you can just muscle your way through. Continuing to work on that, and soon my overhead squat because as I was pointing out today, that my power snatch exceeds my overhead squat and by a significant margin means I have some work to do. But this is a good example of how sometimes relaxing things can make all the difference in the world.
What’s also quite cool is seeing how you can improve without practicing something: I did a workout with chest-to-bar pullups and as recently as 2 months ago if I exceeded about 10 in a workout I would often get quite tired, start having missed reps where my chest wouldn’t actually touch the bar, etc. In this workout I managed 30 in 7 minutes (alternated with thrusters: we did last year’s sectional workout 11.6). More to the point, not a single missed rep. So I was happy. Not so happy the next day when I couldn’t push press to save my life, and my handstand pushups were pathetic.
This week was the Commonwealth Games and Africa regional weightlifting champs, and Mona was competing. She finished third and second in her weight division, respectively. 77kg snatch and 105kg clean & jerk. Quite impressive if you ask me. I can’t even front squat 77kgs, let alone 105. Sheesh. Anyhow it was exciting to go watch her compete, and then she brought the Welsh team to our gym Saturday so we got to watch them lift and they got to watch my WOD with some amusement (I was doing squat cleans, rope climbs, and handstand pushups).
The rest of the weekend was quite chilled: I went apartment hunting. I think I’ve found a place I like, which I’ll talk about more once I’m sure I’m moving to it. What else did I do? Went grocery shopping, and stocked up on rehydration packs, various kinds of seeds, and athletic tape. After all the craziness of the week, and the Daisies last weekend I just did not want to see ANYONE at all, not even almost. So I stayed a hermit and slept, and it was awesome.
Sunday I met my team in Sea Point for first a 500m run that we did way too fast, then some pool work. One of the events from the upcoming competition is that the team must swim 200m (although not all team members must swim), then the team must perform 80 ‘in and outs’ where each one consists of a pair of people jumping in, submerging their heads in water, and climbing back out. I was getting a bit of a kick out of this because I swam about 40m, decided I was tired and was going to stop, then our team proceeded to practice jumping in and getting out over and over and over again. The other swimmers were looking at us like we were a bit crazy which, let’s face it, we kind of are.
Happily I was feeling a bit more social today so I met Roland for lunch and rugby at Sandbar, then Charlotte for coffee & hammocks at the Twelve Apostles.
Now I am busy moving files from my Dell to my new HP, that I have finally managed to get set up to my satisfaction.
Oh, speaking of satisfaction: I discovered that the root of my shoulder mobility issue is actually in my chest (pecs). So my elbow hurts because my shoulder is tight because my chest is tight. Go figure. I got some great drills for that although it’s painful as all get-out. I also went to see a woman this week who specialises in muscle activation. She discovered that some of my core muscles (I forget their names) were so tight that I was literally not breathing correctly. All my breathing was in my upper chest and not enough was into my stomach area. I could force myself to do it but since it was constricted unless I paid attention it wouldn’t happen. That is now, maybe not fixed, but significantly improved. Now THAT is my kind of physical therapy.
I am also now experimenting with intermittent fasting whereby I don’t eat until about 1 or 2pm every day and then try and finish all my eating within the next 8 hours. I’m still digging through the research on it, but as I’m trying to play with different sorts of eating patterns and tracking performance and how I look and feel, I’m giving this one a try. So far I feel quite good. Although it’s easy to mess it up a bit i.e. by not eating enough at your last meal of the day so that you feel hungry again. But practice makes perfect.
Not feeling particularly energetic today but that’s about par for the course these last few days. I’ll get some sleep and try and make the next blog post a bit more interesting.
  • “Being able to think on your feet and being prepared are two different things.” – Ellie
  • “Tactical and strategic are not synonyms.” – Jo
  • “I still can’t speak Afrikaans.” “Neither can they!” – Ellie & Jaco
  • “If you’ve got time to talk or smile you can be moving faster.” – Chris
  • “No WAY!” – Laila (I’m guessing she’d never seen a girl do chest-to-bar pullups before but I found this hilarious because I’m not used to incredulity in the middle of a workout!)
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