The Battle Begins

Ever have a feeling like someone’s out to get you? Or that there’s way more going on than meets the eye? Actually, this is a bit of a challenge for me in general. For years I have been good at reading body language, without even trying.
More recently, I’ve gotten even better and, when I pay attention, I can often notice inconsistencies between what people say (or do) and what I think they actually want, or what drives them. Maybe it’s nothing but I’ve also had no fewer than three body practicioners of various sorts either tell me I have this talent or ask me, unprovoked, whether or not I have this talent in the last two months. For better or worse, I usually block it out or choose to ignore it, so sometimes I’m actually more naïve than an average person just because the information can be overwhelming, and confusing, and I often tend to doubt my instincts. I mean, I want to believe people when they say things because what right does my intuition have to tell me otherwise? Not to mention that my first impressions are often waaaaay off the mark (but that could be related I suppose).
The point I’m trying to make isn’t that I confuse the hell out of myself trying to piece together what I suspect about other peoples’ motivations. When I sit down and think about it and talk it out with others I can be very accurate. But I don’t usually do that. Maybe I should. People are confusing as all get-out and as much as I wish they’d just do what they said they would do, how and when they said they would do it, if that were the case we’d probably just be computers.
The point? Right. I did have one. The point is when I strongly feel that I know something, I’m pretty much always right. And this week, I felt like a certain someone was out to get a group of people that I care about. And nothing but nothing provokes me more than righteous indignation. Well, except maybe condescension. It may be the competitor in me but my mother will tell you I have not liked injustice or being condescended to from pretty much, birth.
Not going into the details here but suffice to say the claws are now out, and there is also nothing like a common enemy or goal to draw people together. And also, adversity shows you interesting sides of people you are getting to know. So far, what I’ve seen of lovely Hollie, Sarah, and Jon has made me like each of them even more. It’s quite cool when someone says or does something you wish you’d thought to say or do. Even cooler when this happens two days in a row. Go team!
Adding insult to injury, this even affected my sleep! I woke up at 2am last night and couldn’t get back to sleep. Now in a competition week when I’m busy trying to integrate a bunch of different things and rest, that is just NOT COOL.
Moving on…. Monday featured an early morning warning that I am messing with enough things physical and emotional that I should be ready for some upheavals. OK by me, I think some radical changes are in order. Monday also featured yet another fun run to the U.S. Embassy to give Uncle Sam $50 per document I needed notarised (seriously? Yes.), and a 2+ hour conference call in which I think I said three things. One of which was “I still haven’t heard an answer to the question I asked 20 minutes ago.”
When my genius little brother Cyrus was named Presidential Scholar back in 1997 or whenever it was, and we got to go to D.C. and meet all the politicians, I don’t remember too much of this except for a) not being allowed into the ceremony because there weren’t enough tickets and b) meeting with Bernie Sanders who was at the time Vermont Representative (he’s now a Senator). One of the other families asked him his opinion on what was at the time quiet a controversial property tax redistribution scheme in local Vermont politics. Why do I remember this random detail? Because he didn’t answer the question, and it wasn’t until I had left the room that I realised he hadn’t answered the question. He redirected. Since then I have paid close attention when I think people don’t want to answer tough questions, to see whether or not they actually answer the question or just evade it. And boy, there is nothing like 5 seconds of silence when you call someone out.
Not that I’m competitive or anything, right?
Compared to the work day, Monday’s acupuncture session was a pleasure. Even the worst physical pain was fine. Not so today, when all I wanted to do was have the needles out of me and be back at my computer planning out what to do next. See, the mind and body are so intricately connected.
Yesterday the main thing I accomplished was to plan a market research program for FoodTents. Other things are very much still in the planning phases, but I do love planning. Then in the evening I went down to Muizenberg to see this woman Emma who is, literally, amazing. She combines BodyTalk with muscle activation and in my first session she taught me to breathe properly. In the second session, she diagnosed that my right leg and left arm are dominant (I definitely noticed a huge problem with right arm being weaker on strict press), and freed by breathing even further. It’s crazy; I have been breathing from my chest as long as I can remember and, as a result, obviously not getting as much oxygen to my entire body as I should.
Another interesting thing is that I feel like my body, much as its human limitations do annoy me, is an amazing thing and it responds so quickly and so positively to changes and new stimuli. This is why I wish I’d discovered CrossFit 10 years ago: I could have been so much better than I’ll ever be. But it’s really all about being as good as I’m capable of, so to a certain degree I can regret what will never be but there’s no sense crying over spilt milk.
Speaking of spilt milk, my shin bruise from Saturday is healing nicely. Still looks pretty terrible, but hey it’s not going to hurt too much when I compete this weekend and that’s all that matters.
There’s something about crunch time. You know, the last 2 minutes of a [n American] football game where you have your set plays, yes, but you also know that you can move the ball all the way down the field. If you can beat the other team and the clock, and execute on your plan. That focus is beautiful. It also gives you the courage, drive, and adrenaline to do the things you wouldn’t otherwise be able to do. That’s one of the things I look forward to about this weekend: having fun, yes, competing and hopefully winning, also yes, but also having that great experience of focus and getting to watch other people let CrossFit and the competition push them to the edges of what they’re capable of, and maybe even further.
There’s nothing like a good fight.
As long as it’s played cleanly. Chris put it a bit more colourfully than this but there is no joy or honour in beating an opponent who isn’t at their best. And there is also no honour in beating an opponent if you cheat. 
  • “It’s going to be uncomfortable.” – Debbie
  • “What have you done now? Let me look!” – Jacques
  • “Well, there aren’t PIECES missing.” – Jon
  • “Other than the beneficiaries, the only people I really care about are those people on the battlefield next to me.” – Jacques
  • “It was beautiful. They have no idea the loss they have sustained.” – Peter
  • “I’ve been silent for over an hour. The people sitting around this table know how unusual that is.” – Ellie
  • “I know. That’s one of the things I like about you.” – Peter (I had just said the best way to get an effective Ellie is to make me really mad)
  • “You play rough.” – Nonhlanhla
  • “It’s the water.” – Jon (:P)
  • “U wanna deserve it all the way you know… ” – Chris (:P)
  • “I think the world’s too boring if you’re normal.” – Jeff
  • “To visualise where you will be WINNING !!!!!” – Andrew
  • “Are you feeling strong?” “What?” “Are you feeling strong?” “What?” “Are you feeling strong?” “What?” “Do you feel strong?” “No!” – Nathan & George (really, you had to be there …)

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