I’d rather die on my feet than live life on my knees

First time in my life I’ve owned pink shoes and had straight hair. The pink shoes I still have, the hair was temporary. Apparently I’m blonde when my hair is straight. How weird is that? I let the girls at work play with my hair, and it was a great amount of fun all around. I’ve always wanted to have straight hair, of course, and I think it actually looks the best at the gym in a ponytail. Of course, that makes sense. I am a tomboy after all.
This week I had my blood tested to make sure everything was normal. Apparently it was not only normal but ‘legend.’ Blood pressure was perfect, cholesterol also: good cholesterol almost equal to bad cholesterol (and I haven’t even been THAT strict lately). Psoas is healing: the issue has moved more to my back which gets very tight – so tight I literally cannot squat all the way unless I stretch my hamstrings first. Some days are better than others. A lot depends on how I sleep, I think.
Been getting back to training (3 times this week). I am feeling very out of cardio shape, but that will come back. I’m also getting just ridiculously sore. Adaptation. I’m not feeling entirely at home in my body at the moment, and my performance has been very inconsistent (I killed Wednesday’s workout but suffered terribly in Friday’s, for no apparently good reason). I’ve also been craving sweets which is unusual. I’m having some malva pudding on Sunday evening to celebrate the completion of what is sure to be a hectic workshop but going strict after that. Well, it beats craving alcohol, right? At least driving after eating chocolate slabs isn’t dangerous.
I am nearly finished one of my big tasks for the week. The other I started on yesterday but just wasn’t in the right mental space for it, so I stopped. I am so glad that marketing isn’t my sole activity because you really have to be in the right head space for it to get it right.
Speaking of head space, mine needs a spring cleaning. My friend Adin introduced me to the concept of ‘incompletions’ about a year ago. These are things that you know you should have done but that you haven’t done yet, and they take up processing space in your head. For me the best analogy is that they are like computer programs running in the background sucking up RAM and slowing everything down. It’s like if you don’t do your dishes but every time you walk through the kitchen it annoys you that you haven’t done so. That. I’m not going to bore the assembled masses with mine: if you’re involved in one, you know.
Friday was the middle day of Cape Town Entrepreneurship Week, and there was a whole day dedicated to social entrepreneurship. But … here’s the thing. It’s still all just talk. So we can sit here and be shocked by the stats: something like 30% of learners fail their matric exam (i.e. don’t get a high school diploma) and are therefore unemployable in the formal work force. The official unemployment rate is 25%, and 51% for the youth (not sure how the youth is defined). Unofficial unemployment rate is 34%. South Africa has the lowest understanding of math of any country on the continent of Africa, lower even than Congo which has been in civil war for the last 8 years. Think about THAT for a minute. I have a lot more to say about this, but not today and not in this format.
Quite a varied week: on Tuesday evening Reebok did their spring product launch at our gym, and I was one of the demo athletes. That was quite fun, and good/bad for the ego: from when I walked up the steps the Reebok crew knew me by name, and everyone was very interested to talk to the CrossFit athletes (big fish in a small pond), but it was also quite weird to see our home transformed like that, complete with a [n adult beverages] bar!
I was most definitely not expecting this but I also had the pleasure of spending much of the evening with the head of Sony Music SA, who was there because Reebok was also launching this new musical talent Toya Delazy as its brand ambassador. She is quite a cool girl, and it was so very cool to talk about music all night, and the conversation wasn’t just about music: it was about social enterprise, Cape Town vs Johannesburg, and the social and educational challenges of SA as a unique place (the music exec happened to be British but has lived in Joburg for 15 years). But really, a good contact to have when you like music the way I do.
So: surreal. But a very nice job by some great folks at Reebok. I think associating with CrossFit is a bit of marketing genius by Reebok, and actually especially so in emerging markets. Here, Reebok is going to spend a lot of marketing money to promote CrossFit, but when people learn of CrossFit they are going to associate it in their minds with Reebok. Even this guy I met yesterday (the sickly fit son of my acupuncturist) heard I was a CrossFit athlete and when I asked had he heard of it, Reebok was one of the first words out of his mouth. At the same time, I’m certainly not going to complain about anything they do to grow awareness of the sport: a rising tide lifts all boats.  
From that to Wednesday night when I had dinner with Robyn who I met at Walking the Daisies. She reminds me a tremendous amount of myself at her age, except that she’s more socially conscious than I was at 22. Of course, I had also been living in Silicon Valley during the dotcom boom, and we all really are a product of where we are living are we not? But I digress. She has the sad job right now of wrapping up operations of Bobs for Good, which is a social enterprise turned charity turned, well, now, being shut down because the donors constantly wanted more for less money. Such a shame.
I don’t know the stats off the top of my head but in rural South Africa children have to walk several kilometres to school each day, and most of them don’t have shoes. You can imagine what happens: their feet get cut up, especially in the winter when it’s cold, they get illness and diseases, if and when they can even make it to school. I’m such a crybaby I can’t even concentrate fully when I have a sore back or a hangover, but imagine open cuts on your feet trying to concentrate. See what I was saying above about how everything is connected? Anyway the original Bobs for Good model (Bob is a radio personality, I know it’s a weird name) was that when you bought a pair of shoes a pair would be donated. Then they moved to more of the “sponsor a pair of shoes” model, but when you factor in not just the cost of the pair of shoes but the overhead of your support staff, and you wind up with that classic charity problem where if your fundraisers can’t raise funds you first cut staff (as happened a few months ago) and then even shut down as is happening now.
Thursday evening was acupuncture, followed by a movie & chocolate. Well hey after 29 needles I think I deserved some chocolate.
Friday after gym I went by an ANDE networking event but it was still in panel discussion when I had to leave to get to a lecture intro in the Northern Suburbs. After THAT one I headed to work where there was a bit of an informal party going on, but I didn’t stay long because I needed to get home to bed.
Now my new challenge to myself and to anyone else who cares to join me is to start to live that mantra of either being part of the solution or part of the problem. If I don’t like something I will either specifically make something happen to change it, accept it, or leave the situation. Sitting around whining and bitching about things actually only hurts you, after all. The driver who just cut you off in traffic isn’t sitting there with his blood pressure going through the roof now is he?
  • “It’s not perfect. It’s completely ridiculous.” – Jon
  • “WHOA, it’s electric!” – Anton
  • “I mean, you’re feminine, and you’re beautiful, but you could probably kick his ass.” – Paul (could probably kick HIS ass, too!)
  • “Legend, actually.” – Darren
  • “Sorry, I brought a Mac. I know they’re troublesome.” – Simon
  • “Know what you want. Be brutally, brutally honest.” – Sisa
  • “What did you tell him about me?” “Everything!!” – Ellie & Nicole

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