Regrets

What ankle sprain? Right? Boom. Not all the way healed yet: I’m not comfortable jumping, yet, and there’s still definitely some swelling but walking is fine, and, more importantly, the body is recovered such that I can get back to training without impacting the body’s ability to recruit resources to heal the injury. 
I had a bit of a laugh last night at CrossFit. The workout was 100 burpee broad jumps which ordinarily is just my sort of workout, but I couldn’t jump, so Jobst had me sit out the workout (you should have seen the glare I gave him!) and instead do 3x max plank hold with a 25 pound plate. After the first hold I told him: “This is really hard!” to which he laughed and replied: “I know!” I tell you, that second hold I was feeling the burn 14 seconds in …. I did make it a bit longer than that, though. It’s a mental game as much as a physical one.
That last photo, by the way – what nose-to-wall-style handstand pushups will do to your toenail polish. Eh, I needed to change it anyway.
Sunday I was more feeling like myself, starting off with a beautiful breakfast in beautiful Camps Bay. Roland helped me with my San Francisco-itis by reminding me that there were many things about Cape Town that I did in fact appreciate (being able to drive to the beach, seeing Table Mountain every day, for example), and also that perhaps my issue with SF was that I didn’t appreciate it enough while I was there. Sometimes just awareness of WHY you feel the way you do helps.
We also got to talking about decisions and how sometimes you make decisions that are what you really want, and sometimes they are what you think you want, but then you realise later they were more what you thought you were supposed to want. In retrospect, my move to Boston was of the latter variety which is what got me thinking, of course what would my life be like now if I were still in the Bay Area? But that shit will drive you mental. I know, because it has been.
Then I decided to take the scenic route to Kalk Bay, because driving through the landscape around here always makes me fall in love with it all over again. Unfortunately this caused me to be late to dinner, for which I felt guilty. They say that people rate the most interesting people as the ones who ask you a lot of questions and let you talk about yourself. My goal for my dinner tonight: talk about myself as little as possible. I have this blog for goodness sakes, and I’ve been caught up in my navel gazing for a while now.
Loved this Katie Hogan post about training partners. Actually, I wish I had more (or any). I need more women to push me. Rika and I are not equal, it’s a rare workout where we can really push each other; either it’s a workout where her strength or work capacity enables her to kick my ass, or a workout with some of the gymnastic moves where I do better. But she’s not even training much with the normal classes, nor are most of the other coaches, for that matter. 
The big pro of CrossFit? The group training aspect. The camaraderie, the competition within that workout or to post a good score for the day on the white board. The big con of CrossFit (assuming you have good coaching and a good balance between form and intensity)? The group training aspect. Once you reach a certain level, it’s not optimal for your development as an athlete, depending on your goals. So more and more people move outside the system, because it doesn’t accommodate their needs fully. The programming that’s good for the general gym population isn’t ideal for the competitive athletes, and what’s ideal for the group isn’t ideal for most individuals within the group. But if you try to be all things to all people, you wind up not being anything to anyone.
Which is the same trap you can easily fall into at work, or at least I can, in the nature of my work. But enough about that. Taking it easy this week, sports-wise at least. Next week that all changes, as I’m going to play around with my training, go on a serious strength phase (this time including the dietary adaptations that will make sure I do in fact gain optimal strength), and take more active rest days, and try out qigong. If you keep dreaming about something (no, not daydreaming … that shit caused me to sprain my ankle, so I better watch it), best to give your subconscious a try to express itself.
Speaking of, I’ve been having some weird dreams, lately (maybe due to the elevated foot?). At least the food cravings are decreasing. Last night, I dreamed that a group of us were in something akin to a first person video game, progressing through some sort of Roman-baths style progression of rooms, underneath Devil’s Peak (where De Waal Drive is now), in the 1800s. There was water. A lot of it. All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.
I’ve been thinking a lot about regrets these last few days. So many people say that they want to live their life without regrets. I don’t mean this in a general sense, I mean that a couple of my friends have specifically said that this is their goal, and, actually, who doesn’t, when you think about it? I don’t know a lot of people who go around saying they just want to live a boring, safe life. But here’s the thing: sometimes you see an opportunity and can decide to grab the bull by the horns and go for it. Sometimes you can see an opportunity and let it slip through your fingers. That you will regret, clearly.
So far so simple. You want to live life without regrets, do the former and don’t do the latter. But it’s not actually so simple, is it?
Sometimes, you don’t realise an opportunity has passed you by until later. Sometimes much later. Sometimes minutes or days later. I know how that one feels. I bet you do, too.
Sometimes you pass something up because you think you’ll fail. There’s a difference between reaching out and taking opportunities, and over-extending yourself stupidly. Passing things up that aren’t real opportunities aren’t reasons for regret, they are reasons for celebrating good decision-making.
It’s the nature of uncertainty that we don’t actually know where that line is, and sometimes those moments do pass us by. I’m not sure it’s possible to live life without regrets. What I can say though is that we can self-correct when we see we’ve gotten off track. One moment passes you by, wait for the next one (sometimes it comes). You realise you’re not happy in your job, or your relationship, or where you’re living? Well unless there’s some damn good reason to be afraid that you won’t find something better …. Either go for it or at least shut the hell up about wanting to live life without regrets or disliking your situation. As an ex-boss once told me, no one wants to hear problems. People want to hear solutions.
So. I have some regrets, not all of which have to do with rowing. The solution, of course, is simple: quit stewing and take action. The question is, what am I actually going to do?
  • “I like to hear gossip, but I never pass it on.” – Charlotte (suuuure ….)
  • “How many pairs of Inov8s do you have, Ellie?” “Five.” “Five! Why so many?” “… Because I need to color co-ordinate my outfits.” “Ahhh, the girl comes out!” – Anton & Ellie
  • “It pushes you beyond what you think you’re capable of.” – Peter 

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