Radio Silence

Really, I can’t stop laughing every time I look at that last image. Classic. If you’ve never done a partner deadlift …. Well, you’re not missing much.
I actually don’t have much to say. Don’t want to talk about Regionals, and haven’t been thinking about or doing much else. I mean … what else is there to say? Does anyone really care about how I figured out why the scanner was broken and then fixed it? Or how I finally learned how to do kipping handstand pushups this week (it was a bit of an ‘aha!’ moment), and that I really suck at pistol progressions? Can’t imagine so.
My spine survived the week intact, barely, and a ladybug showed up in the gym. According to Rika, they symbolise good luck. For me, the metaphor was more powerful because I had just had a …. call it a dream, that featured a ladybug bringing me some very good news. Yeah, I’m weird like that. But it works for me.
I sat down for a hard meeting on Monday. I went in with a bit of a head of steam; fed up with the status quo and not going to take it anymore. Moral of that story: when I have the better argument, I win (at least in this workplace … ahem!), and I should prepare myself more often because it’s when I’m in reaction mode that I get into trouble. The best defense is a good offense, in a way.
It was quite funny though, before we got started the conversation went something like this:
“How are you?”
“I’m fine. … Kind of focused on Regionals next weekend.”
“No, but how are you doing personally?”
“Ummmm …. Like I said, I have Regionals next weekend.”
It’s true. You train all year and while actually, the competition isn’t really that important in some ways, and it certainly wasn’t the reason I started CrossFit … at the same time, it is pretty damn important, if only as a symbol, and as a manifestation of something you work hard at for months on end, and, in the case of a team, because every team member is critical.
But if there is one thing I have learned, it’s that you have to take this sort of thing a bit playfully. It’s not life or death, and when you get overly attached to the outcome and you start to fear failure more than anything, that’s when you lose before you’ve even begun. I expect that’s why the favourites often choke.
I’m going to go out there and have fun. I love the adrenaline rush, when the world vanishes except for the pinhole of concentration. I have no delusions of grandeur but I sure as hell do like a challenge.
One of the things my old boss Ed taught me is that no one likes an employee who just points out problems. Come to the table with a problem AND a proposed solution. I found this ironic at the time because he would often point out flaws in me, but without a proposed solution (or maybe, I just found his proposed solution unacceptable, or found rather that he was picking on a symptom and not the actual problem; fair enough, sometimes the root cause is hard to find).
So I sometimes confuse myself with what I really want. Do I WANT to be told not just what the problem is but also how to fix it, or do I want to figure it out for myself? I want the shortest route to the end game. Some things are easy …. Just do your burpees faster. Some technical moves are harder, but usually once things click, they click.
I think this is what separates the Bill Bellichicks of the world from the rest of the crowd. The requirements for a lifestyle coach or mid-level manager are different than for a coach of, say, NFL players or a CEO working with competent lieutenants. At that level, the intrinsic motivation is there: what is necessary is to put aces in their places and give the right cues at the right time. Sometimes someone needs encouragement. Sometimes they need a slap on the wrist. Sometimes they don’t need to be told what they’re doing wrong (because they probably already know), but more to the point HOW TO FIX IT.
But boy it’s tough to know what is the right treatment for a given situation, even presuming you’re with it enough to have thought it through that far and not be so stuck into your own head and your own problems. How many times do I snap at a co-worker because I’m worried about how my knee hurts, or how many things I have on my to-do list? But then I’m the first to expect perfection from them, and from my CrossFit coaches. It ain’t fair. We’re all only human, and only doing our best.
You know, opinions are a funny thing. We all have them. When I was younger I was afraid to share mine. Now I probably share them too much; I definitely have a problem where if you ask me a direct question I tell you exactly what I think (no alcohol required!). But I try to keep the venting and talking smack behind people’s back to a minimum. I’d much rather be the one to tell someone to their face if I have a problem …. Problem being some people don’t take to criticism very well, no matter how well-intentioned.
They say you can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family. Well, this is true. But there are a lot of relationships you can’t choose: your co-workers, your teammates, your coaches, your friends’ significant others. Maybe one day I’ll work out that conundrum of how to deal with the frustration of wanting to give constructive criticism, but knowing it won’t be well-received. Maybe one day I’ll also work out how to be more consistently receptive to criticism myself …. I try to be, but in practice I’m really only receptive if I’m in the right headspace AND if it’s constructive criticism and not just criticism. Although the latter can be motivational in its own sweet way now can’t it?
Been practicing my qigong which got easier a few sessions ago. Normally thoughts come into my head and I have to acknowledge them and push them aside. But more recently, it’s been tiring to have thoughts come into my head and push them aside, and it’s easier just to keep the head clear.
But despite the team practices and the late nights, and the aches and pains of the body, yeah, things are good personally. I’ve been enjoying angelfish and &Union, clouds, sun, and rain, the leaves coming off the trees, coconut in its many forms, and good coffee & friends. In the middle of a long holiday weekend at the moment, and I’m on an enforced rest period. Bloody hell I hate resting; oh well, I like to think of it as the calm before the storm.
An interesting thought for the road … there are two ways to dehumanise someone: to ignore them, and to put them on a pedestal. Sometimes I wonder where the hell I even stand.
  • “You know sometimes I look at women like that and I just think … I wonder how much SHE could snatch?” – Ellie
  • “I’m glad I’m not you.” – Lynda
  • “If never lifted anything.” – Chris
  • “If you TRY for hero, your ego will fuck you over every time.” – Kerry
  • “That was well worth interrupting everybody for.” – Jeff
  • “It taught me patience. No it didn’t. But it makes a good story.” – Ellie

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