Nobody likes a bully

Especially when the bully is bigger than you and has things easier in every respect, and actually seems to take a perverse pleasure in hitting you when you’re down.
Maybe I should rephrase: no one likes to see a bully win. But you know that’s the way of life. Bullies do often win. And some people are just not nice, which always comes to me as a bit of a surprise. There are plenty of people I find boring or tiresome or arrogant or annoying (the list could go on), but it does always somehow surprise me.
Misdirection is an interesting one, too: he that doth protest too much is hiding in plain sight. You’re insecure so you act arrogant. You’re dodgy to your core so you proclaim you’re not evil. Same thing, right? There’s nothing in this bag. These are not the droids you’re looking for. So maybe there aren’t any such things as really mean people, just really insecure people.
It was a frustrating end to the week. I need more distractions at work like I need a hole in the head. It was absolutely nutty the degree to which I was unable to get ANYTHING done because someone was constantly coming at me wanting something. Much as I love open plan in some ways, I surely miss having my own office. Actually there’s quite a few things I have been missing about software, lately. But something’s gotta give before my head explodes.
Speaking of things I miss, sometimes I allow myself to be distracted like when I spent a good hour on chat with the too-clever-by-half Michael Trupiano. I really, REALLY miss this guy. We used to live in Boston together and he moved to Chicago around the time I came to Cape Town. Some of my most vivid memories of my time in Boston involve Mike, and we only really got to know each other for the last few months we lived there.
And speaking of quotes, one of the funniest things I think anyone has ever said to me (we were at a brew pub in Indiana, and these guys we met at the bar were trying to persuade us to stay for another drink, and I was explaining that it wasn’t up to me because I wasn’t the driver): “Your friend there …. He looks like he’d be a good drunk driver!” Good times.
Anyhow Mike is living the dream, and by this I mean he is literally living one of my dreams. This fall he’s going to go to one home gameof every NFL team, and tailgate. I even have a cameo in their video. Ahhh, tailgating. And football. But that concept of road trip + football. I wasn’t kidding when I told him that I was so jealous I could spit. But I promised I wouldn’t. I would so love to join them for that awesome epicness. But hey, good also for him for actually doing something like this that all sorts of people talk about but never do. 
I’ve been having this nagging guilty feeling for a couple of days now and I’m not sure why. I haven’t actually done anything wrong, at least not more wrong than doing heavy-ish back squats, double-booking myself, having a few glasses of wine, and eating ice cream. Maybe I’m feeling guilty by proximity. Who knows? It was weird actually to be drinking on Long Street, I must admit. Got that out of my system, as much fun as it was (because it wound up being pretty epic I must say!).
In more wholesome news, the back half of the week contained an interesting meeting of my women’s media group, which has become just as enjoyable for the company as for the subject matter. I’ve met some super amazing and smart women this way. The subject this time was digital vs print, and what really got me thinking was how print is definitely a push medium whereas the internet can be both. I wanted to research the Westside Barbell conjugate method and Google was very helpful, but Facebook has taken the place of as one of my main sources of news. I’m not actually sure I should be admitting to that. I think a few brain cells just died.
I had a nice weekend. I ate at Sandbar both days, so hey. Also, Katharine was in town this weekend. Apparently living in Joburg makes you really appreciate Cape Town. Who knew?
It was great to see her, though, as always. Next weekend she runs Comrades, an ultramarathon 90kms long. That just completely blows my mind. Speaking of blowing my mind, dinner Friday night: lamb burgers, beef burgers, guacamole, salad, sweet potato fries wrapped in bacon, oh and dessert was paleo chocolate brownie with fresh raspberries, doused in coconut milk.
For a combination of reasons, I’ve been talking about America a lot lately, and the differences between America and South Africa. Things like right on red, never calling someone ‘coloured,’ that ‘shame’ doesn’t have quite the same meaning at all, and turns of phrase that are uniquely South African (such as: “Do you want anything to drink so long?”. When I pay attention to how I speak now, I realise all the little ways that I’ve changed even though my accent remains the same (or at least, I still sound American!). Kind of like the strangeness of the seasons being reversed, it just makes you appreciate all the little details of yourself and everyone around you.
Speaking of details, I’m discovering that situation is kind of everything. I had one of those you-just-have-to-laugh-at-yourself moments this week at the gym. We were doing some workout where you had to go from dips to a static overhead hold, which of course required getting the bar overhead. The dips strained my back so that it felt really tight, but I thought it wasn’t so bad so I walked up to the bar, tried to clean it …. Got it about to my knees and dropped it. Stretched, tried again, got it to maybe mid-chest and dropped it. …. And Ellie misses a 43kg clean for the first time in over a year. Not once … but twice. In a row. Well, I found it funny.
But in general the back is doing great. I warmed up well and did some relatively heavy cleans on Saturday (hang power cleans, power cleans, then squat cleans). The workout looked a lot easier on paper than it turned out to be in practice but I hadn’t done any sort of moderately heavy clean for many MANY weeks since before my injury and I didn’t push it hard but I was back at the same thing that injured me. You have to get back on the horse at some point, right? The most important thing is that there was no fear, at least that I was aware of consciously. I may have some minor PTSD but not much I can do about that, I don’t think.
Speaking of thinking, I’m coming to the conclusion that I might also be a bit confused about what I want at the moment. There are a lot of potentially contradictory things going on in my head. I’ve never been one for blind faith but I’m a little bit unclear on my own goals.
I’ve been reflecting on my own thoughts, reactions, plans, and statements over the last few days. I’m a bit all over the show right now, so I guess that’s the first order of business. I think the core is there but the devil, as they say, is in the details. What is it that I like out of this? The variety (because there could always be more)? The competition (because there are other forms of competition)? The powerful beauty of a well-executed Olympic lift? The thrill of getting measurably stronger? The camaraderie of our ‘family’ of athletes? Yes, and?
And then you have that old question of self-identification. With what group or groups do I most identify, or most want to identify? CrossFitters? Competitors? Cape CrossFit? CrossFitters in the Western Cape? People I like? It’s like someone or other was telling me …. The competition isn’t the enemy. It’s just the competition. Is it actually a betrayal of sorts to sign up for a competition with another gym at a time when you were under the impression that your gym was boycotting said competition? He was half kidding but I think Jobst may actually have been a bit upset. You’d think he found out I was sleeping with the enemy or something!
I’ve always been loyal to a fault. When it actually matters, I’ll practically throw myself in front of a moving train for my group. Not that I’m incapable of being shortsighted, selfish, self-serving, and the rest. When I care about the competition I’d do almost anything to win. But even when I don’t, when I’m working in a team, quality matters. There is no easier way to disappoint me (well, other than blatant lying) not to pull your weight or try and fake your way through things. 
In any event, I have some stuff to figure out. I’m closer than I was a few hours ago, but still busy admitting things to myself that are a bit uncomfortable. You can’t rush that process.
As a fan, I’d rather watch football than rugby. But which would I rather play?
  • “Almost like you’ve given a class of 10th graders free reign to build it.” – Mike
  • “Well, I started the day by screaming at the painters and ended the day accusing [name omitted of course] of committing fraud and misrepresentation. So, I’ve had better days.” – Ellie
  • “How would you use peculiar in a sentence?” – bartender at Sgt Pepper (what a peculiar question, we thought!)
  • “You don’t say.” – Jaco
  • “Canada … that’s part of America, right?” – Charles
  • “I have 20 minutes left in Cape Town!” – Lex 


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