Just stuff

Another few days, a whole brain dump of Hubspace operations, a bluescreen that cleared my Mindmap, a lot of progress on the acceleration framework, dinner at Carne, one VERY bad night’s sleep, four gym sessions, and a little bit less time spent feeling like a member of Falun Gong. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the inventor of compression gear, without which I would be having a very difficult time walking.
It snowed in Joburg, apparently. I saw a photo Henk posted of his chariot to Australia with snowflakes swirling around. Made me think of my days living in New England, and traveling for Exit41.
I’ve been thinking quite a lot about both my time at Exit41 and leaving Cape Town. Because now, Henk is gone, and Susan is gone. I feel surprisingly empty, which is a bit strange thing when you consider how much I love it here, and all the amazing things in my life. I think why I feel empty is that them leaving makes me think of how I would feel to leave. Maybe I someday will, but I’m certainly not ready yet.
I felt like this once before, when I lived in California. But I moved anyway.
Speaking of movement, I was having a devil of a time at CrossFit trying to do high repetition power cleans with decent form. Old habits are hard to break, and I was having some definite issues with my balance doing overhead walking lunges … that old sprained ankle still causes proprioception problems, as much improved as it is. Amazing. Oh, and my split jerk is absolutely abominable at the moment.
In happier news, the rate of healing of my back has been increasing, so long as I don’t do stupid things. Maybe it’s all the health qigong. A funny thing: when I find myself just naturally stretching, I find that I am finding my movement resembling some of the moves that we learned. They just feel natural, when you do them right. Getting to that point of virtuosity, of course, requires practice.
Speaking of natural, I’m feeling the effects now of some bodywork that is meant to get me physically aligned in a more permanent way than chiropractic, which works for a while then old holding patterns kick in. It’s complicated, but this definitely seems to be working. The most recent session shift involved a realignment of my entire pelvis into something that resembles the position you are supposed to have in the whole kung fu/tai chi/qigong squats. No wonder I had such a devil of a time doing it properly last week; my entire adult life, probably, I’ve had a restriction in my lumbar vertebrae. It is quite a thing to correct something like that, and to be aware enough of the body to be able to feel the difference. Because it’s dramatic.
And, just when I had stopped thinking about synchronicity, and as the internet is going up and down at work and driving me completely nuts, I happened to see this link pop across my Facebook feed. Interesting. My friends are also very smart. In recent weeks, and not in chronological order:
  • Jean told me I can accomplish whatever I set my mind to.
  • Michael told me we tend to accomplish things as fast as we decide we want to, meaning that we should set aggressive deadlines.
  • Richard told me that it’s a conceit to say that we can only connect the dots going backwards, and we can in fact guide our own futures.

All conventional wisdom, rarely applied.  
I was also having a quite interesting conversation with my co-worker about conventional wisdom. Specifically, how the conventional wisdom around eating is almost all incorrect (Whole grains are good! Coconut is bad! Dairy is good! Fat is bad!). My opinion on this is that it’s not some huge industry conspiracy so much as just conventional wisdom taking a long time to change, especially in the absence of any real money behind getting the message out.
Similarly, Mobility WOD’s latest insight: icing is bad. Impossible to prove me wrong but I still credit Dr Lan with enabling me to recover sufficiently to compete at Regionals this year. Guess maybe the whole ‘3000 years of Chinese medicine might know a thing or two so you should shut your Western ass up and listen to me’ might have something to it.
It’s a fundamental question: when to take something on faith and when to try and understand why, so you can decide for yourself. No one has a monopoly on being right, and ad hominems of any nature are very dangerous.
Just like not knowing your own limits. The only thing worse than setting yourself up to fail is to set your team up to fail, which is why most good athletes have coaches, and most good managers have mentors, and most good companies have active, engaged, boards of directors. As I said, no one has a monopoly on being right. But sometimes you just have to make a decision.
For me, some of the decisions I’ve been happiest with are the ones I made in a split second, and almost immediately. The decision to leave school to work for Jeeves. The decision to go to Babson. The decision to start CrossFit, and do it properly.
The ones that haven’t worked out as well are the ones I ponder, and rationalise, and go back and forth.
Thanks to my interest in behavioural psychology, I understand why this is the case. Similarly, why we regret things more that we don’t do, and why we worship sunk costs, and why really, we’re stupid to listen to anything other than out gut most of the time, but at the same time, our brain deceives us.
But hey, that’s what makes life fun, right? Well, that and music, and food, and laughter, and wine, and relationships with other humans, and making progress, and handstand pushups.
Two things I know to be true: you have to like what you do, and be able to see yourself making progress. Whether that’s work, sport, a hobby … you name it. Someone asked me this week if I were sponsored if I would be a full-time athlete. I’m not so sure that I would. I don’t think that would be enough for me.
  • “Just … don’t let it affect your CrossFit too much.” – Susan
  • “There we have it: functional for drunken shenanigans!” – Karl
  • “Every company has at least one elephant.” – Ellie
  • “I feel like we could accomplish a lot if we would just focus.” – Jeff
  • “I wonder how many people you could have hit today and it wouldn’t have been your fault at all. I’ve counted at least three.” – Jeff
  • “And if not, that means they care about themselves more than they care about you.” – Susan
  • “Too lazy to use the lift? Do you realise the irony in what you just said?” – Susan
  • “Hehehe wish we could see your face.” – Hes
  • “It’s quite a thing to realise that you live in paradise.” – Byron
  • “Your Achilles heel is much better.” – Byron
  • “He hasn’t forgotten to listen along the way.” – Kerry 

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