Nothing much

The calm before the storm.
Over the weekend I mainly kept to myself. I was feeling annoyed, or maybe vulnerable is a better word, on Saturday that my back injury had reared its ugly head (I think the issue actually was the sumo deadlift high pulls!), but by Sunday had recovered enough to go play with some weights. I also enjoyed a sleep in Sunday morning …. It had been a loooong time since I literally slept as long as I wanted to. Obviously I have a bit of sleep debt to work through.
On the way home I was noting the continued police presence along the N2. There are cars every 200m or so, facing the townships, after the protest on Friday that tied up the highway for hours. One of the things I learned at the emotions of the brain talk is that the best way to generate the rage emotion is to put something someone wants within their sight, taunt them with it, and refuse to let them have it. Sisyphus, anyone? Well, this has very interesting implications for a country like South Africa. It just made me think, two days after watching Batman, what on earth would happen if the masses decided to rise up in a violent manner. Which is why I got into social enterprise to begin with, to provide hope. But that’s a subject for another blog post.
Saturday night I went out to a VERY dead Long Street for a few drinks with my pal Jaco, who is moving soon to Amsterdam. Another person I am really going to miss, and the conversation was interesting because it made me vocalise something I’d never quite admitted to myself before, which was the set of conditions (other than aging out or career-ending injury) that would cause me to stop competing at CrossFit. Well, knowledge is power, right? I’d say that starts with self-knowledge.
Speaking of CrossFit, Monday night’s workout very nearly killed me. It’s been a while since I had a workout that trashed me so much that I couldn’t walk after. By the fifth round my legs would literally NOT move, it was crazy. But on the positive side, I’d say I didn’t leave much on the table in that workout. Always a good thing.
I think I should start a “funniest thing to happen at Virgin Active” account, along the lines of the hilarious Daily Driving Disaster blog. It does have its own charm, and enables me to socialise outside of the CrossFit circles, and some days schedule conflicts disallow me from attending the advanced class, but sometimes I just have to throw up my hands in despair.
Like this morning. Firstly, there is some guy monopolising one of the squat racks for his 40kg reverse bicep curl (which he probably thinks is a clean), and press. Oh, and something he was doing with dumbbells. I think there should be a rule: if you can easily clean the weight, don’t hog the squat rack if someone else actually wants to squat.
Then, I wanted to go do my alternating chest-to-bar pullups and handstand pushups but there was some guy on the one pullup bar, so I asked if I could work in with him for some quick sets. He said sure, as long as I did 50. When I came back for my second set he apologised for being a bit snarky, saying that he’d never seen ‘a lady’ do one pullup before, let alone multiple in a set. Then he asked me if I was a gymnast. And see, here this whole time I thought the strict handstand pushups were more impressive.
Yesterday I finished up some deliverables at work, and wrote a letter of recommendation for Olivia. The best letters of recommendation are the ones where you are sincere and mean every word. Man, I have had some fantastic interns in my time here, I’m not going to lie. Here’s a girl who took a very difficult challenge with both hands, and not only found a market gap in the disadvantaged communities, but did all the cost modelling around how to actual fill that need. That’s applied business skills right there, folks. Thomas, who was here at the same time, did work at a similar level of quality, albeit a higher level of confidentiality. Awesome sauce. There’s nothing on this earth like talent combined with enthusiasm and hard work.
And also too (Tina Fey reference to Sarah Palin, in honour of Paul Ryan, Romney’s VP candidate and even more of a complete non-sequitor than Palin might attempt), the Olympics ended. I didn’t watch too much because I was busy living my life, but a couple of comments of Olympic-related thoughts I’ve had above and beyond watching Jean and witnessing the sheer countrywide joy at each and every medal won by South Africa. Honestly, a huge proportion of people can tell you the at least the events that SA medalled in, if not the athletes themselves (tough for lightweight men’s four rowing ya know…). Anyway here goes:
  • Oscar Pistorius … it’s one thing to see him run a race, it’s another thing to see him accept a relay baton. They may have finished eighth, but damn that was sweet.
  • The U.S. women’s 4×100 relay. I’ve run this relay before, so I know perfection when I see it.
  • Speaking of which, sprint athletes (400m and below) look like CrossFit athletes. Enough said.
  • I missed all of the gymnastics. All of it. Hope to see some on video, because I love and respect the hell out of that stuff.
  • It’s a shame that no one pays much attention to Athletics the other three years.
Over these last few days I also read my friend J’s summary of his first Ironman experience over the weekend. Well, by summary I mean 17 pages of narrative. I actually felt like I was slogging out that marathon alongside him. It was interesting for me to read this because he and I are so similar personality-wise, so it was interesting to hear where he had made mistakes, and what he’d learned as a result. He ended with a great commentary which is: ‘Undesired outcomes lead to lessons of what not to do. Life is about learning. Through this process, one must cultivate a pattern of doing the right thing and weed out doing the wrong thing.’
Couldn’t have said it better myself.
  • “Rationality always wins.” – Jaco
  • “If something’s going to happen, it’s going to f*cking happen.” – Ellie (my deterministic leanings come out while drinking, apparently!)
  • “I should maybe exercise some discretion.” – Dominic
  • “Most people know not to sleep while driving.” – Dominic
  • “You’re too talented to be stuck here.” – Jaco
  • “There’s not as much whiplash with chains.” – Howard
  • “Leaving marrows in cars! What a strange society!” – Anton
  • “It’s like you’re my brain, but you just verbalise it better than I do.” – Anton
  • “Pretty sure he’s going to ask you to show him that walk on water thing.” – Steve  
  • “No, definitely not what I want at this stage!” – Doug
  • “You do get around, don’t you?” – Matt 
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