I hate testing max pullups

Why? Because as you go along, your grip gets more and more strained. And you know that’s your limiting factor, and you know it’s coming, and when it starts to come you (or at least I) panic and grip the bar harder which just makes it worse.
Moral of this story? Relax a little more. My ambient stress level is improving, but I’m also literally dreaming of receiving emails from a guy in San Diego that I’m working with. It’s actually comical … at least to me! At least I crack myself up.
On a side note, if there were ever a prize for the most #2 spots on the gym records board I would be all over that. Of course our gym records board is not reflecting half my PRs. My favourite one is handstand pushups, where they put down 9 for me but 9 has never been a PR (it was 11 for a while which I did at 2011 Regionals, then it was 15 which I did a few weeks after that). And don’t even get me started on my Diane time which is 7:41 but the way it was written it looked like it was 17:41 so when I then did a 9:45 Diane or some such they updated the board.
This isn’t meant to pick; I’m making a point here. Dashboards are great, but they are only as good as the degree to which they are consistently and accurately updated, and the information isn’t misleading. As I am learning all the things in my new job there is a massive amount of information, and a clear need for some actionable information out of all the data. I was having a good conversation last night about efficient allocation of capital, and we all know that time is money.
But we must be careful: at least when you have no information you know you don’t know. What’s very dangerous is incorrect information that you are led to believe is correct.
The week started less than auspiciously when I woke up Monday morning with a sore throat. There went all my exciting workout plans for the day, replaced with extra sleep and then acupuncture in the evening. That turned out to be an unexpected highlight of my week because whenever I go in there, Shirfu pokes at my injured side and back. Normally there are quite a few points that are extremely sore, which is disheartening because no matter how well I might feel, I realise how injured I am when he knows just where to poke to make me flinch. But on this occasion there were fewer sore points, and the level of pain on the sore ones was much reduced. When I gloated that he was unable to hurt me with his poking he even said it was good, healing very well.
Also good is the resilience it’s demonstrating: Tuesday we did max back squat and I set a new PR but my final lift was a little bit ugly. It felt light but I think I lost concentration at a critical second, panicked a bit at the bottom and lost position. I was strong enough that I made the lift and easily, which makes me think I have quite a bit more in me, but I was also unhappy because I unintentionally strained that lower back. But the next morning: fine. Same thing with some sprinting and butterfly kipping pullups on Wednesday: the activities caused some strain but it vanished quite quickly. The running is great for me as my technique is improving quite a bit as I drill it, but it is high impact and I have to stay away from full speed work for a couple of weeks.
Tuesday was the first day in the office at the new job. An interesting first day; I am still very much in the information gathering phase but it’s becoming very clear very quickly what needs to get done, what is most important, where I need to spend my time, etc, etc. It’s so funny; the more I learn the more consistent everything is with how I expected it to be. There are really no surprises, other than pleasant ones. The fog is slowly clearing.
What a great load of excitement, and how lucky I am to be in this position. But my, there is a lot to be done. Just back to that whole question of intelligent application of capital and time. Making sure everyone is working on the most important items. There is lots of positive attitude and support from above and below me though, and I continuously feel the goodwill associated with this company and brand. I’m very confident about pretty much everything: our opportunities and my ability to work with this team to make it happen.
I can only compare it to when you recognise that your background and preparation have made you ready for what has to happen next. All the pieces are there. It’s like when they announce the workouts at a CrossFit competition and you think not only ‘Yeah I can do that’ but ‘Awesome, I can rock this!’ Trust your training, just go out and do.
I was emailing to Henk who is digging into his new job in Sydney. We are very much in the same stage at the moment: he wrote an email that I feel like I could have written myself, about how learning is fun, scary, exciting; you know you need to win trust and you want to make a difference but don’t want to break anything. Just strange to be experiencing the same thing at the same time. And the parallels between us continue (not least our striking Myers-Briggs similarity!). It’s going to be quite interesting to compare notes in a year.
Learning may be hard; this phase of knowingly not knowing. Shirfu says I must open my cup to new information, and he’s right. It’s hard for someone who’s busy talking a lot to stop, shut up and listen. I always do seem to know the answer. My mother says I was born this way. Now, of course, I don’t have all the context but I do have a good knowledge base and good instincts.
I’m also in a situation where I don’t have the luxury of sitting around, analysing everything, and then making a plan, getting buy-in, etc. Some big pieces will happen that way but for a lot of the smaller things there just is not time. Aim, fire, course correct. Aim, aim, aim, aim, fire is for big companies, not small startups.
You know what else is funny? Cape Town is Cape Town. It’s all about relationships, and this is a very, VERY small town. Nowhere to hide.
But that’s ok. There’s no need to hide.
  • “It doesn’t even sound like a human thing. It sounds like gibberish.” – Zaheer
  • “You just lost your bet.” – Jeremy
  • “I basically talk in awesome quotes, so it’s hard to write down all my eloquent speeches.” – Roland
  • “It made me think the internet was about how to explore Mars safely.” – Jeff
  • “No, that’s good. You have to look at it that way.” – Tim
  • “Why are people so lazy?” – Marcel
  • “So, you haven’t run for the hills yet.” – Michael
  • “I’m happy to spend a dollar to make five.” – Michael


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