By Friday afternoon I was exhausted. I actually felt overtrained, which isn’t possible considering my training volume, but I suppose overtraining stresses the CNS and adrenals, both of which were stressed from other sources.
This was a very rough week. In no particular order there was the legal tussle with the crooked ex-landlord and his equally unethical lawyer wife, a few customer blow-ups, some momentary panic, a new strict press PR, a couple of lost sales, meeting a potential new hire, meeting the CEO of a competitor organisation, a visit from my international man of mystery, a round trip to Joburg, my first workout at CrossFit Platinum, an accidental [I swear!] sexual innuendo on a conference call, a day when I didn’t eat at all, the beginning of a couple potential partnerships, my first trip to Soweto, and the first workout I’ve had at Cape CrossFit since my return where I’ve actually felt happy with my performance. Tough workout done unbroken, and only unbroken because I made it so, not because the challenge was too easy.
You know, rough can be good and bad. Bad can be rough (and usually is). Good can be rough if it’s overwhelming. Anything that doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and as the old saying goes: the most important thing in life, in business, isn’t whether or not you get knocked down or make a mistake. It’s how you recover from that mistake.
Similarly, the way you approach a relationship: it’s like my friend Jo said a few months back. You don’t haggle when you want a long-term relationship. I really don’t tend to get upset unless it’s at an injustice or something I perceive as an unjust attack. I’ll defend my team, I’ll drop the gloves and fight until it’s all over. But I’ll admit when I’m wrong, and I’ll lose the battle to win the war.
Interesting notion, too: it’s fun to have good competitors. It was super fun to train with Beatrix this week, and to stay with her and her fiancé, and I’m excited at the prospect of becoming better friends with both of them over the coming months. But you know, sport is like business: competition makes you better, and it’s great to have competition. It really is. But what’s even more fun than duking it out is figuring out if you can turn a former rival into a partner, and in eliminating or reducing problems that used to plague you.
What I was saying earlier about commitment? I went hungry twice this week because I refused to eat wheat. Both times I hesitated and oscillated back-and-forth but at the end of the day I know what that stuff does to me and it’s not good. It’s just not worth it.
I’m really coming to like Joburg, which I guess is a good thing. There are some charmless bits, and yeah it’s more dangerous than Cape Town and the security is even more of a pain in the neck (seriously it takes 5 minutes to get past the gate at big companies … build THAT into your travel time!). I got off an exit in Centurion that had a big sign that said ‘hijacking hot spot.’ Not in Kansas anymore, am I?
But maybe there’s something in the water there; I find it a bit overwhelming and the traffic is horrendous but you drive down the road for three minutes and you pass the headquarters of major companies. I now am getting to know all these places that were once just names on a map or that you’d hear on the radio.
If you haven’t been to Johannesburg you might be thinking that I am talking about a city when I speak of it. I’m actually not. There is a downtown Joburg and a downtown Pretoria but for the most part the city is a big urban sprawl. It is also the largest man-made forest in the world. When you are in most parts of it that I’ve been to, downtown and downtown Sandton being the exceptions, there are a heck of a lot of trees. It’s actually quite charming. There are lots of jacarandas with their blue carpet of discarded flowers, and trees arching elegantly over the streets as the sun sets. Maybe I just liked doing my pullups on an outdoor rig with the black African sky above me. Or I’m just getting used to my new second home.
Another funny vignette: “Are you moving here?” “No, but I’m going to be spending a lot more time here.” “Good.” [exit stage right]
People are strange.
I realised that I hadn’t actually had a day off since I can remember. I don’t think I will do for the next two weeks, either. No wonder I’m feeling overtrained. The problem is, and this is really true …. There are not enough hours in the day. I can’t get any of my own work done except for on weekends, and I have a lot that needs to get done, especially now, as I’m trying to plan for the next week or so.
This week was also a bit emotional for me because one of my dear friends has left South Africa. Amy hosted a Thanksgiving for us down in Kommetjie on Sunday evening which was beautiful, but bittersweet of course because she was leaving, and she’s one of those people who became a dear friend even though I haven’t known her that long. One of many remote friends: I started to make a list but realised I couldn’t. Amy also made a kick-ass pumpkin pie that I ate … and then almost immediately felt ill.
Yeah that wheat stuff will kill you.
Next week is going to be awesome. I just have to live through this weekend first.
And in the meantime I’m definitely not forgetting to be thankful. More than yesterday, less than tomorrow. Onward and upward.
- “It’s a very belligerent society. We club each other over the head and then go out for beers.” – Eric
- “Bullies tend to be cowards.” – Eric
- “Employees, like all humans, like to be protected.” – Fred
- “What are you doing here?” – Paul (he always has the best lines….)
- “Well of course it is, Ellie. It’s the best gym in Africa.” – Beatrix
- “That’s how you make money.” – Andy
- “I like the way you think.” – Allister (the feeling is mutual)
- “I don’t get upset. That’s why I’m so dangerous.” – Ellie
- “Why can things not just work?” – Rudolph
- “He was a little intimidating, actually. And I’m not easily intimidated!” – Ellie
- “Every time I ask Mark about it, he just frowns. So I’m guessing it’s not simple.” – David
- “It’s the world we have, not the world we want.” – Michael