Change is good, adaptation is good …. But be careful what changes you make. Prior to my competition on the weekend, I had some fascial release done to help release tightness in my chest. Mission accomplished, and it maybe helped my bench press, but it absolutely wrecked my chest-to-bar pullups.
I did a workout Monday morning that I’d done a ton of times before, with thrusters and chest-to-bar pullups. I had never, in a year and a half, gotten such a bad score, and it wasn’t a conditioning thing in any way … I just completely lost my ability to do chest-to-bar pullups. Turns out by removing chronic tension to the area I exposed a weakness. Once I fix the weakness I’ll be much stronger and can more than likely switch to a pronated grip which is much stronger for me on pullups. But in the meantime …. A humbling and embarrassing regression.
In happier news, I can probably do 29kg thrusters all day long! Oh, and that evening I managed a small new PR on front squat even with my back in its compromised state. It’s fixed now, thanks to Byron. That dude is worth his weight in gold, I tell you what. Oh my word, that evening’s workout I think I may have been the only one to follow instructions properly to go all out on the 500m row that began the workout. That was a good lesson in getting the best metabolic response vs getting a good time on a workout. It was dreadful. Anything that starts off with an all-out row is going to suck. Hard. About time for another 2K time trial.
Enough about sport and my own failings. My head has been elsewhere until I deem competition season as actually having started, which will probably be from January.
So. Success is an interesting thing, sort of like charisma. Some people seem to attract it naturally; some do not. I was reminded of something recently: the most successful people in the world have only 24 hours in a day, the same as the rest of us.
Think about it. Everyone only has 24 hours in a day. Everyone. Barack Obama. Richard Branson. You. Your manager. Your child. How we choose to spend our time, certain constraints aside, is up to us. I’ve said this before: there must always be a primary thing that you do, and a secondary, and so on. It doesn’t need to be a hard and fast force rank …. But hey if you’re a professional athlete you’re probably putting your sport first. If you’re a CEO, it’s probably your company. If you’re a head of state, I sure as hell hope it’s your country. If you’re a parent, it might be your children. It might not.
On Monday I had the pleasure of going out to dinner with one of the smartest people that I don’t know very well, which of course makes him all the more interesting. I can tell, though, when someone’s probably smarter than I am, and this guy fits the bill. Plus, he’s an ex-competitive athlete who I may or may not have nudged a little bit by pointing out that CrossFit forces you to balance your work and your non-work. Although on the other hand, personal relationships do suffer if your work and your sport are your top two choices.
My point is: it’s great to have someone who knows technology, business, people, and sport in pretty much equal measure. Yes we even had the intellectual snob conversation. I like all sorts of people; I actually like most people quite a lot. I’m a natural extravert. But I do like some people more than others, and this is one of those people.
You know what else I like? It’s the straight talk. It’s the same reason I immediately took to a certain other individual at the San Francisco conference I attended. Just makes me smile. I also call it like I see it and don’t enjoy wasting time beating around the bush.
As Kim said: it’s all sparring. It’s all kung fu.
But sometimes I confuse even myself.
Moving on. So that was Monday night. One of the other people I took an immediate liking to is my friend Riaan, the CEO of a soon-to-be-famous company called HealthQ. We’re just like two peas in a pod, the two of us. Tuesday night was the long-awaited media launch for these guys, who I’ve been spending time with since about August. I am so glad they are emerging from stealth mode, so I can talk about what they are doing and can soon be a guinea pig for their products.
It was also one of those nights when I was standing around feeling a combination of one of the luckiest people on the planet (I was in the presence of some of the richest people in the country, some of Silicon Cape’s best-known names, the Premier of the Western Cape, and a good chunk of the local professional rugby team). Yep, my friends are onto something big. Even to be present is a thing …. Like J said back in the North American summer: I really do have a knack for meeting the right people. But at the same time, I felt at the centre of things and yet so far away from California. It was strange.
But you make your own luck, right? Well, sure.
So that was Tuesday night, and driving back from Stellenbosch looking at the African sky all I could think of was Joburg. And Wi-Fi. Oh, and the guy I’d just met who wouldn’t let me get away with excusing myself to go to bed and was striking not so much for what he was talking about as how he was saying it. It’s a strange experience to have the tides turned on yourself. Second time in as many nights I could have stayed up all night talking. Then I woke up the next morning to see an email from a certain someone who I thought had forgotten about me. Turns out not, which is good, because I’m going to need certain people in my corner. I suppose sometimes I wonder, the same way that the girl with the stage name Toya DeLazy does: who gets close to me because they actually enjoy my company vs just wanting to be close to me for another reason? Maybe it doesn’t matter the original intent. Maybe it does.
I don’t know. Wednesday, after an interesting company strategy session that started off well then got a bit rushed towards the end, some of us went to a corporate event that was interesting as much for who we met there and the conversations that we had as for the content of the event. It’s always interesting that dance of talking to your competitors. I love it.
Hey, it’s all sparring. It’s all kung fu.
Execution is the key thing. You can talk all day long, and be flattered by the various responses you can get from different people at different times. When the chips are down and you have to follow through, this is where the winners and losers are made. I am so excited to work with the team that we have to make our little company better. It’s this cross-functional aspect of teamwork and communication, and to see just how good we can be by working together, and talking, and trusting each other. It was great to hear the feedback about what it is that we like doing and what we think we’re good at.
I really, really love what I’m doing now, and the irony is when I first met with Doug, telling him I didn’t have a passion for this space. Boy was I ever wrong. When I’m sitting in a back room with one of my technicians watching a webinar on beamforming & spatial multiplexing, and I realise that it’s this ability to be on the leading edge of technology and the application of technology that really excites me, that’s when I know I made the right call to change jobs.
There are some things that do wake me up at night, or cause me moments of panic. You can guess what they might be. But, as in my CrossFit life, competition is not one of them.
Neither are shoes.
- “The best use of an Airohive is a paperweight.” – Ross
- “Even though you’re obsessed with shoes you’re not a chick so it’s ok.” – Rob
- “They can put that in their pipe and smoke it.” – Grant
- “Were you eating a muffin between your pullups there?” – Grant
- “That’s mildly impressive.” – Rob
- “She’s weird.” “Yeah but you’re weird. And I’m weird.” “Yeah but I don’t look like a marionette doll.” “True.” – Rob & Ellie
- “I couldn’t believe he insulted the CEO in front of a customer …. And said she was obsessed with shoes!” – Rob (ohhh the irony…)
- “In case you haven’t noticed I have a bit of a type A personality.” “In case you haven’t noticed I have a bit of a type A personality.” – Rob & Ellie
- “Most people don’t think.” – Rob
- “I think [name omitted] is currently cowering under a desk wishing he worked elsewhere.” – Ross
- “Well normally something goes wrong and then I fix it.” – Tim
- “The Premier says don’t kick the bucket!” – Justin
- “You’ve learned a lot, hey.” “I learned this yesterday.” – Anton & Ellie
- “But I can’t tell them that!” “I know, but I can tell you that.” – Ellie & Riaan
- “I can see that you’re not scared. You’re scaring me a little bit!” – Jalal
- “Inventory management indeed.” – Tim
- “There’s a lot of technologies out there that doesn’t work.” – Mynhardt
- “They can actually tell you anything and you have to believe them.” – Mynhardt