Why was I in Seattle? I was in Seattle because my parents were there for a convention and I kinda followed them, by which I mean I totally followed them.
While there, I got a chance to see my friend Katie, who I met in Boston, and who is now a rowing coach at the University of Washington (pronounced ‘You-Dub’). I was just incredibly exhausted and unmotivated the entire time I was there. I wasn’t sure why, maybe rapid onset Seasonal Affective Disorder, but when I woke up on Sunday with a bite of a sore throat it was clear that I was coming down with something.
Still, it was nice to see some of my parents’ friends and people who hadn’t seen me since I was a toddler! Wow a lot has changed since then.
Heck, a lot has changed in a year. Katie and I went out Friday night to see the new movie Les Miserables. I’m ashamed to say I haven’t seen the musical since high school so I am not sure how the movie compared. It was good theatre, certainly, but there was this one scene that really struck me: when the rich were being very nearly assaulted, while in their carriages, by the beggars. It reminded me for all the world of South Africa. The difference, of course, being the skin colour of the people banging on the windows, and the fact that we now have windows. Barriers.
It’s easy to be an ostrich. But then again, life is hard enough without making other people’s problems yours. I’m glad I’m not Minister of Education, for one thing.
So the next morning I took Katie to CrossFit Seattle, which happened to have ‘bring a friend day’ on that day. We were given a 15 minute AMRAP that was kind of ridiculous because it was a zoo, and I also wouldn’t have put the exercises together the way they did but whatever. To make it more challenging I decided to use a men’s weight mall for the wall balls and an 11 foot target. That was a bit more challenging than when I was using the women’s ball and a 9 foot target at Ballistix and threw the ball through the ceiling. Well, a Ballistix gym isn’t christened until I’ve knocked out a ceiling tile.
Haha. Later on I had the very strange experience of stroking a tortie cat through a window, followed by seeing a giant troll, then on to a sports bar to not drink beer but rather watch football. The game, Texans vs Bengals, was kind of a blow out, and the second game which I hoped would be better was not. But my then I was saved from the misery of watching yet another Vikings loss (but yay for Aaron Rodgers!) by a lovely dinner with my parents and some friends of theirs, followed by the convention parties. Classicists, apparently, like to drink. They also like to talk loudly. I think my general sense of humour failure was caused by my strange exhaustion, so my mother and I went back to the room pretty early in the evening.
The next morning: breakfast, shopping, the end of wild card game number 3, this one a win by the Ravens over the Colts, and Katie then picked me up so we could watch the final playoff game of the weekend: the Washington Redskins vs the Seattle Seahawks (hence the “12thman” flag on the Space Needle). The Redskins have a hot young quarterback who goes by the awesome moniker of RG3 and works his tail off, reminding me of Tom Brady, but he was also injured. This game looked like another blowout in the making with the Seahawks down 14-0, but they fought back to win decisively. Very exciting!
The mile walk back to the car made us a bit late to pick up my parents but we were on time to the airport where we had a great experience with Southwest. Southwest also made my “non-shit list” by allowing two free checked bags on a domestic flight.
We arrived late into Oakland and I picked up my rental car, a Ford something or other. Actually quite a nice car. Like I might buy that car nice. Can hardly believe I’m writing this about an American car, but I’m a big fan.
Seattle also drove home to me some of the challenges of the industry of which I am now a part, when I actually turned off Wi-Fi on my phone because it was causing me so many problems. That was an eye-opener, but hey, a problem is an opportunity in disguise.
For some reason though I was just in a gray mood. The weather didn’t help, nor did the cold.
What was pretty awesome? Seeing an old friend again, getting some rowing coaching & cues, and I’m looking forward to watching her succeed in her new role.
There’s nothing quite like success at something you love. That’s one of the fun things for me about business, and one of the things that keeps me coming back to CrossFit. OK yeah I hate the times when it humbles me (just makes me want to be better), but what I really love is learning new things and actually applying them, and those rare moments when you can do something you couldn’t do before.
The other thing this made me think of is how you establish credibility in a new role. I guess the generic answer is that you can only really ever do your best. Call me crazy but if you try too hard you usually fail because you’re tense, or you create some sort of unrealistic expectation. I suppose at the end of the day people either like you or they don’t, and they trust you or they don’t, and they respect you or they don’t.
Still, who doesn’t set out to impress?
So, on to Silicon Valley, for the first time in 2013.
- “I’d pay not to have to eat gummy bears.” – Mom
- “I went to the philosophy one last week and this one is an orgy by comparison.” – Erik
- “I’m not even going to call it a bromance because he makes Wang gay.” – Katie
- “My first crossgym workout!” – Katie
- “I get two gigs on my phone!” – Katie
- “Only beaten dogs lie on the floor.” – Jim
- “I love the part of your personality that makes you brag about being strong.” – Katie
- “I trusted them enough to get on the RV.” – Ellie
- “You favour your mother.” – guy at the bar