Trainsmash

Wow. It would be exaggerating to say that I wanted to die on Friday. I am pretty attached to life. But as I was walking down the street on my way to the doctor’s office I was thinking that I hurt so much that if I was to be hit by a truck, I’m not sure how different it would have felt.

I’m sure it would have been worse. But to know that intellectually and to feel as you feel in the moment are two very different things.
I had a fever so high I could barely even see straight. I bought some food, went home, started to eat it, realised I actually wanted to be asleep, lay on the bed, and woke up 4.5 hours later.
I suppose I’d been coming down with it all week, and maybe even since last weekend’s CNS fail I should have seen it coming. Monday I felt fine. Tuesday I felt great, couldn’t get under the bar on the snatch which annoyed me but did my first heavy squat cleans for literally a year, tied my PR, then the next lift, which was also easy, my elbow was a bit slow to come around so I tweaked my elbow (beats the hell out of a dislocation) but that’s quite awesome. Progress. Then came torture in the form of a max 500m row 3 minutes after finishing 3 minutes of as many sets of 10 unbroken wall balls as possible. I was lucky enough to get to use the boys’ height for this, unlike the girls in the next class but whatever …. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
500m rows nearly kill me. I fear them. I also kind of love them but honestly every time I do this I get off the rower and my legs hurt SO much I almost want to whimper. Then I think I’m ok, stand up, walk a little bit, and my legs give out. It takes me a good 15 minutes to be able to walk again, it’s stupid.
Wednesday I was feeling a bit weak in the morning session, ok VERY weak, figured I was just tired or stressed or something. I hadn’t slept well. I’d also lost a deal to a competitor which made me very cranky. It’s one thing to lose a deal, it’s another to lose a deal you want to a competitor you know you’re better than. Whatever. I was also absurdly excited from another meeting that day. You win some, you lose some. Resilience & consistency is what matters.
But also too (as Tina Fey would say): delivering what you sell. We have a bit of prep work to do in some of the areas into which I want to expand the business. Win deals too fast, and you’ll spend more time cleaning up messes and potentially developing a bad reputation than the short-term wins are worth it. First order of business: ducks in a row. Second order of business: take over the world.
Kind of like Sam Briggs. She reminds me of a much better version of me. She was a super athlete, world-class, but her form was notoriously terrible. Then she got injured and had to sit out for a VERY long time, and rehab, and learn proper form. Kind of like me. I may not have had the highest score in Africa on 13.3 or even the highest score I could have had, but I had fill hip extension on top of the box every time AND my back was straight on those deadlifts. There is photo evidence of the latter. A year ago that would not have been the case.
Get the form right, get the conditioning right, performance will come. I am frustrated that my form is not what it should be. The irony. It kills me. I wonder if I will ever be mature enough to start getting this stuff right??
Like: ok my diet is pretty good, very clean, maybe too high fat too low carb but I play with that. My sleep I adjusted a few weeks back. But I have been sick a lot recently, if I look at my log of the last few weeks it basically goes like: sick on & off for a week, better for a few days, grouchy & tired for a week, better for a few days, feeling ok, CNS acting strange, a few good days: BAM! Down with disease.
That is not a healthy cycle. Yes there could be a zillion reasons why. But there’s one obvious one: I’m working too hard.
Nope, not super human. But breaking myself won’t make things any better, and it’s a stupid thing to do now two months from Regionals.
Speaking of Regionals, as a result of my illness I was unable to perform the Open workout of this week. So I did one rep of the first exercise. It will be a challenge now to finish in the top 48, which means I’ll have to compete on the team, which is what I’d planned to do anyway. But it takes a lot of the pressure off of me, and also the irritation at some of the scores that I just didn’t find credible. I did recover enough to go through to my gym and judge four athletes in their Open workout, and honestly that made me happier than anything. One of them didn’t even think she’d finish the wall balls and not only did she do that but she got to 79 double unders out of 90. Rocking. I had another guy thank me for helping him squeeze out the last 6 or 7 reps, which I didn’t realise I’d done. It’s not the judge’s job to coach, but it’s not against the rules, either.
It was a week of some good wins, though. Hell, it was a week where I got to do muscle ups on three separate days and that 500m row was a PR. Muscle ups are one thing, it’s having a shoulder without pain and realising that strict muscle ups are not only possible but actually relatively easy that made me happy. I may hate doing strict pullups but strict muscle ups are more fun, so maybe I’ll practice them more.
I also got this most excellent email from a customer essentially saying what great relationship skills our sales guy had, props to me for providing such training, and that with such people as Adam then Skyrove could only be going good places. Well, I can’t take credit for Adam’s people skills. This is why I hired him. Would that I could.
But here’s the other thing the email said – it said that so often we are quick to criticise or give negative feedback but don’t bother to give positive feedback.
The two things are related, I’d say. I sometimes tend to project or over-generalise but so it goes. For myself, at least, I will often tend to focus on the negative. Not so much just because it’s there but because I want to fix it or improve it.
Like: it annoys me when I can’t do something. Like not being able to walk on my hands annoyed me. So then I practiced, and now I’m not by any stretch great at it but I’m loads better than I was a few months back. Once you attain some basic level of competency and it’s not like bashing your head against a brick wall practice is especially fun because progress is so rapid when you’re learning a new skill.
You know some ‘high skill’ gymnastic move like a muscle up or a handstand walk, is really mostly in your head. You do have to be strong enough and coordinated enough to do it, for sure; but you also have to believe you can do it. If you’re afraid of those rings you’re sure as hell never going to get on top of them. I’ve always known it’s my head that fails me before anything else.
I could stand better technique, sure. But we could all stand to be better at a lot of things.
Which brings me to my next point. For whatever reason there’s been a lot of talk flying around recently about gender equality and men and women and blah blah blah. Maybe it’s the receding fever but I’m just so not in the mood for this sort of thing.
Sam is acting in a period piece and she was telling me about some of the historical gender roles that were in play and they are hectic. Even as recently as maybe 100 years ago a woman could no way do what I do at work and in sport. No ways.
What I said above about being grateful? There’s a lot more positive than negative. I’ll focus on the positive thank you very much, negative people or excessive worriers actually just tend to annoy me. Well, unless they’re snarky negative which isn’t really so much negative as just superior. I’m ok with superior as long as it’s justified. You know what they say about people in glass houses, right?
At the end of the day I do what I do which is commit to something, put my head down, and get it done. When I have the power to do that, of course.
Ed Boudrot once gave me some really good advice when I was complaining about feeling disempowered. He told me that while I was, in theory, correct that I should have such and such authority, if I didn’t have it in practice no one was going to give it to me. I just had to take it. Act first & ask questions later.
So what does this all mean? Look, analyse, criticise, plan, act. Gripe, sure, but continuous griping without action (if you can take action) or recommended action (if it’s outside of your direct control) is just complaining. And complaining is distinct from my whole ‘not whining just making conversation’ game that I love so much. What? A max 500m row? How *utterly dreadful.*
Oh the thought of it, yes. If I kind of wanted to cry on Tuesday after that 500m row I really just wanted to curl up in a corner & whimper on Friday as the fever had its way with me. It was 38.6 by the way, or 101.5F. Spectacularly high for me whose normal body temperature is about 1 degree F less than a normal person. Not quite high enough to cause hallucinations but very nearly.
It was weird considering that I felt pretty ok the night before, albeit a little under the weather still. But when that train hit me, it hit me. Now … I’m nearly better but also I’ve done very little besides sleep for three days on end. I haven’t felt this mellow since I can remember.
What was that wonderful George Bush quote? “Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me … you can’t get fooled again!”
  • “Well, now you feel like I feel. But for different reasons.” – Adam
  • “No..…. Yes!!” – Bronwyn
  • “You took out Batman! Why’d you do that?” “Because it didn’t work anyway.” – Ellie & Stefan
  • “If you can’t even get it right with four, there’s no way you’re going to get it right with twenty.” – Stefan
  • “We all have enemies. I’m sure you have enemies, right?” – Bane (who would know a thing or two about this)
  • “I’m glad I don’t dream about hair!” – James
  • “It is unlikely that I believe you are a moron.” – Rob (but not impossible!)
  • “She’s got the personality of a bread.” – Anonymous
  • Bought them on the side of the road in Fourways.” – Mike
  • “We are all about maximising sweating our assets.” – a prospect
  • “It shouldn’t be taking calls.” – prospect’s IT Manager
  • “I think we may have just met one of the most innovative businessmen in the country.” – Ellie
  • “What does he want?” “He wants to Wi-Fi the world.” “Sounds like your kinda guy.” – Adam & Ellie
  • “Would you please write 1:42.7 on the board? I can’t stand up.” – Ellie
  • “I mean …. *I’m* Microsoft certified. …. Wait, that’s not what I meant.” – Tim
  • “Her Twitter account now has a blog and something about her toe went viral.” – Kerry
  • “You’re so funny. And mean, too..” – Rob (he hasn’t seen the half of either yet …. Ok maybe half)
  • “Add a margin of course.” – Keldon  
  • “You can tell by the angle it bounces. It’s quite an obvious ‘no rep.’” – Lloyd (;-))
  • “If she doesn’t like how it is, she’s the only one who can change it.” – Tammy
  • “That will eat you, no matter what you eat.” – Byron 

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