It’s quite a thing

To walk on your hands. At least, I feel like it’s quite a thing for an adult to learn how to do such a thing.
It’s not the sort of thing you can muscle your way through, and you have to be as comfortable as you can while upside down and trying to move. It’s very unstable, as you learn, and you somewhat feel like you’re falling. You have to have that correct balance of arms, legs, balance, movement … I never feel quite so gangly as when I’m trying to control my body when it’s upside down like that. A handstand pushup against the wall is one thing; this is quite another!
When I first started to learn, I wouldn’t be able to do it at all because I would never kick up high enough, being afraid that if I kicked up too hard I would go all the way over. To this day I am afraid to fall. But it showed up in my programme for this week, so I did it, and I was better than I’d ever been!
My new programming (training plan for the uninitiated) is, by its very nature, challenging, tailored to me, and the goal of it is to get better at everything but specifically my weaknesses, while rehabbing my injuries. All of them.
So this means now a change to my routine whereby I go to train in the mornings rather than the evenings. Sometimes I have a physio or something in the morning, and so on the first day of this new week and beginning of new training cycle I woke up at 5:30am and went to the gym.
It was cold, and that Cape Town wind was blowing. There may not have been rain or snow but I felt a bit like Rocky that morning.
We’ll see how I feel in a few weeks. One thing I suspect; I’ll be better at squat snatches in a few months.
It’s a change. A big one. One of many, as this entire month feels like so far. It’s like a mid-winter spring cleaning of a bunch of old things tying me down, and clearing the decks for new things.
A very important part of CrossFit is the group aspect. Training by myself, in the morning, is just not the same. But it’s back to how I started to do CrossFit, and it’s lovely to see the city wake up. It’s just a transition I am going through; part of coming into my own as an individual athlete where now, weaknesses that are not addressed have no excuse. The programming is and can be tailored. So I also worked on my double unders and kipping handstand pushups this week.
How do you get good at something? Skill. How do you get skill? Practice; yes, but also paying attention. I’ve been taking videos of myself and I have learned some things. My overhead squat is already much improved in just one week as a result of practice, analysis, and application of new things.
Speaking of new things: if you have to do something you’ve not done before in a training situation or in competition, or at work, is motivation and determination enough to see you through? Motivation, determination, and belief? Motivation, determination, belief, and enough talent? Luck? Does luck factor in?
I’ve been thinking a bit about all things in their time. There are some meetings I’ve had the last month that I could not have had three months before …. Or at least not effectively. I was wondering when the feeling of drinking from the firehose was going to end. Well, there is always more to learn but the learning curve does eventually flatten out.
To get anywhere you must know where you are going but you must also know where you are now. I’ve emerged from the fog of not knowing what on earth backhaul is through knowing the general direction I wanted to go but not finding the path to now knowing exactly where we are and where we’re going.
This now is the fun part, when you’re done your warmups and it’s time to get the workout on. The workout is painful but through it you should be smiling. I normally do, whenever I’m not grimacing!
I was thinking back over the past few months and one part of the learning slowing down is that things which used to make me pause to think: what exactly should we bundle? How should we price? What customers do we want? Which do we not want? In what situation should I worry about the competition? How do we do prospecting and lead generation? What exactly is the messaging, and where do we fit in the ecosystem and where do we not?
It’s fun to see how the puzzle pieces fit together. Like walking on your hands. This takes a lot of different skills from being able to kick up the right way to being able to balance in a handstand to then being coordinated enough to move not just your arms but your legs too, all the while keeping your core tight so you don’t fall down. Getting that to work is a puzzle.
But then you get it and you think you’re pretty cool. Maybe even into that snide ‘elite’ category of CrossFitters. So when does confidence turn into arrogance? There is certainly something in me that is snarky and competitive and likes to feel superior. But I’m also a realist. I know what I’m good at and what I’m not. Ask me what I’m good at and I’ll tell you some things. Ask me what I’m NOT good at and you may be there a while.
Actually, not what I’m not good at. What I’m not confident about. Some things I just plain suck at, some things I don’t really care for but can do just fine, and some things I think I can maybe do if I just applied myself.
This place I live in is kind of magical. The colours are so vivid. I think maybe especially in winter. The sky, the clouds, the water, the mountain, the flowers, the buildings, the people.
I love seeing photos from other places in the world. My friends’ backyards in Boston, Dodgers games, Egypt, the insides of random CrossFit gyms. You see this photo and part of you wonders what would happen if you were there, right then.
This amazing world we have of mobile networks and text chat enables us to send pictures in real time all the way around the world. What an interesting way to share things: you could literally almost share what your life was like all the time, to someone who had never been there. But it really doesn’t work like that. You can’t remotely share the taste of a fresh cherry or smell the Camps Bay air.
The world is small, but also large. South Africa is a special place, but it some days feels very remote and insular.
Or maybe that’s just how I feel right now, training alone, living [mostly] alone, leading alone. Well, you keep going. Unless you hate something about your life, then you fix it.
I hated being injured, and my shoulder is well on the way to full health. Just you watch, I’ll be doing strict muscle ups again in a month or two!

Next time I’m walking on my hands I’ll take a video. So I can have a picture for the blog and so in three months when I can walk across the room I’ll be able to look back at how far I’ve come.
  • “I have nothing to teach you.” – Cedric (he was exaggerating)
  • “I protect my energy.” – Kerry
  • “Wi-Fi can mean all sorts of different things.” – Greg
  • “I’ve seen that list and it scares me a little.” – Jeff
  • “Did you install Linux on it?” “No …. But Stefan might have.” – Ellie & Rudolph
  • “Some people don’t handle change very well.” – Rudolph
  • “I would stay in a Halal hotel that did not serve alcohol but if it didn’t have Wi-Fi then f*ck off.” – Sam
  • “This isn’t a video game. I’m not trying to hit them.” – Ellie
  • “It’s always good to have something to fight for.” – Jeff
  • “Just keep going.” – Stanley
  • “It’s me here that’s the freak of nature. Not you.” “I want to be a freak of nature.” – Ellie & Lushwill
  • “It’s the only play they have.” – Dominic
  • “I have some interesting friends, huh?” – Ellie
  • “Nothing says a keen legal mind like getting locked in the bathroom.” – Rolf
  • “Who is the actual customer here? I’m confused.” “It’s a secret.” – Ellie & Jade


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