Running in anger

Ne vous mettez pas en travers d’un sanglier qui charge.
So there’s this lovely turn of phrase in Romance languages that is roughly translated to English as ‘running in anger.’ I got a chat message a few days back mentioning wild porks running in anger.
I’ve always been amused by TV shows and the like where the translation isn’t exactly in line with the original. I even got an email this week that made me laugh for similar reasons. French and the other romance languages are so expressive and have subtleties that I seem to think English lacks, but perhaps because I grew up with it I just do not properly appreciate them. What I love about wild porks running in anger is that you don’t even need to be there to be able to visualise it clearly.
In CrossFit we have something called ‘beast mode’ where you shut off anything outside what has to be done in the here and now, and just go as hard as you can. Normally applied to competition; can be applied to training as well.
In both cases – don’t get in the way.
Back half of this week I was in a bad mood. My staff were amazing rock stars from Rudolph working with me on a quote past midnight while he was on leave to Stefan knocking out two major changes, a big bug fix, and scoping some integration work to Jeff drinking from the firehose to Tim thinking through an operational issue in Durban to Jade, as always not taking any crap from anyone at any time, myself included.
I especially love people who tell me when I’m wrong. At least, when they understand the situation.
What I don’t love? Abuse.
But thank goodness for my team because nearly everyone and everything else was annoying me. Total sense of humour failure.
Look, I’m a very nice person. Possibly too nice. I have a long fuse. But you make me snap and I snap. I don’t generally tend to be vindictive because who has time for such petty things … but you conduct what I consider to be an unjustified attack OR you act in a morally reprehensible way and I can go from being nice to being …. Well, let’s just say, don’t cross me.
“I can be patient but stupidity is annoying.” – not my quote but may as well have been. Like minds.
And for heaven’s sake do not get in the way of something that I want. When I’m running in anger as I am now, I can build up a significant head of steam.
There is a difference though between the running in anger where the anger is controlled and running in actual anger. The second half of this week was both but more of the latter. I have only myself to blame for this, however, because I didn’t get enough sleep. I’m particularly annoyed at myself because I do know better.
When I was at Exit41, our drive-thru technology was ahead of its time. And this ultimately caused it to fail (among other things). But one lesson from this: you can have the opposite of strategic drift whereby you have an idea ahead of its time. Both are equally problematic.
I’ve said before, and this is no secret, that what we remember isn’t the substance of the conversation or the work we did but the people and how we felt while doing it. Out of every interaction what you remember is how the other person made you feel. Good; engaged? Bad; enraged? Motivated? Demotivated? Excited? Overwhelmed?
I don’t take as much time as I should to make sure that all my interactions are carefully thought through. I’m running in anger, especially now – now that I know exactly where I’m going (or where I think I’m going, if we encounter roadworks we’ll need another plan!), I’m often so focused on the end result that I do sometimes forget about the process.
This is wrong, actually. CrossFit isn’t about the competitions, it’s about the people, and the training time in the gym, and what you learn. That’s why hanging out in a place I don’t normally hang out … all the way at the bottom of an overhead squat, is so good for me. Get comfortable being uncomfortable, and don’t dodge the unpleasant.
I procrastinated a difficult call all week. At the end of it, I’d not only gotten what I wanted but more to boot. Lesson learned.
I also did something I’d procrastinated for ages, which was to have myself checked out for any sort of tears or structural damage to either my back or my shoulder. Confirming what I already suspected, both are fine, although my back remains tender because of an imbalance between right and left; but I now have a rehab plan for this as well.
Keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect different results? Or how about change the plan?
On Wednesday morning I woke up, not in anger, but in amazement. I had this long series of messages on chat telling me a story that quite frankly boggled my mind, and the only reason I got this long set of messages was  because I’d asked a specific question, out of curiosity. It’s kind of like hanging out with Kelly Starrett for a week then later realising who exactly your new friend is, what he’s done, and what he’s busy doing now. I’m still a little bit in awe. To accomplish big things you need a strong vision, lots of dedication, and some serious people skills.
On another note, some great feedback from an old manager of this same friend: At the end of the day it’s not about being right. It’s about HOW you are right. No one likes the jerk who is always right or always saying I told you so or always saying how you should be doing x, y, z.
You can be right, sure. But do it gently and make sure the others are along with. This week I spent a lot of time with my technical team, letting them know all sorts of details from the market feedback to why I am thinking how I am, some funny and amazing stories from my overseas friends’ experiences. And they appreciated it (I think!). They asked good questions. Everything else aside, work is about the people, as frustrating as they can be at times and as much as I box them about the ears at other times. It’s usually not about them anyway, it’s about me, and how I react to the people about me.
But hey, get the motivation right, get the goal right, and you can have quite a few porks running in anger.
  • “I told you it was the carriers.” – Arno (it wasn’t)
  • “You allowed yourself to go out and have fun? I’m surprised.” – Jeff
  • “I’ve been screwed over by so many people in this industry.” – George
  • “I also found out that there’s no internet in the car.” – Miles (Wi-Fi FTW!)
  • “You cannot pretend to not be a dumb pipe if you don’t think out of the box.” – Cedric
  • “At the end of the day you’re judged on successes, not on trials.” – Cedric
  • “Well we need one.” “What, a brain or a certificate?” – Ellie & Adam
  • “I can’t have cake!” “Well, I didn’t know if you were still in the Paris/London phase.” [pause] “Good point.” – Ellie & Jeff (the answer is no)
  • “It is good news.” – Stuart (rotator cuff not torn)
  • “You’re worshipping sunk costs! You fool!” – Ellie (said with love, believe it or not)
  • “It’s always good when good people get screwed over. Oops! I mean bad people!” – Ellie
  • “I didn’t want to rock the boat. I said leave that to Ellie. She likes to rock the boat.” – Tim
  • “Well, that was unexpected.” – Tim
  • “That’s weird … why would it …. I’m going to take it out.” – Stefan
  • “It’s a bit worrying how much I like them.” – Tim
  • “Well this was a fantastic meeting!” – Ryan
  • “We’re not gossiping. I’m sharing information about an event in my life.” – not a gossiper
  • “There is this sort of inbred mentality.” – another non-gossipper
  • “Oh no. That’s even more disturbing.” “That’s terribly disturbing.” – Ellie & Michelle
  • “The more consistent you are at whatever you do in life, the more successful you will be.” – Jean
  • “It’s very important that I inform you.” – Byron (not that we’re messing with my spine or anything like that….!)


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