Can’t we just

Have a little bit less drama? Maybe it’s the break but I’m just not feeling the energy to get worked up about things at the moment.

I love CrossFit. I do. But when you get to a certain level, it needs to do something more for you. You reach a point at which you’re no longer automatically going to PR every time you test a max lift, and that is disheartening. Or you’re in a strength focus and you go to do a metcon and you’re sucking wind, or somehow on that day your technique is just out the window and you’re struggling with 85% of your max snatch.

It’s just exhausting to have to run as fast as you can to keep in the same place. And, for certain people at least, you’re being watched.

I’ve said this before but my younger brother hates to be the centre of attention. HATES it. Me? I’m quite happy to be the centre of attention … just not all the time. And, for goodness’ sake, one thing that really annoys me is being watched. I was at the gym the other day and there was this guy there and I swear he was staring at me. For like 30 minutes. Maybe he’d never seen a CrossFit girl before; I don’t know. But it made me uncomfortable. To be watched and scrutinised is not comfortable. Ever. It’s one thing in competition where you actually don’t care, and you’re one among many. It’s another thing when someone is just scrutinising you, for whatever reason of their own.

And sure we put ourselves out there on social media. Sometimes I’m feeling punchy and the world gets my randoms. Sometimes I’ll only share stuff that I think is genuinely interesting. Sometimes I just feel like whining (like now … my back is KILLING me; I think I overdid it testing one of the competition workouts the Masters at DCF are doing this weekend … I think it was 150 kettlebell snatches or such … massive beatdown).

I would say ‘mind your own business’ but we do all do it, you know. Absolutely loved this analysis of sales, cognitive biases, and Eminem from James Altucher. Eminem is far from a saint but he is also a marketing and sales genius, you can’t deny that. I like what Altucher, who is known for potentially excessive honesty, says at the end of the post, though – that he’s all the time getting feedback along the lines of “YOU CAN’T SAY THAT!” What will people think?

People. With opinions. Mostly, they don't really care as we're all wound up in our own little worlds!

People. With opinions. Mostly, they don’t really care as we’re all wound up in our own little worlds!

But it’s actually simpler than that. Cat and I have the same thing in our relationships. Most people are terrified to be confronted by people who call it like they see it. For the most part, if I think a criticism is fair I’ll own right up to it on the spot. It’s when I think it’s not fair that I see red. But many people just don’t like even to face the possibility of criticism, which is why in coaching and managing we must be careful to say things in the right way. All our egos are fragile.

So many people try and look perfect to the outside world, and some even insist to you that you must also either be perfect or appear to be perfect. I’d rather just call it as it is, but catch myself if I’m straying too far from the sort of person that I want to be.

And that is a rational, kind, calm, collected, open kind of person. I do not like the emotional rollercoaster feeling you get when you look at the short term. The sky is NOT falling every day, nor does everything change in one meeting. And sure I like intelligence and confidence; but I might possibly like positivity more.

And then, of course, there is the lovely Dorothy Black on Real Life vs Blog Life. OK I’m not a famous blogger. But I do have a consistent audience greater than just my family. There are lovers and haters. We all do, of course. But the more visible you are, the more you have.

But really, people … what I write here is a reflection of what is in my head. It is not actually what happened. Some things are metaphors. Many things are entirely omitted. Some of it may even be entirely made up!



That’s the joy of a mirror, you see what you want to see; and sometimes you see something you really, really don’t. It’s still there; an elephant in the corner.

It’s normal for this season but in the last week or so I have mostly just wanted to be alone. Competition season turns me into an introvert. Partly it’s because the lifestyle isn’t so suited for socialising, but partly it’s just that the focus is inward. Eat right, sleep right, train right (ugg). My central nervous system is more than a tad unhappy with me between the travel, jetlag, lack of training, and then jumping right back into sets of 80kg back squats and 60kg power cleans. God I hate power cleans.

I’ve started this year by turning off every notification I could find on my phone; except for WhatsApp and the phone functions, that apparently don’t disable. And my phone goes into flight mode overnight and at any restaurant meals or important meetings. It makes a difference! As much as I love the smartphone, that horrible device makes you reactive, and when you’re reactive you’re not proactive. When you’re rushing around you’re not thinking.

I was also realising that even when there is mostly balance, one small thing can turn the tide. I love my industry; I absolutely do. The secrecy and the backstabbing appeals to the drama queen in me but it’s also exhausting. I love the strategists I’ve met for whom I have a deep and profound respect. I sincerely hope that we can stay friends and not competitors. I love gossip; and engage in industry gossip all the time. No one ever better hack my WhatsApp account. I even love taking calls at 2am the night before a proposal is due. It may make a good story one day, who knows?

I sometimes think I’d rather be no other place but here. At other times I think differently. One foot in, one foot out, or even playing multiple games at a time because you’re not quite sure which will work out or even which you would like to work out. Sometimes your second choice turns out, with the benefit of hindsight, to be way better than your first.

It’s confusing. And it’s exhausting. It’s unlike any industry I’ve ever worked in before!

Sunrise at CPT

Sunrise at CPT

I think that I know what I need to get my motivation back. And it’s in Joburg.

I was there for a day trip in the last week and it was almost dreamlike … wake up at 4:15, go to airport, arrive, get car (no bag), go straight to Tasha’s Morningside, then to what may or may not (depending on the final outcome) be one of the most important meetings of my career so far, giddy, scoped out an area, drove back to the airport, came home, then caught up from the day’s mails.

I may also actually be jetlagged. I’ve been having a hell of a time getting out of bed in the morning. It’s not normally like that. I’m just … lacking some form of motivation. Somewhere between the nervous system and the endocrine system, or between my two ears!

At least my body is getting back to its normal self again; I’m down 2.6kgs from when I landed. Bye bye holiday & travel bloat! Paleo works, kids. At least for me.

Not models. Just athletes.

Not models. Just athletes. Actually: also models.

If what I was doing in my life wasn’t a challenge, and a worthwhile one, I wouldn’t be interested. But it could be just a little bit easier.

I received, this week, an unexpected gift from one of my staff members. I think it was the first time such a thing had ever happened to me. More to the point it made me, again, realise just exactly how easy it is to show someone you appreciate what they do. Takes a little bit of forethought, and that’s all.

When I came through immigration at CPT a week or so ago, I was half dazed and asleep, and sort of forgot that it was an immigration interview, in a way. The South African airports are less intimidating than, say, the UK or Canada (or the USA if you’re not a citizen). The guy opened the passport and it took me 5 seconds or so to say “Oh, there’s a work permit in there, towards the end.” And he said something along the lines of “Oh, you work here; what do you do?” and then we had a brief chat and he then said something amounting to: “You are the only polite American who has ever come through here. They are just so arrogant! Toss their passports down on the desk and just stand there.”

I’ve told this story to South Africans, who insist that I must have changed since I’ve come here. I would like to think I was never that rude; and I don’t find my countrymen that way either. It’s baffling. But it’s a great example of perception is reality.

What makes things easier or harder is the support (or lack thereof) of the people around you. In this week I sat down with two of my staff members who work mostly by themselves, to make sure we had the same list of to-dos, and also to prioritise. No worse way to feel than having too much to do (hahaha) and not being sure if what you’re doing is what your boss wants you to be doing.

Stress can be a good thing if it’s constructive, but there’s also negative stress. And a lot of it!

I’ve been questioning a lot.

The difference between analysing and over-analysing? Researching, and over-researching? The end result.

And then there’s my cat. If my cat could be attached to my hip, surely she would be. She’s a needy little creature; and more so in her old age. She is showing her age, and it makes me sad. She went into quite the decline when I was away over the holidays; probably figuring I’d abandoned her again and so for all I know she decided to waste away and die. Now that I’m back, I can’t keep her off my lap. It’s a lovely thing, to have an animal that’s affectionate for you; especially these aloof cats.

i'd been out for all of three hours

i’d been out for all of three hours

On the other side … I don’t like needy.

I do, however, like football. Patriots in the AFC Championship tonight!

  • “Did you really just encourage me to go cause drama?” “You don’t need any encouragement! You’re going to do it anyway!” “Yeah, but you don’t need to encourage me!!”  – Ellie & Anita
  • “You’re not going to believe this.” “Try me.” – Anita & Ellie
  • “If you’re anything, you’re tenacious.” – Lance
  • “Luck is simply an excuse for those who are incapable.” – Lance
  • “Well, that pretty much solves our retail problem.” (maybe)
  • “If I get one thing, it’s marketing.” – Ellie
  • “If you can’t win on the merits, you don’t deserve to win.” – Ellie
  • “If you’re going to be arrogant, you have to be careful that there’s basis for that.” – Jade
  • “You’re in a very good position, you must just make it work.” – Marnus (JUST like that!)
  • “We share the same objectives. They are so close it’s striking.” – Alice

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