Whenever I think of Oklahoma, I think of some football rivalries and of some of my family I have out there. I’m not positive if it is the most recent time, but it is a vivid memory for me seeing my cousin during Thanksgiving many years back. I was a kid and he was a teenager. We had a chance to shoot hoops and he was good. I was ok for my age, but being that he was older, taller, bigger, and more skilled I was impressed. I always liked the chance to play against great competition as it made me want to build my game higher and he helped to serve as some motivation to do just that.
I had reached out to my cousin about catching up while in Oklahoma and he was easy going and happy to do so. He is an assistant manager at a Mexican restaurant in Norman and so at his direction, I met up with him at the restaurant. He said he would hook me up with some food and holy cow did he! It was amazing to have a nice meal and drinks while relaxing. He would take some free moments to chat before returning to his duties. Being someone that has spent hundreds of hours observing people perform (in order to help them achieve higher performance through mental skills training) it was obvious to me he had high competence and the respect from others for his leadership.
I liked being able to relax, catch up and enjoy the food. Something that surprised me was the variety of dip options to accompany the chips. There were two salsa options and a queso as well. Not a bad way to get things started. The enchiladas were yummy of course, although I do have a slight bias that they aren’t at the level you’d experience in southern California.
Once it was time to close up shop, we chilled some more with a beer as the game wrapped up. From there we went back to his place and then out to a local bar for a drink. While mostly confident we would get along fine, there was a small thought that maybe we wouldn’t. The last time we spent much time together was years ago and now we were grown men. The odds played out and it was good.
Something I experienced and often enjoy is taking something I know something about and getting the “local” perspective. This time it was regarding Sooner football. The University of Oklahoma has a huge, passionate following which is well known. It was nice to take this concept and see how involved my cousin is and it turns out he was very well spun up on the current roster and those of years past. Proving that passion!
We headed back and watched some TV before calling it a night. Waking up, I headed to a non-CrossFit gym and heard the owner wasn’t there. The employee did make a phone call on my behalf and set up a time for me and the owner to meet up later. I worked on some things until the time was ready and then was able to experience The House of Power. I heard how a long-term vision and belief in yourself is key.
After the meeting, I was offered a chance for an impromptu workout. I had some hesitation but decided to get after it. A workout with others is a great way to bond as you share a passion and also experience a mini adventure of sorts, making your way through each rep of the workout. Plus, there is often time to exchange help and stories.
The focus of the day was squatting. It was me and 3 others getting after it. Something hit me in a figurative manner during this experience. Even though I know I’m not in the best shape due to the travels, I am generally rather strong and fit and can do ok. This workout was more strength training than CrossFit style, which normally plays nicely into my experience. This time though, I am not conditioned for it.
As we were writing out the weight for each set of the program, I had to actively choose lesser weights, knowing that I haven’t done anything heavy in months. It was like a moment of embarrassment, yet I know it doesn’t matter. I have lifted with stronger and weaker people and I just appreciate some good solid effort, a spot, and maybe some good chats while recovering for the next set. There was also had an odd feeling of want to tell tales of me being strong. As if to show that even though I’m currently not, I used to be pretty strong and due to that you ought to respect me.
Overall it was just an unanticipated series of thoughts and emotions I experienced in addition to the effort and fun of the workout. I think it’s natural to want to show the best of you to new people, but this also served as a nice moment to appreciate humility in the present, rather than bragging by past achievements. We did have a great workout, had some strong sets and the soreness would last for days. I was grateful for the opportunity to lift with some great guys.
Going into the evening I popped into Twisted Spike Brewery. Through a phone call from the staff and some coordination, I had a chance to meet with the owner that night. I heard how their prime directive is making beer to the style. It was nice talking about the experience of maintaining a full-time job while crafting a thorough business plan and putting in consistent hard work.
I had also tried another brewery but would have to come back the following day. Due to my last meeting ending rather late, the night was pretty laid back, which I didn’t mind after the previous night’s festivities.
The next day I went to Stone Cloud Brewing and heard how quality comes from measuring, record taking, and learning. I appreciated the beer too!
I then had a meeting set up for my final meeting of Oklahoma, this was with CrossFit 405 South. I heard how having systems in place is of great importance. This is something I’ve long been passionate about. Having systems can increase efficiency in many ways. It makes us evaluate the steps needed and reduce redundancies. Additionally, having a system means freeing up cognitive capacity for more thought intensive requirements.
With my final meeting done, it was time for me to head to Texas. If only I could have something to eat first, it would make that trip much more enjoyable. Good thing my cousin was so kind as to offer up a chance to feed me again at the restaurant before I cut out of town! Again, I ate a lot of food and experienced complete kindness.
Starting and ending an experience in a state with food is sure to make me happy and that it did!