Friday, March 14, 2008

Proof that I'm crazy

I got two e-mail messages yesterday, right on top of each other that, when taken together, clearly highlight my own insanity.

The first was from a teammate of mine, former US national team lightweight sculler. K thinks he looks like my older brother. He's me, just scaled down to about 5' 10, but with no reduction in mass. And he has legs like tree trunks. He's a great athlete, and an excellent oarsman. He's in my boat for the San Diego race, he's in 4, I'll be in 2. For practice yesterday, 2 of our 8 guys weren't there, so coach moved me to stroke seat, and my teammate was in 6, with two other guys filling in in 4 and 2.

We did essentially 500m pieces against the varsity highschool boys, who have the week off from school. They won the first piece, but we took the next three. My coach has (somewhat correctly) gotten the idea that I'm a good head race stroke, but not as good for sprint pieces. I think I'm good at head races, but I also think I can sprint, as long as I have a crew behind me that knows how to bring the stroke rate up by actually bringing the boat's speed up. My crew did a great job of that yesterday.

Long story short, I got an e-mail yesterday afternoon from this teammate simply saying "Nice job stroking today". Which felt great, since he didn't need to reach out to say anything, and his compliments mean a lot, given who he is and the level at which he's rowed and competed. But then I immediately second guessed it. I wondered why he was doing this. Was there some ulterior motive? Did he want me to stroke instead of our current stroke for San Diego? Did he want something from me? Was he trying to organize a mutiny?

And that's the craziness: I can't believe that someone genuinely thinks I'm good at something, or that anyone would do anything kind for me without some desire for something in return.

The other craziness: Every week, I have a conference call with my client in London. And every week, I fear that I'm behind on where they want me to be, that my work isn't as good as they want it to be, and that, now that they're up and running, it's only a matter of time before they get rid of me.

The CEO e-mailed to confirm that my mailing address hadn't changed.

Because they wanted to send me paperwork for an additional stock option grant.

Which was totally unexpected and unsolicited. Which also shows me that I'm crazy. I think it's perfectly reasonable to think that I suck, and they want to reward me.

I admit that my irrationally high standards for myself have been a boon in many ways. They've led to much over achieving. But they keep me from feeling happy about myself and my achievements, too. I've got to start believing that I'm awesome, and other people, who are also awesome, will think so, too. At least I can see the objective proof of my craziness. It's the first step towards fixing it.