Sprinting endurance

Yesterday morning felt so sparkly! I made a 10am appointment after I got up around 7:30, and there were a certain set of things that had to be completed before I stepped out the door.

There was enough time. Mostly. But absolutely no slack. I had to hit all my marks, I hit all my marks, and slid into the car Right On Time. Sparkly!

What is that sparkle? The completed joy of a fully-checked list? The electric kick of being timed? The workmanlike satisfaction of everything operating at peak efficiency?

I mean, I recognize the feeling. It’s the same jolt I got as a high school swimmer when I touched the wall at the time I anticipated…or better still, sooner than I’d planned. There’s something biologically profound about performing well under constraint.

I recognize the feeling from last winter, too. From when I started my contract. It felt so good to stretch, to push, to reach for the groove of effectiveness. I wonder now whether that was the core of my satisfaction there. 

Particularly since I’ve always been a sprinter. Fast, hard, and r-e-s-t. Scanning over my working life, I see how and where I pushed against norms to accommodate my rhythms. But dang, it’s so antithetical to Always On Land. 

And even intellectually knowing this, And even currently working for myself, I can’t seem to draft a picture of how work-sprinting over the long term operates.

I just kick myself when I rest, wonder where the tipping point is into sloth,

and add a mental gold star to the days when the sprint kicks in.

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