Opinon: Off to the races

Commentary by Terry Anker

With the rising sun, we all reach collectively for our smart devices. What messages arrived over night? What is the itinerary for the coming day? We run the rat race as if our lives depended upon it. Perhaps they do. Whether corporally perilous or not, we can agree that we are all running somewhere – either toward our objective or away from it.  We move, always. Even as we think that we are standing still, we are carried along by those near us. As we consider it now, it all seems very exhausting.

So if we are all somehow tied to the race, how do we win – or at least try to keep up?  Ask any experienced runner about their technique to victory and one will elicit as many responses as athletes asked. A sprinter will urge an immediate burst from the blocks and a full-on dash through the finish line. The distance runner might encourage a more methodical and deliberate approach to triumph. Have a game plan. Execute on the plan. Win with the plan. OK, but how does it connect to us? Is life a marathon or a sprint?  And if we figure it out, can we plan a strategy that makes it all a bit easier?

Conventional wisdom implies that life is a marathon and not a sprint. We are encouraged to hold back so as not to burn out too quickly. It all sounds reasonable, but sometimes it seems more like a relay race. Occasionally, we carry the baton. Other times, we pass it along for another to carry. Then we stand at the sideline and cheer them on – our hopes vested in their talent and dedication. Who knows? Still, if we are off to the races, shouldn’t we determine what kind of race we are running?

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