Friday, August 28, 2009

Thinking on my feet

Warning: A lot of retrospection and useless information (that is not fun or funny) coming up.

For the past 3 weeks I've been running 5-6 days a week. I seem to need no motivation. I seem not to be tempted to skip a day. At 7pm every day, I don my shoes, grab my trusty iPhone and am off. I've discovered that running for me is full of lucid moments.

Here are some of my thoughts crystallized from recent runs...

At all points in time I need a goal, a plan and measurable results. This is my OCD. At the same time, it is my crutch. It has thus far been the panacea to all my woes- personal, academic, professional,
emotional, you name it. The pre-2007 posts in this blog, with their color coded excel grids and constant progress reports of my b-school applications, will attest my claim. You could say I overanalyze and that I do not know how to "go with the flow". You will be right, of course. But I have unshakable faith in my three pronged defense mechanism. For I've turned even the most uncertain phases of my life into saner, manageable times by breaking my life up into goals, plans and results.

It's been a little over three months since I graduated and I have no idea what I will be doing next. As I try to take stock of my situation I realize that I'm no novice to professional uncertainty. In fact my post-MBA days are merely a deja vu of my post-undergrad days. In my final year of college I gave up the job I got on campus because I decided I did not want to work for that firm. I voluntarily signed up for six months of being clueless about what I will be doing next. You could say I was 20 and didn't know what I was doing. You could say I somehow found the strength to veer away from compromise. Whatever be the case, I turned out fine. Then I did not want to stay in a technical job for too long. It took me three years of focus- the first two spent simply aspiring and patiently waiting followed by one year of micro-planning and executing, before I was admitted to the MBA program of my choice. During my MBA, it took me four months of grueling effort to get the internship I dreamed of. The odds were completely against me. The world of Finance was crumbling under recessionary forces. I was a career switcher and amongst the youngest students in my class. You could say I was 25 and cocky. You could say I somehow found the strength to stick to my guns. Whatever be the case, I got what I wanted.

Beware, this is hindsight painting a rosy picture of the bygones. When I was actually going through each of these episodes it felt like the end of the world, every time. It felt like I was forever swimming upstream. But swim, I did and still do tirelessly. Maybe I have to do it the hard way every time. Maybe I have to learn the same lessons in patience and perseverance to cross every milestone of life. I simply will have to find the strength. But as long as I
have a goal and a plan that I'm implementing diligently and hopefully, the results should come by sooner or later.

Such is the nature of things I think about when I run. Which brings me to the question- Why do I run?

I run
to sweat out my futile tears. I run to let out the anger I sometimes feel at the aberrant world. I run to be alone. I run to ward off inertia. I run to savor the impatience of one foot to get ahead of the other. I run for the silly pleasure of a fellow runner's wheezing smile. I run for the tiny success of beating my 9.5 minute mile with a 9 minute mile. I run for that unmistakably measurable progress. I run to overcome my fears that are, those that have been and others that are to be. If nothing else, I run to have the breeze in my hair.

Until next time....