The Sprint

There is always life after the sprint

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This is my first year out of college. I would have to say I’m learning more now than I ever did in the classroom, finding endless opportunities for growth and ways to experiment with new ideas. The major difference between consulting and any other work I’ve done is the cadence. Projects have a pace all their own. It takes foresight and hard-nosed discipline to keep up.

I’m fortunate to be surrounded by peers and colleagues who strive for excellence. We see possibility and we chase it - we work, slave and toil in an attempt to manifest the amazing future we see in our dreams. And we just can’t wait to share it with others.

But sometimes…well, sometimes we triumph and sometimes we fall short. Sometimes we sell the engagement and sometimes we don’t. Sometimes our clients love our work, but sometimes they don’t get it or don’t see the value. Sometimes we win, sometimes we fail.

Regardless of the outcome, there is always the sprint. The sprint happens when we push tirelessly to realize our vision. The sprint is that  heads-down, direction-set, “beast-mode” triggered by too many cups of coffee, a tight deadline, or a new opportunity.

Our sprints have different cadences, different triggers and different meanings. They vary in intensity and frequency. Some of us may only function in sprint mode. Some may operate more variably.  But I’ve recently been reminded of one important truth: there is always life after the sprint.

In consulting, as in life, we must always be mindful about life after the sprint. We must remember that things are as they are. We must be willing to let go once the sprint is done. Life after the sprint consists of contemplation and a resignation of trying to fix or change what was. It is a pause - a chance to regain our sense of self.

After my most recent sprint and the most challenging few months of my career, I wrote this poem:


After the Sprint

Oh, after the sprint:
The bursting gut-wrenching clinch;
The glory-filled, bloodshot eye glint;
Did I make the mark?
 
Oh, after the sprint:
The loving arm-opening pinch;
The foundational long-life-lasting hint;
Time to extinguish the spark.
 
Oh, after the sprint:
The relaxing foot-resting cinch;
The beautiful home-ridden stint;
What journey’s next to embark?

I think we have to remind ourselves of life after the sprint. We have to flow to the rhythm that speaks to us, knowing that when we are done with our work, we can return to a space of meditation as we survey the landscape for the next adventure. For, the next adventure is beyond our sight during the sprint. If we don’t make time to take a step back and reflect on our voyage, we may miss it.

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About the Author

Zach Friedman

Zach Friedman

Zach is passionate about innovation strategy and environmental sustainability. He loves to cook, snowboard and go on adventures in the wilderness.
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