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Gas left in the tank

1 min

Two miles left to go. I was tempted to put the pedal on the gas. To use up my energy and crank it out. My coach said not to.

He put mental pressure on me. He had me run the middle of this seven-mile run like it was the end of the run. Inversely, to run the end of the run as if it were the middle of the run. This got me all confused thinking.

It takes self-awareness to correlate your physical effort with your mentality. I was feeling good. Why should I slow down when I am up for the challenge? I can go harder so why wouldn’t I? Why should I pull back with more left in me before the end?

Because when there is still mental aptitude left, it keeps you wanting to come back for more. It is better to leave a run feeling like you’re ready for more than to leave yourself burnt out. I have found the same for writing.

I let the words flow until the ideas start to run dry. If I leave it at a dead end, I don’t want to come back to it.

Intentionally closing the door on effort is important. Just because you have more to give, does not mean you should give it.

Think about your future self. Stop before you get injured or completely bored. You remember that final state of mind when you leave. Make your future self be dying to come back. Leave yourself a cliff hanger in your writing. Walk out of that run desperately wanting to come back to give it your last ounce of effort the next time. Make your future self unquestionably beg to come back.

We remember our emotional states when we leave work in progress. Choose wisely.


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