About software development and trail running.

Finding Direction

I had a great day.

I woke up and thought I’m ready to work hard today, to get a lot done, to eat well, to run hill repeats and take some punishment in cross-training. I knew it wouldn’t be an easy day, in fact, it turned out harder than planned. There were annoying bugs and computer problems and time sheets. That run was not a pleasant trail run; time constraints and weather put me on icy roads with sub-zero wind chill. The cat wanted breakfast at 4 am.

It was a good day not despite of the hard work and challenges, but because I have found specific goals and interests in career and life that I am intrinsically motivated to work hard for.

Similarly, this and last year have felt like good years. They have arguably been the busiest of my life, with the most work and plenty of challenges and problems, but also the most productive. I have spent plenty of energy in previous years on this or that job or hobby, but more recently that energy has resulted in real accomplishments: projects finished, commitments followed through, a string of running PRs. The difference is that I have found direction and focus.

Life is easier, I think, when you focus on the few things for which you are naturally motivated to devote hard work with the limited time you have. Many pursuits will only hold your attention sufficiently for dabbling but not for mastery; I have had to explicitly remind myself that it is OK to abandon these, even if they have been an occasional interest for years. This is what allows for focus.

I think that when you are willing to focus and truly work hard on something, you can multiply creativity and productivity. The past two years have been successful for me because I have learned specifically where my skills and interests currently are. In programming: APIs, tools, and productivity; in fitness: long-distance trail running. These interests have even intersected in unexpected ways, resulting in some great experiences. This blog loosely revolves around these programming and running interests, and their relationship and interactions in my life. Thus the title, Running Code.