Exhaustion

Everything is trainable.

Exhaustion is a fickle thing. Quickly broken with various stimulants: invigorating drugs, people, music, drinks. It can reverse course with the simplest alterations of body position or wandering changes in thought processes.

The apparently simple cure for exhaustion is of course to just rest. Rest. That non-productive, recuperation that leverages your body and mind’s way towards greater things. What happens when you train yourself to rest upon the first perceptions of discomfort or fatigue. Does tolerance ever increase? Does a muscle grow stronger with this methodology? The inevitable result is a plateau and as life compounds increasingly complex obstacles, I see declines more often than not. So how do we combat these tendencies and how do we combat the 40 hour workweek mentality? The modern answer seems to be more consumption. More consumption without ever leveraging any of it into growth or production. I’m too young for that BS. Too full of rage. Too stubborn to let the grind of life stiffen my gears.

As I write this I’m coming off a long week of tests, assignments, quizzes, workouts and soccer games. Our class now gets a week off for Combined Sections Meeting (CSM). Except it’s not a week off for me because a select few classmates and I are going. I went to the same meeting last year all the way out in California even though I had to study for pathology and neuro every damn evening. I’m going this year for the same reason I went last year. When presented with the opportunity to do more, I take it.

The only hard part is choosing what to do more of. Will what I learn at CSM be immediately relevant for me on my clinicals in the next year? There’s a good chance at least 30% won’t be. Ten percent may never be applied directly across my career but I may yet find a use for it. So I’m gathering my seeds and playing the long game (always the long game). I have no assurance that the furrows of cultivated soil will be deep enough. I have no guarantee that I’m tilting the plow for a deep enough tilling of the land. Should I incline my angle for greater depth and sacrifice more hours and strength? Should I do that I very well may plow myself into exhaustion, but the risk of too shallow is the greater threat.

I will only see my harvest when the season is already upon me. Having the foresight is the only real challenge anymore. Exhaustion is simply part of the process. The sweet spot is when the labor and exhaustion fuel me as much as the vision of the harvest.

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

— Galatians 6:7 , KJV

 

Ramble on,

Sam

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