Are we nearly there?
How can you conserve your energy when you don’t know how far the finish line is? That’s a key concern of a mushers. They have to manage their sled dogs, who are going flat out but don’t know if they have another 5 or 50 miles to run. A fitting parallel to the current health crisis, whose end is also unknown.
Sled dogs know an awful lot about their environment. But when they’re in a race, they have no idea where they’re running nor how long it will take. So it’s up to the musher to indicate when to stop to eat, drink, and warm themselves. The dogs are just desperate to get going again. One musher draws parallels between his sled races and the current situation, and offers this advice:
– This is a test of endurance of unknown length, so save your strength even, and especially, if you feel you’re in great shape. Enforced and frequent breaks will ensure that you don’t run your batteries down too fast. It’ll be easier to recharge them than if you stop only when you’re completely spent;
– Don’t postpone self-care: get some sleep, ask for help if you need it, and spend time with loved ones. Prepare yourself for the long haul.
Be your own musher — channel your energy, but also that of your colleagues so you can see this through.
What My Sled Dogs Taught Me About Planning for the Unknown
by Blair Braverman (The New York Times, 23 September 2020).
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