Triathlon has made me more alert and a better employee. I am a much better lawyer now that I am obsessed with triathlon. I think it has to do with time management and of course, the workout endorphins.
But really, most days, I want to swim, bike, and run my way right out of the legal profession. Some people are born lawyers. I just missed the legal gene.
I think about Starbucks alot. I would like a job where I could leave the work each day, and not worry about it until the morning. The coffee cups at Starbucks have no deadlines. There is no malpractice with coffee. Starbucks turns the lights out at quitting time and the cups are still there in the morning. You cannot make Venti Skinny Vanilla Soy Lattes in advance. No one is sitting at the drive-thru ready to pummel you with a bat for failing to get their brother out of prison. At Starbucks, the job is literally done when you walk out the door.
The legal profession, like most jobs, can be pretty soul-sucking. Some people, as I mentioned, love the law and all it stands for. They like the work, the deadlines, the drama, the endless boxes of paper, the perception of justice. I admire them. I wish I felt that way. I have tried to feel that way for almost ten years – ever since the first day of Civil Procedure class and not knowing what in the world Pennoyer v. Neff really held. [For the record, I understand it now...just saying.]
Turns out that personal jurisdiction is tricky. But it all makes me want to wring my hands and shake a tambourine.
During the beginning of my journey into triathlon, I was having severe trouble sleeping from the work sitting at the office, on my desk with all the 0.1 billable hours I needed or missed attached to it. Work was constantly ping-ponging around in my head. The living/breathing/screaming files sitting on my desk, the list of to-dos that I would never even scratch the surface upon, the things I should be drafting, reading, reviewing. The up-side of law was the flexibility, the camaraderie, the fun parties and the shoes. But the rest.. whew.
BTW – this law school graduation photo is one of my favorite pictures. Not because the Expert and I look well-rested and young… but because when the kids see this picture, they say, “Oooh, that’s when Mommy was a pirate.”
Anyway, triathlon became an elixir for my endless lawyer lists. Once I began to train for triathlon, I found something changed.
Despite the fact that sometimes, I felt like a real pirate (full of booty) when I laid down to sleep each night, I would think about my morning workout instead of the screaming files at the office.
Because I had a morning workout, I was forced to barrel through said workout before I could get to the noisy files. In a strange way, triathlon put up a manageable barrier to the law. I would deal with the law when I finished doing something for myself.
And while the files were still there when I woke up, I could only see the files – I could not reach them or hear them – they were simply too far away. I had to finish my workout first.
|Less Pirate-Like. Run the Vineyard, August 2011.|
Triathlon was also taking up space in my head. Like the law, triathlon is also noisy.
But triathlon is like a rocking Aerosmith concert. Whereas the law is more akin to ….noisy rush hour traffic…or, fingernails on a chalkboard while jumping on aluminum foil inside of a Styrofoam cooler with screaming kids yelling “poopy pants weiner face!” Or something like that.
The sounds of triathlon drown out these impossible life noises… oftentimes, when I need it most.
What about you? Do you tri.. because triathlon is your “good” noise?