Rethink with new ways of thinking

I have just got a sprained ankle, what a horrible pain. Still undecided whether I think it’s funny the fact it happened in the same day I had paid 40 quid to run a half marathon in October.

Since January I decided to start running – I had never run in my life, used to hate it: “Running is not for me”, “I’m too heavy”, “My knees are weak”, “Can’t run a minute otherwise I will have a heart attack on the first mile” were my excuses.

I started with 2.5 km on a cold, rainy, typical London day during my lunch time on one of those very busy, stressing days at work. Yes, I almost had a heart attack, but was good – don’t know to explain the feeling, but it was good to start something.

Improvement came with lots of reading, how to breath, how to run, how to jog, how to practice, the correct movement I should do, the correct position I should stand, the amount of time I should rest, that I should drink water, that I should stretch, that I should listen to my body, that I should buy comfortable shoes (Nike liked this) according to my feet type. Lots of reading about random stuff!

I had no idea I would learn all these things, those made the whole thing much easier. With a lot patience and self motivation thoughts I started to improve. In one month I was running 5 km, in three months I was running 10 km, in six months I did my first half marathon, in 9 months I could run 5 km under 5 mins/km.

That was amazing.

I can link this specific moment of my life with my professional life. I would say 60-70% of everything I know – professionally speaking – was learnt by myself, reading things on StackOverFlow, discussing with work colleagues, always on the “survival mode of learning”.

I struggle to keep a routine of studies, lots of brand new stuff (languages, techniques, models, patterns, paradigms, technologies) are being used on the market and to be part of that I think is wise trying to learn at least the basics of everything – even if it’s not my area.

I have to be good at TDD, BDD, Javascript, WebApi, Entity Framework and lots of other things, but also know the basics of what Testers, Scrum Masters, UX Designers do.

Learning things I don’t need to use is hard. It’s hard to tell myself that taking some hours out of my busy week to learn something I won’t use any time soon is worth doing.

But I believe is necessary, and the best thing I could do. Knowledge is everything, both for running faster and programming better.

When I was reading about running I discovered new things, some of them I introduced to my life. The same applies to studying, you might not be using that new skill at the moment, but you will be introduced to a whole new way of doing things, a new way of thinking, a whole new scenario of possibilities that will make you rethink everything you do at the moment, which is awesome.

So, try to create this habit: 1 hour per week.

It’s totally worth trying. Stressed? Tired? Busy? It’s fine, take some time off. Everyone needs to rest. You, me, my ankle.

But remember, I will only be running that half marathon in October because of what I learnt within this 9 months, otherwise I would be still running counting the minutes to finish – almost having a heart attack.

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