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The Power of Precrastination (TESTHEAD)

On July 9, 2013, in Syndicated, by Association for Software Testing
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Heh, I see what you’re doing there. You’re thinking “Oh, Michael, you are so lame. Mis-spelling your main idea in the title. Seriously? Didn’t someone proof read this first?”

OK, I’d not be offended if some of you actually have thought that, especially those who have read my “Live Blog” posts before cleanup. This time, though, I’m actually not mis-spelling. Misappropriating, maybe, but I know exactly what I mean when I say “pre-crastination”. It’s the polar opposite of “procrastination”. If procrastination is the virtue (or folly) of waiting until the last minute, then precrastination is the folly (or virtue) of front-loading and doing what you can before your lizard brain can talk you out of it.

In short, instead of the power of “later”, you harness the power of “now” to not be the slave to “later”.

Today was a good day, in a number of ways. First, I sighed with relief when I saw that my daughter’s plane from Japan landed at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport today without incident. Hurrah! My daughter is back in the U.S.A. I will have to wait until tomorrow morning to hear more about her trip, because she will be held over in Seattle until early tomorrow morning, when she can catch a return flight back to SFO. Today was also a good day in that, right about as Karina was touching down at SEA-TAC, I was getting the staples removed from my leg surgery. With this, plus an X-ray and a consult with the Orthopedic surgeon, I’ve been given a (relatively) clean bill of health, all things considered, and my “graduation papers” from severe injury rehab.

I asked the doctor what was next and he said “physical therapy”. OK, cool, for how long?

“Well, considering the extent of your injury… probably the rest of your life. That is, if you want to bring back and keep full range of motion and operation to that leg.”

Wow! OK! Well, when should I start?

“As soon as you get home. Start today. Start now. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or aggressive, just do something to get moving, but do it today. Your first legitimate ‘break’, commit to doing whatever you decide to do. Start a journal and plug it in. Doesn’t matter what it is, but do it, own it, and follow up on it.”

Thus, I got home, caught up on work, set a time for lunch, changed into running gear, stepped out of the house, turned on the iTouch for a little Daft Punk, set the stopwatch… and I ran.

Let me re-emphasize that… I walked out of the house and RAN!

It wasn’t elegant.
It wasn’t fast.
It was one mile.
The distance of the housing tract I live in by its perimeter streets door to door of my house.
I played “One More Time”, “Aerodynamc” and “Digital Love” from start to finish.
That’s a cagey way of saying it took me exactly thirteen minutes.
To run a mile.

Yeah, that’s pretty embarrassing, but let me emphasize a point one more time… I RAN!!!
You know, running. Something I thought I would never really be able to do again. I thought my bones, my nerves, my muscles, something was causing me to stagger if I got much above a slow jog. Today, I received a firm and concrete answer as to what the problem was. Actually, I received a stainless steel answer. It was my hardware. It was the inflexibility of the stainless steel that caused me to stagger. Removing that steel brought the natural spring back to my bones. I managed a halfway decent running pace, about a level 4 on a stationary treadmill, or the equivalent of an Allegro at the start and a Moderato towards the end (maybe 135 BPM – 110 BPM pace wise).

That’s not going to set the world on fire. For some, that’s considered embarrassingly slow. For me, it’s the start of something I never imagined I’d be able to do again. But I can… and I did… and I did it before I could talk myself out of it!

Not a bad start… now let’s see if I can do better on it tomorrow morning. Bright and early, so I have to do it before I can pick up my daughter.

This “precrastination” thing… there just might be something to it. It goes against my nature, but as Roland Orzabel so eloquently put it… “nothing ever changes, unless there’s some pain”.

 

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