25 Oct 2009

Every decision to succeed at something is a decision to fail at something else.

So by failing to train, by diverting resources to work and Fire Hazard and travel, I chose to fail at Run To The Beat, and I did. 2:21 is 21 minutes slower than my last half-marathon, and much more painful.

Given that, how do you choose?

I've tried setting overall strategy - Vision, as I call it at work. This year was the Year Of The Spy: weight-training and French lessons are in, computer games and rollerblading are out. But it didn't work out that way; opportunities appeared and I grabbed them. I don't trust the long-term plan so it doesn't work.

In Cardiff we bought expensive tickets to Survival Of The Fittest well in advance, before it really sunk in. Dead-scared on the day, we still had to do it, and (as nearly always) we were glad we did.

But you don't have to buy tickets to commit.

July: I'm wiped from work, with four miles to cover to the pub. Heavy rain drips from my glasses, blinding me to the dangerous traffic on Euston Rd. But I said I'd be there, and I'll be there. Turnout is poor but that only means more time with the long-lost friend I'd come to see.

It's easy to forget why you like people, when they're not around. It's easy, and it's sad.

Lyn's barely finished booking the birthday tickets to the London gig when I hear that I've been accepted as a presenter at Scrum Gathering. In Munich. On the same day. The last conference trip collided with our anniversary, so this is a step too far. I said I'd take her to Newton Faulkner. Dammit.

So I bring her to Munich, and afterwards when we land at Stansted, instead of the bus home, we get the train north to Cambridge. We're a day early for the gig, so we spend some time exploring King's College chapel and Trinity's Wren Library.

It turns out to be worth it. Stagecraft is a step beyond musicianship, and Newton Faulkner nails the non-stop set as we take turns to brace between a support pole and a ledge on the back wall so that we can see it happen.

Then it's back on the bus, the bus, the train and the tube for two days of unpacking and rest.

I'm back to work on Monday, putting out a week's worth of fires and preparing talks for XP Day and SPA. Dead Reckoning on Saturday, fifty-plus players in full costume on the Heath expecting £13 worth of fun but Royal Fail's lost a critical box of props. Test game on Monday, and shows coming up at Battersea Arts Center and Southbank. Got to get back to exercise. Six months of cash reserves left before things get ugly.

It's hard to prioritize in this crazy rush, but I keep my promises. What does it matter what I can do, if I can't do that?