Today at work, a friend and I were talking about the ways in which being a runner prepares one for being a tenure track faculty member. After careful consideration, we determined that they are a lot the same.
To be successful as a junior faculty member, you have to have a few key things. First, you have to be able to tolerate discomfort, tedium, and hysteria. Also true of running. You have to constantly strive to improve. Immediately after finishing a project, a study, or a publication, you must think “I could do that better/more”. Same with running. To be a good junior faculty member, you have to be willing to put in long hours, sometimes doing repetitious tasks, without thanks. Check. Finally, to be on the tenure track, you have to be willing to work insanely hard at something most people don’t really understand. Yep.
Though things have been super crazy at work lately, I’m comforted to know that running has prepared me well for the challenges ahead.