We all run out of steam from time to time; its only natural, but what’s most important is that we don’t quit. In my experience, burnout is the result of speed without vision–running full speed without focus. Pace yourself or the burn out is sure to come. What kind of sense does it make to start a 5 mile run full speed? Likely you’ll end up passed out on the ground with a pulled hamstring. I don’t advise that you walk the entire race, but it is important not to start off so fast that you can’t finish!
Not only do you have to pace yourself, but you also have to stay focused on the goal. My mother and I are huge track fans, and every time the summer olympics roll around we always tune in to the track and field events. These athletes represent the best of their country, but even the best of the best get side tracked sometimes. I can’t count the number of times I’ve watched races where one runner has a clear lead almost the entire race, but as he nears the finish line he starts to look around to see where his competitors are on the track. With each look back, he’s losing ground, but more importantly he’s losing sight of the finish line. And all the work he put into becoming the frontrunner becomes meaningless, as the runners looking ahead pass him up.
Every time we compare ourselves to others we take a look around and a look away from our goal. As 1L’s we hit the ground running with the goal of graduating and becoming an attorney, but two years later after sending out resumes to no avail and going to every networking event you can find, fatigue can sometimes set in. As we reach the end of our time in law school, it’s easy to get discouraged, when you look around and see that kid that sitting next to you on Facebook during class has already landed a job. But as we make our final strides to graduation, I want to encourage everyone to pace yourself, look forward, stay focused and don’t quit. We’re almost there!
Law school has not been without its cramps and moments of breathlessness. I’ll be the first to say that last semester I experienced a brief moment of the “burnout”. But lucky for me I’ve had inhalers and Bengay along the way, also known as God, family and friends, that have helped me throughout the race. And although I haven’t made it to the finish line yet, I’m happy to announce that I’ve accepted a job at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office in Houston, TX!!!
Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they’ve got a second. — William James