Running/coding

By Matthew Solle on 27/05/2014 — 2 mins read

All arguments and discussions are old and it’s just fine if they remain that way. Old things can just keep on going. It’s never too late or too early to table them again. If it works for you, keep saying it. If it helps, keep telling it (it might even help someone else). Anyway, I am allowed to write what I want, when I want.

Some of us get to things in our own time. We watched from the sidelines, picking over the bones of some older story, wondering whether another kettle might be called out black. But we get to it if it’s worth getting to. We understand the relevance, we just don’t always rush in looking like/for fools.

Running and coding for me exist non-competitively. You are just happy to be doing, never expecting to be the best. Content with knowing that it will always get easier and you will always get that little bit better. Both activities just lend themselves to non-competitiveness. You can enjoy either without any urge to be a big winner. You can deliver life/work-changing results without gaining any medals. You can track everything, segment every step but you don’t have to compete with yourself.

The biggest difference (like with most things) is getting beyond the hypothetical. As soon as you do, you know there are no excuses, no reasons not to. A little goes a long way. And once you start, there is little reason to stop. The fastest thing you learn is the importance of imperfection and incompleteness. You quickly lean into the benefits of rapid communication and versatility. This almost works for both but is (obviously) most relevant to coding/prototyping.

The first lesson (and maybe most important lesson) is don’t confuse the difference between prototyping in code and coding. They are super importantly different. Super obvious but not always remembered/communicated/clarified even in the most super lean modern agile working environments. I promise you.

Once you are beyond the hypothetical, there’s no can’t in prototyping in code. If you can write your name and you don’t live alone on an island then you can. (Put it another way, if I can you can.) There really aren’t any other lessons as once you’ve started, you’ve started (unlike running where you have to get beyond three weeks to make it a habit).

My critical yardstick when running is to keep running. To avoid pushing too hard. Always listening to myself. Self-preservation. Care over overcommitment. Terminally careful. I’m not into competing, I’m just into doing. It also serves as a survival technique keeping any (excessive) behaviours in check.

With both running and writing bits of code to communicate something a little always goes a long way. Running and coding, two very first world problems. Not really solving big big problems but improving one’s lot. Immediate difference, tangible, helpful. Low point of entry. For every/anyone. Self-improvement on a plate. Go.

“I think about coding when I’m running and I think about running when I’m coding (well, I did once and maybe I will again)”

@solle
//somewhere in england

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Bright & Matt is a small product and design company working across digital transformations in government, non-profit and commercial with a wide range of experience in leadership, product management, user experience, interaction design, and user research