The last mile

The last mile is always the hardest.

I'm soaked from the rain. My tires spit with every spin, speckling my face with mud.

I turn right on 43rd, and start pedalling up the hill.

And it gets steeper. Steeper than I like. Cranks groan with every push, and so do my knees. I'm tired.

This morning's ride wasn't like this. It was easy. Fast. Effortless. Coasting down the hill like a king; ready to command and conquer.

But now I'm just a man on stupid bike getting passed by cars.

There's no momentum going up this damned hill. No coasting. With every thrust the incline gets steeper. Harder and harder.

I could stop.

That's a scary thought. I could just pull over, and rest. But if I sit, I don't get home. Home's my goal. That's why I'm pushing up this hill. I want to get home tonight.

The dark is my deadline. I don't want to be out here pedalling after the sun goes down. The deadline drives me forward.

It feels like eternity. But I finally get to my turn. Porch light's on.

I climbed that hill. It feels good now. I'm home.

Almost every project is enthralling at the beginning, and a grind at the end.

The last mile is the hardest, but it's also the most important. It's where you finish. Wrap it up. Ship it.

I always forget how important deadlines are. When I bike home from my office, my deadline is to be home before supper. It keeps me on track: no side streets or diversions - I've got to get home.

Projects need deadlines. When you don't have a deadline it's like riding around aimlessly; you're covering distance but not getting anywhere.

Set a deadline. Point yourself up that hill. Travel that last mile. It's a grind, but you can do it.

It's the hardest part, but home is calling your name.

Justin Jackson

PS: I'm launching the book I've been writing on October 15th.

Published on September 25th, 2015
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