There is an often quoted line from the doctrine of modern-day military special forces: Slow is smooth and smooth is fast. It refers to how special forces units move — instead of hastily running from cover to cover, the troops move in an intricate dance. Slowly, light footed, each person scanning a portion of the whole field, they make their way from cover to cover. It looks, indeed, smooth. And by doing so, these troops end up covering ground fast — whilst maximizing their security.
The same principle is at play in most sports. In rowing, you can jerk at the oars, or you can flow through the movement. Guess which one will be faster in the end? In running, you can go all out when the road is even or even declining and huff & puff your way up the hills. Or you can run an even split, with a slight negative split in the second half of your race. Guess who will win? In alpinism, you can push through the easy bits and struggle through the hard ones. Or you can maintain an even, measured pace, placing one foot, and one hand in front of the other. Guess who will make it to the summit first?
All this is to say — and with the new year just begun: Make 2022 the year you focus on doing things smoothly instead of hastily. You will be faster, expend less energy, and have more fun doing so.
Happy New Year, my fellow Heretics!