By Sam Beaumont
In the previous 8 weeks since starting SCA we’ve been told many times about the importance of turning up. If you turn up, you’re in with a shot of winning. You might have a chance to improve. You allow yourself the opportunity to learn something new. In this 9th week however, I realised the value of not turning up to school.
I want to quickly point out that this penchant for non-attendance wasn’t born out of laziness, or the invention of an amazing piece of teleworking technology that means I never again need to leave my room. Unfortunately it came about because I got some kind of flu this week, and had to make the choice between struggling on or giving in to the dastardly virus.
My first reaction was to choose the first option. I groggily made my way into school on Monday. There may have been seismic activity going on in my stomach, but deadlines were calling. Masterclasses wait for no man. Sadly, after a quick stint of trying and failing to keep my eyes open during John’s talk (no reflection on his subject matter) it became clear that wasn’t the right choice. I went home.
Unfortunately I didn’t learn my lesson at that stage. The next few days were spent in a similar vein – fighting between the part of me that knew I just needed some rest and the part that was worrying about all the reasons I couldn’t afford to not go in. ‘Marc will think I’m lazy’. ‘It’s not fair to leave my partner with so much work’. ‘I’m already too far behind’. But in essence, instead of fixing all of these issues, the time I put into soldiering on was just time spent getting nowhere and prolonging my recovery.
Too late, I realised that once you’re ill, that’s it. You can struggle on, you can squeeze out every last drop of energy in order to do work that’s only a bit less good than you might have done with a healthy brain. But really once you’re in that state, battling on is pointless. No-one at SCA is here to do work that’s just OK so all you’re doing by carrying on is extending the amount of time until you’re back to fighting fitness. The only way to win is to not get ill in the first place. Or if that fails, get not ill again as quickly as possible.
So to anyone else who inevitably will get ill between now and July. First of all, try not to. But if you do, no one will hold it against you if you drop off the map for a couple of days. Know when your health is more important. Know when not to turn up.