“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” Haruki Murakami writes this in What I Talk About When I Talk About Running.
I somehow doubt he was talking about a mileage run. And yet, the quote sticks.
I haven’t had to worry about a mileage run in a couple of years although I’ve sometimes done them anyway – to take advantage of a crazy fare or to keep a friend company. Last year I even did one where I personally didn’t get to keep the miles (my AirPass holder friend did).
This year I was feeling less confident. I’ve been monitoring my progress quarterly to be sure I was on track – and that seemed easy enough. And then I suddenly had a couple of projects stall. And a couple more that moved onsite meetings to teleconferences. And a couple more that pushed plans from December to January. And then I decided to redeem an expiring Business ExtrAA ticket I forgot about for Thanksgiving. Suddenly I was in panic mode.
Don’t get me wrong. Things still looked safe. But just safe enough. With my calculations , I’d just clear my American Airlines Executive Platinum requalification and miss Delta Gold Medallion. That left no room for weather issues (the bane of my existence the past few winters in DFW) or more client changes. And glancing ahead at my plans (travel already booked for Thanksgiving and Christmas and only ONE free weekend left), I panicked.
That’s why at 11 pm on Monday night, I pulled the trigger on two round-trip DFW-LAX “turns” for next weekend. The pricing was good when I threw them on hold on Sunday and I decided I could bite the bullet and start stacking up miles. I’d then only be 5,000 miles short of requalification (not bad considering I’ve been winging it all year). On Saturday afternoon and again on Sunday morning, I’ll fly from DFW to LAX, deplane, and quickly hop on a return flight. With any luck, upgrades will clear and I’ll be able to catch up on work (or blogging).
I think that was the crazy move that dislodged what was stuck in the universe. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the travel confirmations started to roll in. Teleconferences changed back to meetings, stuck projects became unstuck. And new trips materialized out of the blue. So now requalification looks like a piece of cake AND I’m back to having to decide whether to stockpile AA miles or to get the extra segments to earn Delta Gold Medallion.
Where has the fourth quarter left you? Will you be running for status too?