Breaking the Speed Limit

Pierce Gordon, Ph.D.
7 min readJan 15, 2021

To reach our dreams, it sometimes feels necessary to break the sound barrier accomplishing tasks. Soon enough, however, we’ll be ones left shattered.

What have you lost, on accident or purpose, because of the pandemic?

Flash Gordon has been my nickname my entire life. I got the name from a Morehouse brother who saw me zoom from one task to another with reckless abandon. I learned this important lesson the first time I wrote a scholarship letter to colleges and had to make a personal case for my value. Apparently, the more tasks you can juggle, the more you're appreciated by the world.

As I was growing up, rushing simply felt like the norm: my mother signed me up for two, three, even four extracurriculars at one time, and I spent my early days learning how to be busy. This lesson was only affirmed by my mentors, teachers, and fellow students doing the same thing.

Supremely high grades and critical thinking skills were never enough. You need to show how well you can run the rat race.

At every institute of higher learning, I used to challenge myself by how many extracurriculars I could manage at one single time. Honestly, I can’t remember a time where I didn’t hold a minimum of at least two side projects; honestly, I remember zooming from task to task much more than I remember the projects.

One day, I told myself, it would all pan out. With all of these titles, these accomplishments, these accolades, doors would open somewhere, somehow, and I would eventually reach the top of the mountain.

Until COVID hit.

You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who was more scared of the panorama than I was. At first, that fear served a purpose: the more I stayed away from literally everyone, the more likely I’d stay alive.

You’d think a global pandemic would slow me down. Fat chance. I replaced physical zooming for virtual and psychological speed: the more I did at my computer, the less I focused on the metaphysical dread I felt from the…