What is life on the trail like? I get this question all the time. All I can say is that it’s busy. You really don’t have much time to stop and reflect on it until it is over, and that is one of the reasons why it is so difficult to get yourself in the zone in the first place. You really wonder when life on the trail is going to end.
You’re basically traveling from place to place while the politician in question gives speeches, attends fundraisers, or lots of other events. It’s lots of events, lots of preparation, and lots of traveling. All of this can wear at you a little bit. However, you still love every moment of it at some level.
There’s a lot of buildup to life on the trail. When politicians are in office, they’re thinking about all of this all the time. When they’re actually running whatever they’re running, they’re constantly trying to devise their triumphant return. There’s an extent to which life on the trail is the real life for a politician since getting elected is the most clear-cut of the politician’s victories.
Politicians do a lot of important work, but most of their victories, while they are actually in office, are going to be modest and clerical in nature. They will often have to achieve a lot of their victories gradually if they achieve them at all. Getting elected is straightforward, immediate, and undeniable. There is something emotionally satisfying about that. There is also the fact that no on can call you a loser if you get elected, no matter what you do when you are actually in office. They might not like your policies, but they can all agree on one thing: you won. If there’s a reason politicians spend so much time thinking about life on the trail, that is part of it.