I am a runner. Well, technically a jogger. I often run at the track near my home. Most on the track walk, therefore my speed, however meager in running terms, is far faster than walking.
So it’s whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, as I pass the walkers over and over around the track. My speed and endurance seem amazing to the walkers.
Some will come and walk for an hour. I am running when they come and still running when they leave. I have whooshed by them twenty or more times.
I got several lessons in life today on the track.
As I circled the track with my long steady strides passing the walkers like lamp poles, I got to feeling superior. I know you shouldn’t, you don’t have to tell me, but after the constant whooshing past far younger people, it goes to your head.
Then he came. He was short, perhaps five feet three. He didn’t look like much of a runner. I saw him get out of the car and stretch as I whooshed by a couple holding hands.
He started running a few feet ahead of me. He was fast. I sped up to keep up. At last, I had someone to pace myself against. After half a lap, I was on his heels but my breath was coming harder and heavier.
After the first lap, I was gasping but still on his heels. After a lap and a half, my foot started hurting. I was hurting; I was gasping for breath.
I slowed up and got back to my pace. The pain in my foot went away. I could breathe again without sounding like I had a lung disease. He sped away.
In a fairly short time, Whoosh! He went past me. Whoosh Whoosh Whoosh!
In life, there will always be those slower and faster. Some have natural ability; some have trained harder. For some, speed is simply their destiny.
The point is, we each have our own speed, and we often end up hurting ourselves and pushing ourselves to the point where the breath is knocked out of us…because we are trying to keep up.
I learned several lessons that day:
Don’t get puffed up because you are faster than some.
Don’t feel inferior because some are faster than you.
Don’t judge the capabilities of others by how they look.
How much of your breath (spirit) is knocked out because you are running someone else’s race? Are you trying to outrun someone’s car, house, clothes, looks, job title, etc.?
How much pain are you in trying to keep up with someone who may be running for an entirely different reason, heading to an entirely different place, with entirely different muscles?
Slow down or maybe speed up, but run your race to the best of your ability.
Whether you realize it or not, you are the real pace setter.
Don’t run fast when you should be running slowly.
Don’t run at all when you should be walking, and don’t walk when you should be running.