Learning a New Pace
After my oldest son, Carter, was born, I tried running. Yes, on purpose. And no, not from a creature chasing me. I followed the Couch to 5K program and then built up to running a solid three miles without stopping. After teaching my body to endure the distance, I began to realize the importance of pacing.
If I started too fast, I couldn’t make the whole three miles without walking. If I started too slow, I couldn’t make the time I needed to reach. Learning to pace myself became a huge piece of the running puzzle that eventually helped me run a 5K, 10K, 15K, and a half marathon.
Pacing in life is similar. For years, I’ve planned my day in fifteen-minute increments. Back-to-back appointments stacked on top of an already filled schedule kept me going from daylight to dark with zero rest time. I had to be productive. We needed to finish the house we were building. I still had a job and life to lead too. But that pace was too fast to maintain long term.
Now, I’m having to learn a new pace. Practice a slower schedule. Change my internal mindset from go, go, go to balance, balance, balance.
Learning a new pace is challenging. So often I feel guilty for “wasting time”. And here’s the thing, no one is placing that guilt on me, only myself and the drive I allowed to dictate my days for so many years. I told myself if I was still, I was wasting time, which during that season was a true reality.
My reality is different now. We aren’t building a house under a timeline. Our family is living in the house and the projects we need to do can be completed sporadically. It’s time to learn a normal pace where there are planned periods for hobbies and fun. A pace where there’s room for rest and reflection. A pace where I’m not worn out and walking by the end of the race, but instead stable, rested, and able to keep going until I finish.
How about you? What unrealistic pace and self-imposed expectations do you have governing your time and days? Or maybe you are on the other extreme and don’t use your time well at all. Let’s all take some time to look at our pace in life and do some adjusting as needed.