SLOW. moving or operating, or designed to do so, only at a low speed; not quick or fast
It comes up often, especially when running. I am slow. I am trying to get faster but I will always be, in comparison to most runners I know, the slow one. Some people believe that if they are slow, they are inferior to others. I used to be that way. I used to think that speed defined me as a walker, a wogger, a jogger, not a runner, that I was inferior to "real" runners, because I was... SLOW. In fact, I know all kinds of fun facts about being slow. Did you know that the sloth moves 3 miles an hour? Did you know that unless being pushed, a couch doesn't move at all? Did you know that turtles can move pretty darn fast if motivated to do so?
I learned this last little fun fact while visiting my local zoo. It is a small zoo but it has a lot of cool animals. One of my favorites has always been the orangutan and chimpanzee exhibit. The exhibit is a 4 foot tall fence with a large canal of water on the other side and in the middle of the enclosure is an island. On the island you can see the different "apes" playing and having fun, but their favorite thing to do it seems is to stand on top of these large turtles that like to sun on the bank of the canal. They also like to sort of "skip rocks" with the turtles and send them flying into the water. Most visits I have made, I spend some time looking at the goofy apes, offering to toss them nuggets from my cup of food that I always buy to feed the giraffes. After I do this, I watch the turtles. Sometimes they are taken by surprised, ridden like a make shift surfboard down to the water. Sometimes they get flipped before they even fully can get into their shell and hide. However, the BEST part, is when they see one of the crazy chimpanzees heading for them and they high tail it down the embankment and into the water. They can move FAST!
I kind of always pictured myself like a turtle when I was "running" but this new-found information was enlightening. I could continue my usual miles slow and steady but I could zip pretty quickly if I tried, and if I had the right motivation. I do hope to get faster but in the process I need to walk before I learn to run. I need to accept my slow-ness and I also need to celebrate it. I need to not be dragged down by the naysayers and not be intimidated by the superfast. I am proud of every mile I complete and I don't do it for anyone out there but me.
Dan posted a shirt today with the slogan, "Slow Runners Make Fast Runners Look Good, You're Welcome" and he was kinda bothered by it. I have to say, as a slow runner, I am bothered by it too. It has too many words for me. It should simply read "Slow Runners Look Good". Be proud of being slow. Be proud of being fast. Just be proud of getting out there and moving. Your journey is YOUR journey and as much as I need to take my own advice on this one, Just be proud of yourself. We may be turtles, but man, we can move.
Crawl, Walk, Run Forward,
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