Six weeks ago, my friend Christina and I started following a fitness program. After not running since my soccer days (and only then either chasing or being chased), we started training for the 5k ColorRun. We’re following the very sensible Couch to 5K running program and dutifully following the verbal instructions given us by Get Running — an application on our phones. As we work our way through the training intervals, a very pleasant British female voice tells us when to start and stop running, and periodically gives us words of encouragement. Her accent adds a sense of sophistication as we sweat our way around the park.
We often talk back to our British
foe friend, and I would be less than truthful if I said that everything said to her was nice. In fact, for weeks we have made fun of her when she has offered one particular suggestion, sarcastically thanking her for her “sage” advice. When we embark on our longest running interval she offers in her most pleasant and helpful way, “Remember to moderate your pace, and if you find yourself flagging, slow back a little to a pace you can maintain.” This is followed a bit later by, “Don’t forget you can slow your pace a little, should you need to.” For weeks Christina and I have laughed about this, imagining a person running full speed about to fall out, but not knowing how to solve their problem. We picture the person with their hair blown back, cheeks flapping as if in a wind tunnel, painfully sprinting past without the common sense to slow down.
But, last night as I was making my way around the park, it occurred to me that what seems such obvious common sense in running is not applied to other areas of our life.
Indeed, what if in those times when our lives are running at a blistering tempo, a voice could remind us occasionally:
“Remember to moderate your pace, and if you find yourself flagging, slow back a little to a pace you can maintain.”
“Don’t forget you can slow your pace a little, should you need to.”
I hope my artwork can be that pleasant reminder — minus the british accent.