Everyone knows the story of the tortoise and the hare, right?
The hare is confident of winning the race, so he stops and rests, and does silly things along the way, while the tortoise is slow and steady. The hare obviously loses focus, and lets his overconfident self get in the way, and in the end, the tortoise wins! Slow and steady wins the race, as some will say.
Saturday was my real- live version of the tortoise and the hare.
I invited about 6 women to join me in the morning run. No one showed up. But honestly, that's ok. I had an awesome run. My playlist pushed me in great ways, my thoughts flowed freely while I ran, and my pace was one with which I ended in a very happy state.
Many people were on the path. I rather enjoyed watching the different ages, running styles, groups, etc. Running has no age or weight restrictions. No disability limits, either, as I watched the man in the push rim wheelchair sail past me. I love that about running.
But as I was running alone, a bunny was on the side of the path. He saw me, I saw him. Usually bunnies hop away when we get near them. This particular bunny seemed a bit confused, though . Or maybe determined to get ahead of me (as if that would have been a hard task!). And so for a little bit, it was like we were racing. Then all of a sudden the bunny disappeared. But it reminded me of the tortoise and the hare.
The tortoise had a destination and a goal in mind. He knew he was slow, but he didn't let that stop him. He accepted the challenge to the race. The hare sort of had a goal in mind, but no plan to go with it. He was easily distracted and far over-confident, and in the end, that cost him a win.
I truly am the tortoise in this story. (And not just my pace, mind you!) Many "hares" exist all around me. Those I feel I may be racing against, even if the competition is more self-induced than verbally spoken. But those "hares" in my life are just like the one in the story; they have arrogance and take off with a sense of "I'm better than you, I'm going to win", but they don't have a plan or a thought process behind what they are doing. Me? I can get distracted by their ability to seemingly be ahead of me, or I can go at the pace which I am intended, the path which God has laid out for me, and keep my eye on the right prize and just keep pressing forward, one step at a time. Other "hares" exist... thoughts of negativity that want to pull me down and tell me to quit. But those hares can be drowned out with every step I push forward, knowing that with each step, I am beating that thought out of my brain. The list goes on.. But I think you might get the point.
The point is... don't let the hares in life stop you from your race destination, whatever that might be. Because, as I have well learned over the years, slow and steady does win the race. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Verbalize it however you wish. But don't let the hares ruin your race. They are everywhere you look in life, but if you keep your eyes and mind on the goal ahead, you will be the winner in the end, just like the tortoise.
As I ran on Saturday, and was reminded of that story, I chose a race goal for the fall. I hadn't really planned on setting one, to be honest. Even though I am a goal setter, I was more just looking forward to running a fall race. However, I couldn't escape this one that kept coming back to me. I haven't shared it with anyone, not my family or my best friend or my boss or coworkers. And for the first time ever, I may hold this one closely to my heart until post-race to share with you. Because this leg of the journey in the training feels like a particularly inner journey, different from past ones, but I suppose with some similar lines of learning, and I think this time my goal is reserved for me alone... but don't worry, post race I will be inclined to tell you all about it.
In the mean time, keep pushing forward, one step, one day at a time. And don't let those "hares" distract you. Not in your training or in your running or in the race of every day life. Slow and steady wins the race. Keep moving forward. Standing still is the worst thing you can do.
Oh, and by the way, that bunny that ran along side me for a bit, racing against me ... it disappeared, typical of the hare, and so I declared myself the winner by default ;)