While traveling I often head to the hotel fitness room to run a mile on a treadmill when I have a chance. It feels good to be up and active a bit to counter all the sitting travel requires.
Recently I learned a lesson about setting pace, though, that hadn’t sunk in before.
When I got on the mill and punched in 5.0 mph for the pace, I noticed the readout said it would take me 12 minutes to run my mile. Typical…. But this time I thought, “Oh that’s way too long. I don’t have that much time. I need to run faster and get this mile done quicker. So I punched in 6.0 mph. A ”10 minute mile,” now the digital display recorded. “Okay. Perfect. 10 minutes. I can do that,” I said to myself.
Part way through my mile, though, I started to wear out quickly.
“Oh man,” I complained, “I’m not going to finish this mile. I’m getting pooped!”
As the seconds wore on, my steps got less and less firm. I wasn’t going to make it, I started to fear. “Be tough,” the inner voice bellowed. I hung tough and finished, but resolved not to set that fast a pace again!
The next evening, I stepped onto the mill and punched in 5.0 mph. “My pace,” I affirmed, and I started my jog.
It was fun this time! It was a rate I could keep up with and not get myself so exhausted I risked not making it to my goal.
And I learned a valuable spiritual lesson for life.
If you want to succeed, run at a pace you can follow through with.
For instance, some people spend more than they earn. They’ve set a spending pace they can’t keep up with. Some set unreasonable New Year goals, jump in with an adrenaline-juiced determination, but soon falter. They couldn’t maintain the pace. Others push partners in relationships into places they aren’t ready to go. The effect might last a while, but relations soon fall apart because the pace didn’t have the necessary moral and spiritual foundation to sustain it. And so on…
Pace is a relative term, a human measurement, I suppose. But there’s a lot of wisdom in setting a pace your understanding and ability to demonstrate can sustain.