Pace

I used my Sabbath morning to go on a hike today.  And since I was alone on the trail, I was able to walk at my own pace. I didn’t even have a time constraint, so my speed wasn’t effected by that sense of “you have a lot to do today, so get moving”.

If I go hiking with my tall, speedy husband and/or my tall, young, speedy sons, I inevitably fall behind. I just cannot keep up their pace. Here’s a photo from a recent hike with Justin and Elliott.

my view on a recent hike

my view on a recent hike

I used to feel bad about “holding people back” because I am not Speed Racer. When I was a runner, a 9 minute mile was a land speed record for me. I don’t feel bad about it anymore. There’s nothing I can do about it. I’m just grateful to be out hiking and able to do it. (Have I mentioned how much I miss having healthy knees?)

My parents have been visiting this week, which has been great. But I realized the pace of my life is much faster than theirs. They are retired, so they don’t have a lot of work to get accomplished during a day. They don’t move through a day as fast as I do. They also can’t walk as fast as I do. They, wisely, attend to their steps with more care. When you are near 80 you don’t want to fall and break a hip.  And so I’ve caught myself having to very intentionally slow down to match their pace (and so I don’t lose them at Target).

Moving at someone else’s pace is a challenge. You have to let go of your agenda and all you thought had to be accomplished in a particular amount of time. You have to pay attention and notice what your companion’s speed is.

It has been good for me to go through my day at someone else’s pace this week.

And I realize that pace applies in more than hikes or trips to Costco. At what pace does the decision process occur at church? (or your place of employment or wherever you spend your time).

“Leadership is about disappointing people at a pace they can tolerate.”
Alexander Grashow
I’ve also heard another version of that quote. “Leadership is guiding people through change at a pace they can handle”.

How do set your pace? Do people have to keep up with you? Do you move at the pace of the slowest person in the group?

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2 thoughts on “Pace

  1. To me, this is one of the hardest things about seeing my parents age because it is so saddening — the slow down. My dad came down for a vacation in Florida and when he got home, my brother said, accusingly, he had to sleep for four days when he got back! I felt like everything was happening more slowly while he was here, but I didn’t realize it was still too fast for him.

  2. While my husband was alive and suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, I had to slow my pace a lot so as not to disappear from his view. This was definitely not on a hike but rather everyday walking any distance at all. Now I’m the elder one in my family and, while I do tend to walk at a fair pace, I sometimes have to either struggle to keep up with my daughters or ask them to slow down. Thus I’ve been on both side of the coin. My response to all this is I know I am fortunate to be as mobile as I am and hope I don’t need to slow down much more.

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