Your Perfect Pace

I went for a full day hike with my best friend and a group of people whom we had never met before. I did not enjoy the first 20 minutes of it at all. The first 20 minutes were spent huffing and puffing, trying to keep up with the pace of those leading the pack.

It was advertised as being suitable for people with a moderate fitness level. I thought, ‘That’s me!’ I had climbed the thousand steps in Ferntree Gully with a 7.5kg baby strapped to my body. I could do this!

What I failed to take into account were that my fitness levels had declined drastically since participating in National Novel Writing Month. With each opportunity to write, I had glued myself to the desk and chose to do that at the expense of exercising, only going for walks 2-3 times per week and ignoring resistance altogether. Not a good idea.

So I struggled this morning. Then I realised that for me to enjoy what was meant to be a contemplative, reflective walk, I needed to go at my own pace. When I was no longer gasping for air, I could hear the running water, the rustle of leaves in the breeze, kookaburras and blue wrens.

It was beautiful! I need to build my fitness back up again, of course. But I could have pushed myself and powered through, missing the glorious details and intricacies of nature around me. And hopefully it will not feel as much of an effort as last time.

Trying to keep up with those in front of you will leave you gasping for air. Worrying about those coming up behind you will make you rush when you shouldn’t. You need to find your own perfect pace at any given time; a pace at which you’re feeling challenged but you’re confident of seeing it through. Anything more is unsustainable. Anything less is unfinished.

Are there any areas in your life where you need to consider changing your pace?