I took my son Henry out for an early morning walk the other day. He’s still too young to understand that vacation equals sleeping in longer than normal. This particular morning, Henry eagerly woke us up at 6:30.
My legs — still sore from the previous day’s 5K — pushed Henry around the quiet, sand-laiden street.
I heard panting closing in on us and turned around to see an old man (late sixties early seventies) jogging up the road. His whispy white hair hung in the early morning sea breeze. His thin frame draped in a saggy layer of translucent flesh, save for his pinkish knees absorbing evey blow from the pavement.
He wasn’t a good runner in the sense. His arms flailed side to side and his left leg dragged slightly behind.
But there he was, an old man running.
A sobering thought hit me: this old man could easily beat me in a race, maybe not in a sprint which I could win purely on my youth, but in a long distance test of endurance.
With my Millennial pride shaken, I sulked back to the beach house.
I’m a sprinter.
- I wrote, edited, formatted, marketed, and launched a book within a span of 14 months.
- I married the girl of my dreams after 2.5 years of dating (at the ripe old age of 22).
- I quit my first job after 20 months.
I’m focused on the short term race. The 5K not the marathon. The quick wins not the legacy.
Like everyone else on the Internet, I want to “design my own life.” I want to work when I want to work. I want to leisure at my own leisure. And I want all of it now.
But creating a life for yourself takes a lifetime (something I lack in my late twenties). It’s tempting to sprint at the sound of the starting pistol, but the winners always find their pace early.
Even now on vacation I’m fighting my desire to keep sprinting forward.
In the name of progress, I neglected patience.
I share this thought with you today to remind you to not worry about the sprint, but to find your pace. God willing life is a long journey, try not to burnout before the finish line.