Just what is “Slow”?

2 10 2007

Ok – so I’m in a class on American Pragmatism … it’s a Philosophy class, but not one where people sit around all day trying to figure out the color of the fuzz in Plato’s navel.  I’m in there because semantics is something that is important to me and I’m also interested in why we do what we do … and because this is one of the areas of speciality of the professor and I learn an amazing amount from him – even though I spend half my life with my face in a dictionary or reading one of the Very Short Introduction books based on philosophers.

 BUT – as I was leaving class, I was thinking about friends’ posts on a racewalking newsgroup I’m on about how “slow” they are.

What exactly is … slow?  It’s a relative term.  It’s got to be compared to something else. 

I’m slow when I compare my walking speed to that of my speedy sneaker buddies who have to wait for me … sometimes for hours … after events.  However – one of them came back to get me at the Belleview Chiropractic 5K and said “DANG Lizzy I’m jogging next to you … you are NOT slow!”

My friend Mike Mc wrote me to ask if I wanted to work out with him … but he’s slow … trying to get himself to a 14 minute mile.  But when you take into consideration he’s toting either a canister of oxygen on his back or harnessed to a wagon carrying three of them … he’s FAR from slow!  He’s getting two work outs in one!

I used to run both track and cross country.  I was usually pushing myself because I saw people in front of me and I just felt insanely compelled to not only catch up but beat them.  I wasn’t that good … and would lose confidence and slow down.  I wasn’t the fastest — I would just use my relatively long legs to my advantage.

Now with Racewalking, I really don’t feel like I’m moving along that fast.  I keep a Garmin watch on to track my speed because I just want to work on my form and making sure that I’m not going ass over tea kettle on the trail (especially as it gets darker). 

Maybe I am getting faster, I donno.  People still look at me like I’m seriously strange and it’s getting darker earlier so I’ve got to push it to get the mileage in … so I don’t have to go to the treadmill …

All I do know is that I’m always going to have people in front of me. Runners, joggers and those who walk and run.  That means I’ll always have a target. 

So – slow is a relative term … and if I or anyone else I know is coming in last … they’re not last … they’re ahead of all the people sitting on their couches complaining about how they don’t have the energy they once did … and won’t go out and exercise because ‘it’s too much trouble.’

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