Is Slow the New Fast?

Which is better, being fast or slow? The answer is obvious, right? Even the little kids on the AT&T commercials will tell you, “FAST!” Why?… 
…they have a point, being fast has many benefits, especially when it comes to running races. As a professional runner, I train hard every day to get faster but even when I’m not running I try to live a lifestyle that will help me stay on top of my game. The ironic thing is, that lifestyle ends up consisting of quite the opposite: slowing down.
These last few weeks I’ve spent training in San Antonio, TX have made me realize the value of being able to slow down and relax. For some, living the “eat-sleep-run” lifestyle would seem boring, and after three weeks of it they’d be dying for something else such as normal job, or a booming social life, but not me. I realize I’m a very relaxed person by nature and I’ve finally accepted that it can be a good thing.
People have always told me that I am slow at everything but running. I hated to admit it, but they’re right. I need a good hour every morning to make coffee, eat breakfast and read. Back in school I was always last to finish an exam, or get ready for practice, and when it comes to driving, people honk at me and are probably surprised to find I’m not a 90-year-old-woman despite how slow I drive!
I know its not the greatest trait to publicly announce, but its a simple fact that being slow is a part of who I am, ahem, WinSLOW is my name, after all. 
I used to feel embarrassed for being such a slow-poke. I’ve tried to change, to be that person who can juggle a million tasks at once, or arrive 15 minutes early every time, but its just not me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I like being lazy, or that I deserve to never work a day in my life. I’ve just begun to realize after spending a few weeks away from the “busy life,” that there’s something of value in learning how to slow down now and then.
The problem is that we don’t live in a world where “slow” is acceptable.  Fast food, 4G, Instagram and Instant Lottery are just a few things that prove that no one can seem to wait for anything these days. Not only are we impatient, we try to cram more and more into our over-booked schedules thinking this will lead to more success.
However, that’s not always the case. As I’ve learned over my years as a runner, rest is almost as important as the workout itself. When you run a killer workout you’re actually breaking down your muscles, but when you rest is when they recover and grow stronger. You cannot train hard every day or you’ll crash. Well, the truth is life works very much the same. Too much work, a fast paced life, and no break means eventually you’ll crash, and that’s why learning to “slow down” can be a good thing.
 Recently I read a sermon about the negative effects of living this fast-paced lifestyle.  We fail to notice the little everyday blessings when we rush through life. Always being in a rush also leads to the loss of creativity. Think about any great movie that has been quickly followed by its sequel. The sequel is never as good as the original partially because its rushed into production without as much creative planning. Also, when we live a contsant fast-paced lifestyle its harder to hear God speaking to us. When God created the world he did it in 6 days, and purposely devoted the 7th day to rest. Somewhere along the way this entire day has dwindled down to maybe an hour or less for most people.
For me, I’ve realized the last of these couldn’t be more true. When life gets busy often the first thing I cut back on is my time spent in prayer, at church, or even simple silence and meditation. These things are so important, and yet week after week it’s easy to keep putting other things in my schedule instead.
And so, if there’s one thing I’d like to take away from my “spring training” trip in Texas, its to remember to make time for rest, relaxation and most importantly time for God.

Warm and snuggly pre-photoshoot

This weekend I travelled to Seattle to race a 3k at the University of Washington Indoor Invite. I’m super psyched for my first pro Indoor race, and also so excited because Seattle is home base for Oiselle Headquarters

Since we arrived we’ve already done so many fun things with the all the folks at Oiselle, including a photoshoot, and time at HQ (More details later). We also had a relaxing restoration session of yoga with Jasyoga where I was yet again reminded how important it is to refocus the mind and #HITRESET. 

As I prep for my race, I’m trying to stay relaxed until it’s time to line up and unleash my energy. Learning the art of relaxation is key to training, but now its time to get back into “fast-mode.” After all, the kids on the AT&T commercials also have said that, “If you’re fast…they put your face on a cereal box, but if you’re slow…they put your face on a can of corn.” –I don’t know about you but I’d much prefer cereal 😉

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