Last week, Quinn and I were doing an early morning walk/run. It was still dark, and we were headed home, when a bright light appeared on our right. A few seconds later, a lady passed us by, power walking, arms swinging with purpose, taking long strides. Within a moment of so, she was well past us.
Immediately, I had several simultaneous feelings, low level awe, guilt, and curiosity. Frankly, her speed was amazing, she had flown past us! Second, even though Quinn and I had done almost four miles, comparing our pace to hers, it felt like we weren’t working very hard. Finally, I wondered how in the world was she moving that quickly?
As we continued our walk, I turned the various feelings over in my mind. Since we still had cover of darkness, I decided to imitate her form. I balled up my fists, started pumping my arms and took the longest strides I could manage. Immediately, I understood why she was moving so fast and just as quickly, I was completely worn out… that position and pace were simply untenable for me.
Having appeased my curiosity, we began to make our way back home. As we walked, I reconsidered the feeling of guilt. Quinn was happy and the nice kind of tired, but I was… off.
Why in the world did I feel that way? I mean, the sun was only just beginning to rise, and we had done some good work.
After much consideration, I realized that the thing I had said to Quinn, on so many walks, was now what I needed to hear. I was paying more attention to someone else’s experience than I was to ours. I needed to be ON OUR WALK, not worrying about someone else’s.
The truth is when we compare, we always come up short. That’s when I realized that we need to better P.A.C.E. ourselves: Prioritize, Affirm, Celebrate and Enjoy.
Instead of beating ourselves up, we need to be our own cheerleaders. So, let’s stop comparing and starting PACEing ourselves. By affirming our own successes, being excited about them and delighting in them, we live in abundance, not in scarcity. And that feels like a walk with real purpose.