Daily Stretch #17: let someone else dictate your speed

Pace and speed both describe how fast you’re moving.

Runners generally use pace while bicyclists use speed. 8 minutes is the amount of time it takes someone to run one mile. 18 MPH indicates the average speed a person is biking at.

When it comes to our own life, how do we measure our life’s speed? Or, do we even care about it?

Our pace affects our behaviors. Changing your speed with a purpose can make you a more interesting person.

Today’s stretch: let someone else dictate your speed

“If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.” — Fred DeVito

A study carried out by British Council researchers demonstrated that pedestrians’ speed of walking can determine the pace of life in a city.

People in fast-moving cities are less likely to help others and have higher rates of coronary heart disease.

I’m not advocating for slowing down your life. I want you to experiment with changing your pace. If your life is fast-paced, go slower. If it’s slow-paced, pump it up.

Most of us lack awareness of our pace. That’s where following other person’s pace can help.

If you are always the first to finish a meal, interrupt when others talk or walk away from a restaurant because there’s a line, you are living life in the fast lane.

We all move at different paces. But what if we experience the “same route” at different speeds?

I did that many times. I walked one of the routes I bike often. And then I drove my car following the same path.

Walking allowed me appreciate the small details that were passing me by at 19 MPH. Driving made the distance felt short, I could connect the different avenues and roads, and build a mental map of every place I’ve visited biking.

People challenge your perspective too. Walking with someone who moves faster or slower than you normally do, will change what you see. And make you more interesting.

Today’s stretch: let someone else dictate your life’s speed.

Overcoming excuses and fears

“I am a slow walker, but I never walk back.” — Abraham Lincoln

When we slow down, we focus on the details, we can appreciate the small things. When we speed up our pace, we can focus on the big picture.

Kids love to sprint. They suddenly run as fast as they can without a reason. And then stop because something caught their attention. Or just because they feel like it. Kids are versatile, so should be your life’s pace.

Elderly people walk more carefully. Not just slower but they are more conscious of their surroundings. I remember my walks with my grandmother before she passed away. Everything seemed to stop around us. Elderly people pause, they invite us to inner-reflection.

When I bike with my wife, I’m reminded of lowering my speed. When I’m biking on my own, and join a group of pro-bikers, I must push my limits. I’m reminded that fast can always be faster.

I remember once I was recovering from a bone fracture. Using crutches wasn’t just a challenge for me but for everyone around me. Walking with someone that has physical limitations is a reminder of our own vulnerability.

Other people’s pace gives us perspective. Speed is a choice.

Do you need to see the big picture because you are stuck on the details? Do you need to slow down because you are leaving your team behind? Do you have a hard time connecting with yourself?

Go out with people that have a different speed than yours. Let them dictate your pace.

Stretch, reflect & grow

Are you aware of your own pace?

Do you live in the slow, medium or fast lane? (you can take the pace of life quiz here.)

How did your perspective change when you let someone else dictate your speed? Why?

What new things were you able to realize when you changed your pace?

Before You Go

Change happens one stretch at a time. Each day I post one exercise to help you grow beyond your comfort zone.

Improve your change fitness: