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Friday, January 22, 2021

Pacing Yourself

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Admittedly, I’m not the runner in our household. My husband loves exploring different routes in Westwood, returning filled with awe over which sites he passed and how much farther his feet took him. I smile, knowing the run energizes his day while I am just as happy to drink my second cup of coffee. But lately, I think my husband has the better routine.

As the adage goes, “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.” Many of us ran straight forward, double espresso in hand, feeling as if this quarantine time was conquerable. How many loaves of sourdough bread will we bake? How many novels can I read? How many yoga classes will we take? Which languages will my children learn?

Ambitiously, how will I now change into the person I always wanted to be?

Perhaps, in sprinting forward, we thought the finish line would be closer.

But this is a marathon, not a sprint. We don’t know what normalcy will look or feel like. Sprinting is just leaving us out of breath.

The key to completing a marathon is pacing. Each runner learns how to pace themselves: replenishing the body with water, the mind with particular focus and, most of all, cultivating an inner voice that whispers, “It’s time for you to slow down. It’s time for you go faster. Nope. Not that fast. Keep going. Just like that.” The finish line is a fraction of the goal. The real accomplishment is knowing that your mind, body and spirit are dancing as one, enabling each foot to miraculously follow the other.

The ability to keep going is an underrated, beautiful gift.

Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Ruler of the Universe, who makes firm man’s steps.

It’s a marathon, not a sprint. And I imagine God whispering to each of us, “I’ve got my running shoes on. Don’t worry. I’m with you. I’m not going anywhere.”

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