Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Speed of the City

Train in Motion

Chicago in Summer Splendor

Week of June 17, 2012:

Thursday: Off (traveling!)

Friday: Easy pre-race shake-out run (~20 minutes)

Saturday: Solstice Run 10K!

Week of June 25, 2012:

Sunday: Off (but with lots of slow walks, with and without kids)

Monday: Easy shake-out run (~20 minutes around the neighborhood)

Tuesday: Off (off chasing small children, that is!)

Wednesday: Two walks with kids + chaperoning the little ones at the park

Thursday: Travel + too much walking in Chicago

Friday: Speed-walking in Chicago with Ammie and later with Adam

Saturday: More speed-walking!

Week of July 1, 2012:

Sunday: Travel (off)

Monday: Yoga (Gentle Hatha)

Whew!  I apologize for the overwhelming list of days and activities in this post.  Suffice to say, I stayed active during my vacation, even though I took a week off of running.  Or perhaps more accurately, I should say that I spent more time running after small children and speed-walking with friends in Chicago.

I consider myself to be in good shape, but man, my friends showed me that hoofing it around a city ought to be considered a sport itself.  Their speed was overwhelming, and I worked hard to keep up with them.  I’ve grown used to the easy pace of Texas, where we walk slowly and live easily.  Chicago, by comparison, is exciting, fast, and challenging.  I’m sure that when I lived in Evanston, I was quite the speed-walker myself, but that was the old me.  The new me runs and bikes quickly but walks slowly.  I wonder if my slow-walking ways are more about a shift in my mental game, a way of cultivating patience.  As a graduate student, I had to hustle to keep up with everything—maybe I felt like I had to hurry.  Now, I feel more reluctant to let anyone rush me.  I want to move through life at my own pace, whether it’s running a race or taking a slow photo-walk around the neighborhood.  Even in my cooking, sometimes I whip up a quick snack or meal, and other times I want to tuck something in the oven to bake slowly, filling the apartment with its delicious scent.

I suppose what I’m saying is that the speed at which we move through life may be a metaphor for our current needs.  I’m happier with a slower pace these days, though I certainly have my moments when I’m hustling.  But if I’m hustling all the time, I feel like life is rushing by me as I rush through it.  And that’s just not how I want to live.


  1. Interesting. I have felt very restless with the slower pace of summer in a little upper Midwestern city, especially after being in Madrid and knowing that I would be in NY later this summer. Right now I'm in the mood to hustle, but I'm not sure what that says about my current needs.

    1. I understand what you mean. Looking back with hindsight, I'd say it has taken me a long time to strike a balance between my need to hustle and my need to take things slowly. I can finally channel my hustling into my work and my exercise, and I'm much better at relaxing at home or when I'm out with friends. It feels good to have a balance, and I suppose living in Texas gave me a good chance to establish it on my own terms.

      You are at a time in your life when hustling is necessary! Between the research trips, the move, and the start of your new job, I'd say it's a great thing that your mood matches what is surely a demanding time in your life. I think you are a bit more of a mover and a shaker than I am--I'm often content to spend time at home alone, which means that I don't need a big city to keep me entertained. Though I'll admit that I would like to spend more time in Austin, if money and finances permit it! I would love to run a half-marathon or a 10K there :-)

      Happy Independence Day, my dear!