The Hare And The Tortoise

Ouch! It’s been a while since running. I’ve been a bit depressed about it all and a bit busy with life, but that’s really no excuse. Well, actually it is an excuse… it’s just not a good reason. I’d like to start off this entry in my Runner’s Log with an old story that comes from Aesop’s Fables:

The Hare and the Tortoise

A Hare one day ridiculed the short feet and slow pace of the Tortoise, who replied, laughing: “Though you be swift as the wind, I will beat you in a race.” The Hare, believing her assertion to be simply impossible, assented to the proposal; and they agreed that the Fox should choose the course and fix the goal. On the day appointed for the race the two started together. The Tortoise never for a moment stopped, but went on with a slow but steady pace straight to the end of the course. The Hare, lying down by the wayside, fell fast asleep. At last waking up, and moving as fast as he could, he saw the Tortoise had reached the goal, and was comfortably dozing after her fatigue.

Slow but steady wins the race.

It was halfway through my 2.51 mile run today that I was thinking of this story (you can see the details of my run below by clicking on the graph). Why, you ask? Well my father in law and I are training in tandem you might say to run the Pensacola Double Bridge Run (a 15k) together next year. We’ve both fallen out of our running habits in the past couple of years so we thought having a common goal would help us to motivate each other, which it has.
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Let me tell you a little bit about my father in law. He is an ex-military man. He served with the Army Rangers… you know the guys that ran half-marathons in the scorching heat with full combat gear wearing boots. Those guys. Me? I was a music major in college… then switched to computer science. Now I’m a software engineer. I sit at my desk in front of a computer all day. My hands are as soft as my children’s hands. Big contrast.

Anyway, when we first started my father in law was having problems running a mile; so was I. I graduated up to two and half miles pretty quickly and settled in there for a while. The next thing I know he’s telling me, “Yeah, I ran four miles the other day.” The next time it’s, “Yeah I’m up to six miles at 4 minutes per mile… I’m running to China later this week if you want to tag along.” What!? You were just doing laps in your wheelchair last week? What happened? Oh that’s right… Army Ranger.

Thus you see where my thought processes led me to the story above. My father in law is very quick to excel at the physical things. He trained for that sort of thing all of his life. Me… not so much. So I have to tell myself this and remember that it’s OK to be the tortoise. Slow and steady progress can win the race. Which race? The Double Bridge? The race against my father in law? No. The race to accomplish my goals. For that is the race that really matters to me the most. Self improvement is what I’m in this for, not to prove myself to anyone.

So tell me, are you a hare or a tortoise? Are you having trouble finishing the races you started in your own life? Do you have any personal success stories you’d like to share? Please leave them in the comments below; I would love to hear about it! Thank you for taking the time to stop by.