In grade school I ran the 400-yard dash. My competitive spirit always kicked in and no matter whom I ran against, I won the race. In 8th grade, I moved to Texas, and for the first time had to try out for the track team. Suddenly, my reputation as the fastest 400-yard dash runner was no longer valid in this location.
The coach had me run the distance by myself while he timed me. I had never learned to pace myself; since I simply ran faster than everyone else. I was stunned when I didn’t make the team. I failed when no one else was on the track with me to set the pace.
I had never failed anything, so I was feeling pretty low. That weekend my Dad invited me to run a 1-mile “Fun Run” while he ran a 10K race. He gently reminded me that, “The family that runs together stays together.”
That weekend I ran the race and won.
When I went to school on Monday, I asked the coach if a 6-minute mile was good or not. He immediately invited me to join the track team. I competed at the first track meet and won first place. I discovered that, with each lap around the track, I actually gained speed. All those years I had been stopping short, a quarter of the way into my prime speed, when I ran the 400-yard dash.
The entire thing helped me learn three great lessons that have been valuable in sports, life, motherhood, marriage and business.
- It is important to run the race that you are designed for
- Tangible goals are good to use to set a pace.
- Running alone yields lower results than running together.
Are you running the right race? Are you selling yourself short by stopping or slowing down before you hit your prime? Do you have a tangible goal that you are reaching for?