Three Books
August 31, 2023
Are You Sitting Down?
September 14, 2023

Channeling the Inner Tortoise

Photo by Ivan Obolensky

I have two observations about growing old (older, if that’s easier to bear.). The first is that “exceptions to the rule” are far more numerous than we were ever led to believe when we were young. Ironically, we know this to be true not by hearsay but by actual experience. The second is that endurance and sustainability are all about moving at a comfortable pace.

In running, there is a resting pace. It is too slow to be competitive, since it’s a little faster than a jog, but it will always get you across the finish line, and that is something to consider when it comes to aging.

We don’t have the endless supply of energy we had, nor the infinite amount of time we thought we did. Both of these constraints require us to reevaluate our lives. We must decide newly what is important to us and then estimate the energy required to sustain what it is we truly value and accomplish what we must.

We all know the story of the tortoise and the hare. The hare will always win over short distances but to win over the long term requires something else. It requires embracing our inner tortoise.

In other words: sleep a lot, have a thick shell, enjoy eating lettuce leaves, and keep moving forward at a comfortable pace even if a walk. While you’re at it, take the long way home. It’s more scenic, and moving slowly one can appreciate the beauty so much more.

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