Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Blog Share: On Slowing Down

I am hosting the following Blog Share post on behalf of another blogger. You can see the complete list of participants at the end of this post. Also, a shameless promotion: there is still time to enter my County Cork Contest.

I am not a runner. I see Ann is a runner. I am always amazed with runners. They have the ability to move quickly, sprinting, bounding. I have never been built for running. My legs are short, my body is much too heavy and muscular for running. I recall not at all fondly all those years of school being force to run for PE. Four laps around the track, and do it fast! Lord help me, I could never do it. I would take off, best of intentions, and suddenly my body would go into immediate protest and shutdown. My lungs would ache, legs refusing to move. It's a horrible torture, running, for me. I could probably run just enough to get away from someone if my life depended on it (here's hoping) but I really prefer to just.. not run..

So, I see so many people enjoy it. There must be something good about running. It's good for your heart, I am sure, makes you stronger. But I think one thing that running must teach as a lesson is the value of not running. The value of slowing down. Even marathoners talk about that, the value of resting. In yoga (the thing I love the most) we call this Savasana, total rest. For whatever amount of time, you are not running, not working, not trying. Just resting, slowing down.

It's tough, I think to find the value of slowing down. We like speed. In the US (where I live) speed is equal to success. How fast can you accomplish a task? How quickly can you meet a deadline? Everything is about speed. We must be able to communicate instantly, FAST. Our food must be ready quickly, our clothes washed and dried at maximum efficiency. Run the race, do the task, GET IT DONE!!! I often wonder about the cost of all that speed.

I like the idea of taking a day to just slow down. Not work, not email, not write, not exercise. I wonder how different our lives would be if we did this. What would happen? Would our homes fall apart? Would the world grind to a halt? I am sure there are those that would like us to believe those things would happen. But the truth is, it wouldn't. Slowing down is critical for growth. Restoration happens with rest, not effort. Imagine if you never slept. Imagine if all that you did was work and do. Sooner or later, your body would shut down. You may accomplish a great deal, but you would be destroying yourself.

Imagine if we were all well rested. We could love more deeply, give more fully. We would be much more efficient. Perhaps I write this just to teach myself a lesson. Slow down, just for a while. Who knows, you might even be running faster tomorrow because of it.

The Adventures of Shelagh
Alice's Wonderland
And You Know What Else
Bright Yellow World
Daily Tannenbaum
Du Wax Loolu
Everything I Like Causes Cancer
Face Down
Fretting the Small Stuff
Galoot's Hoot Page
Granted Null
Grumpy Frump
Just Below 63
Life After AC
Liz Land
Mamma Ren
Muse On Vacation
Muze News
Nancy Pearl Wannabe
Not What You Think It Is
One New Duck
Rankin Inlet: A Journey Northwards
Red Red Whine
Reflections in the Snow-Covered Hills
The Reluctant Blogger
Sass Attack
Sauntering Soul
Sparkling Cipher
Stefanie Says
Three Carnations
Tracy Out Loud
Way Way Up



At 26 February 2008 at 22:17, Blogger -Ann said...

Hi, Guest Blogshare Poster, thank you for participating and for writing your post. It's a lesson I desperately need to learn. (And one I know Peter's been wishing I would learn for at least the last 10 years.)

At 27 February 2008 at 01:36, Blogger laurie said...

wow. it is very very weird to read a post on ann's blog that isn't ann's. and so clearly isn't ann's.

it's a great and thoughtful post but i feel like i'm in Bizzaro World!

it must have been written by Bizzaro Ann!

At 27 February 2008 at 03:49, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not sure if I am capable of slowing down. Very interesting to think about!

At 27 February 2008 at 04:34, Blogger ped crossing said...

I'm all for slowing down. My only problem is the guilt about all the things that need doing.

At 27 February 2008 at 14:59, Blogger Celeste said...

I think that is a oint very well taken, but often, very hard to do.

At 27 February 2008 at 16:01, Blogger Sauntering Soul said...

I've been trying to get people to slow down for years. They just won't listen to me.

My mom is one of the worst. I can't tell you how many times I've told her she should spend a Saturday on the sofa watching movies all day long and stay in her pj's. She says she wants to yet then she refuses. She always has something to do, somewhere to be, etc. Not me. I love my down time and take advantage of it every chance I get.

At 27 February 2008 at 16:32, Blogger lizgwiz said...

I tried yoga for the first time a few months ago, and was instantly hooked. I love doing nothing. :)

At 27 February 2008 at 17:08, Blogger 3carnations said...

I agree!!! Every once in a while I declare a "Day of Relaxation"! Sometimes my husband participates, sometimes he doesn't. It doesn't apply to the hours when my son is awake, because 3 year olds don't have days of relaxation. They have moments of calm. Brief moments. :)

At 27 February 2008 at 19:01, Blogger Tessie said...

This is so interesting, how you started off with running as a way to learn how to slow down. In my experience, many runners have Type A personalities and/or are very competitve. They often have a PROBLEM slowing down, which is why they aren't content with walking, or some other lower-impact sport.

I DO like to use my own running as a lesson to myself that speed doesn't matter. We are all ending up at the same place, regardless of how miserable we make ourselves in the process.

Great post!

At 27 February 2008 at 20:32, Blogger nancypearlwannabe said...

I definitely prefer pilates to running, but there is something to be said about the rythym of running.

At 27 February 2008 at 23:09, Blogger Rose said...

Guest Blogger: I totally agree; even though I run around (not really run, but you know) like a crazy person, there are times when my body yells "Halt" and most times I listen. I went to bed early Monday night and came home Tuesday and took a nap for an hour and a half! and still went to bed fairly early and it's caught up now. I felt pretty darn good today! When I get sick, I totally give in to it and am a big baby, but I firmly believe I recover faster that way. Yea to slowing down! (Even though others may be surprised I would say that)

At 28 February 2008 at 01:07, Blogger Tracy Crowe Jones said...

Two things...

1. Regarding slowing down and taking time off and taking time to do nothing we need to learn from the Europeans. Granted, we have a stronger economy and a more powerful government, but we are much less healthy and much less happy.

B. I became a runner six years ago and ran my first marathon in 2005. I am not fast. It takes me about 6 hours to finish a marathon. When I run I know I'm not going anywhere except out and back and that allows me the time and space to relax my mind and my soul.

At 28 February 2008 at 02:51, Anonymous Noelle said...

I keep running to see if it will stick and I'll start to like it, but it hasn't happened yet. Yoga is the way to go. Yoga and swimming.

At 28 February 2008 at 04:46, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you all so much for your kind words. I love writing about opposites "running" and "stillness" for example.. I am of course, still trying to learn my own lesson..

At 28 February 2008 at 09:07, Blogger Babaloo said...

This is so, so true. I've decided to slow down this year. That's why I quit my job. And I'm so much more rested, in a better mood (OK, not all the time but generally) and healthier. I think. I definitely enjoy life more. And isn't that the point?
Very good post! But weird nonetheless to read something that's so clearly not ann.

At 29 February 2008 at 17:28, Blogger Jettie said...

iam all for not running!!!!
makes my back hurt!!!!!!!!!!!
i wish sometimes I could just not do a thing and sit with the kids all day. but you wouldn't be able to find us in the mess!!

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