Living life at your own pace

P1030629 low resSince I had a road accident two years ago (Iin which I was fine, but the car was written off), I have been scared of driving. It’s rarely a problem, because I live in London and travel by public transport most of the time. I only drive once in a while when I visit family in the French countryside. I tend to worry about it days ahead.

Last week I had to drive my mum’s car to the supermarket. It’s a small car, I know the way along the quiet lanes, so it should be no big deal.

I was scared, so I drove really, really slowly. I stopped a long time at crossings, stayed well away from other cars, and let people overtake me on the main road. Basically, I drove like a granny. After a few minutes, something happened – I realised I was almost enjoying myself.

Which lead me to think, the problem isn’t so much that I am scared to drive, but that I have been pushing myself to drive faster than I was comfortable with.

I have been neglecting what my senses were telling me, to follow what I thought was “the norm”.

By driving what I felt was “embarrassingly slowly”, I was doing just fine. And importantly, I dared to pick up the car rather than shy away and stay home.

This reminds me of something else: for years I had tried repeatedly to get into running to lose weight… and failed miserably each time after a few painful runs. Until I recently read this advice from famous gym instructor James Duigan (of Bodyism fame – a fitness genius): When you start running, you should go at a pace where you can easily maintain a conversation. 

What?! I You mean you are not really supposed to be sick after a run? That was a turning point for me.

I now jog so slow you’d think I’m going backwards, but guess what – I absolutely love it.

I’m not saying everyone should take more time to do things slowly by the way. I know people who enjoy doing many things in a day, and tirelessly do things at a brisk pace in order to move on to the next thing – my parents are still like that in their 60s (which might explain a few things!), and that’s fine too.

Did you ever notice how uncomfortable it is to try and walk at someone else’s pace for a long time? If they are too fast you’ll be out of breath, but if they are too slow you will be infuriated.

Bottom line is, it’s important to keep to find the pace that suits YOU. This way instead of giving up because you feel uncomfortable, you will keep going effortlessy.


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9 thoughts on “Living life at your own pace

  1. Ana

    Hiya Cecile! As usual, thanks for sharing this not obvious at all way of thinking.
    For those who don’t know me, I am an “embarrassing slow” driver. I got scared when I was little (i am survivor of two “siniestro total” car accidents in which very close people to me were the drivers), and, now i don’t get nervous when i drive, but i do go slowly, i enjoy it and i can talk at the same time 😉

    Maybe for jogging i should do the same 😉

    Big hug, A

    1. Cecile Post author

      Hi Ana, I had no idea you had been in car accidents, not only one but two! that must have been really scary, especially if you were little at the time. Good that you can still drive despite it. I also get scared when I am in the car with someone else driving, even when I know they are good drivers. So SLOW IS GOOD 🙂 And yes definitely try it if you ever fancy running, it makes such a big difference! Hugs x

  2. Nina

    I’m a slow runner, but pride myself on running 5km without stopping (when at full fitness) when others run faster but stop for a breath every so often – run your own race, at your own speed 🙂

    1. Cecile Post author

      Thanks Nina – “run your own pace, at your own speed”, this is such a tweetable ! This reminds me at school when I was the slowest runner in the PE class and I’d be doing one lap while others did 2 or 3, and would wave and smile as they were overtaking me, how annoyed I was then!! but thinking back it’s really funny 🙂

  3. Richard Pettitt

    Good advice Cecile. That’s probably why I prefer to cycle long distances on my own rather than struggle to keep up with my brother-in-law!

    In a way, when I compare my life with other people of my own age and try to keep up with their progress, I get frustrated. I’m so much happier when I move forward at my own pace, step by step. After all, life’s not a race to the grave; it’s about enjoying the journey. x

    1. Cecile Post author

      Hi Richard, you are so right, sometimes you need to do stuff on your own to find out what you can do, rather than try to keep up with others… easier said than done about not comparing yourself to others though! I love how you say “life is not a race to the grave”, very wise advice, I will definitely remember it! x

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