Wow. When I’m at the office, I walk fast. So fast that after I had back surgery, I’d hurt myself as I took long fast strides between meetings. (Who knew you could hurt yourself walking, right?!) So a week into the new year, I started the slow walk challenge.
On the first day, Isaac and I took a walk to clear our heads before jumping into the day. Naturally, we started chatting about work and our profession. As soon as words started spilling out of my mouth about technology, UX, content strategy, and business practices, I started to speed up.
Isaac is so sweet. He immediately said, “hey, where you off to?” I stopped in my tracks. I took a deep breath. And one short stride later, I slowed down. As soon as I did, I looked up and saw a hummingbird sitting perfectly still in a tree. You so rarely see hummingbirds sitting still; had I not slowed down, I might have missed that. We miss a lot of moments like that because we’re all moving so fast.
The next day wasn’t any better. I went for a hike with my friend Jenny–same topics, same result. I told her about my slow walk challenge. She laughed at me as I excitedly raced down the mountain. I laughed at myself too.
Over the last three weeks, I’ve just realized that when I’m excited about something, I do everything faster. I do this because I love thinking and talking about the things that I enjoy. Doesn’t everyone? Probably not. But I bet a lot of people do and that’s ok. I’ve realized that I was being too hard on myself. And more importantly, I realized that I need to be more aware of how moving fast all the time affects me.
I’ve made the conscious choice to walk slower now, and I feel really different. I notice small things again and I appreciate and relish them.
So for all you fast walkers out there–will you take on the slow walk challenge?
Just do it for a week. See how you feel. Come on. I dare you.