A precious soul and friend of mine recently asked my husband and me for help in training for running faster, longer, and better. To be fair, my husband legitimately is someone worthy of being asked for help in this way. To be honest, she didn’t ask me. She asked him. Details. Whatever.

The point is, she was running too fast to reach her goals. She was getting on that treadmill every day and running too fast. Let me say it one more time.

She was going too fast to accomplish all she wanted to.

So “we” showed her the research, explained to her the heart rates zones she should train in, and encouraged her along. The training plan she is now on involves lots of slow and sustainable running.

Long, slow, easy pace. Strengthen the heart. Resist the urge to match the pace of the super attractive and chic unearthly lady next to you with her nails manicured at school drop off and children who remember to brush their teeth. I mean, resist the urge to run as fast as the runner on the next treadmill at the gym. Keep going and you’ll feel like you can run even farther when you stop.

But then add in a day or two of intensity. Speed it up and shorten it down. Run faster and push it, then stop. Rest for a bit before starting it all up again.

So she goes. My dear friend has slowed down her running to speed up her progress.

Slow down the pace, speed the progress.

I have frequently watched my hurried son try to pull up his pants after he has a shower. His body is dripping wet. But he is determined to pull them on, while standing (or rather hopping around), so that he can try to get back to whatever playing he was in the middle of before I, gasp, asked him to have a shower. He wants to move faster. But instead he moves slower.

Oh my. And myself. I try to pack it in all at once. Teach the little one to read, while emailing back and forth work messages, in the midst of stirring the cooking onions, while interspersing some kettle bells swings and calling the plumber to unclog the sink. It has to ALL HAPPEN NOW. And, inevitably, my fast pace through it all turns into burned food, a stationary kettle bell, a child who didn’t learn any more letters, and an email full of typos. I want to get it all done now. But instead I get some of it done at half rate.

Slow down to speed up.

As we teach our children to cope with the inevitable demands that life will put on them, let’s be mindful of leading by example now. Take it easy. Choose what is important. Prioritize. Do one thing at a time. Focus in.

Slow Down.

I promise – we will reach our goals a lot faster.