"I can speed-walk a mile in twelve minutes, so you should be able to run one in under that. Easily."
Mr. Long-Legged Gym Teacher provided little comfort to his class of anxious seventh graders.
It was a cloudy day, slightly too cold to be outside without a jacket, and no one was in the mood to run a mile through the lumpy wet grass. But the state said we should be physically fit enough to run a mile in under twelve minutes. That was the scheduled day to test such a standard, so that day was the day we ran.
A few days ago, now nearly a decade removed from that experience--supposedly at the peak of my physical fitness--I ran a mile.
It took me twelve minutes. Mr. Long-Legged Gym Teacher would be embarrassed.
I wasn't proud of my pace until a friend reminded me, "Hey! It beats the couch! You could be sitting there doing nothing at all. Instead, you were outside moving."
He had a point. Slow running is better than no running.
I'm starting to think that's a good philosophy for life.
If you're putting one foot in front of the other, however slowly, it beats the couch.