In my world, there is black and white, right or wrong. While I’m not comfortable with grey, I don’t have to worry about that discomfort often: I am able to categorize nearly everything at one or the other of the extremes. This makes me feel content.
Occasionally I encounter a situation where I realize that right and wrong can be based on circumstance. When I was younger, that idea would have hurt my mind. Now it simply makes it easier to place things in the right and wrong categories.
Back in high school, I ran cross country my freshman and sophomore years. I loved the feeling of running. It was a solitary activity, but I was still on a team. For me, that was the best of both worlds. I wasn’t great at it, but in time I got better, and towards the end of my sophomore year I’d even earned a spot on the starting line.
At the end of each race, I had quite the kick. My coach thought that meant that I wasn’t running fast enough throughout the race if I had energy left, and he tried to get me to speed up earlier. I tried it … once, but it didn’t go well. I ended up not having enough energy to finish the race. I dismissed it as bad advice, and I’m sure the coach thought I was uncoachable, which I guess I was.
Fast forward nearly thirty years. One of my best take aways from the race walking workshop I took last year was the fact the first mile of the race should be the slowest. I think I liked it because it matched with how I work best. It taught me that coaches have different opinions and training methods, and when there is an option, pick the best one for you.
This past weekend I did my local five-mile route, the one that was the comedy of errors a while back. I started out faster than I had intended, but I stuck to it.
I did have a few slower miles in there, but overall it was my fastest speed for that distance, and my last mile was the fastest I’d ever race walked.
Okay, maybe there is a universal “right” strategy for a race. For me right now, whatever works best for me is right.
Am I the only one with an aversion to grey? or Grey or Gray: Which way do you spell it?