I work in Manhattan, a fast-paced city. When the subways are working, we hurtling around underground. When the subways aren't working, we pound the pavement quickly. Our whole environment is fast and the speediness is contagious. Most New Yorkers match the pace around them and keep up, but that doesn't mean it isn't overwhelming to our systems. The problem with all this speediness is that it spills into times when it is OK to slow down, and for all sorts of reasons, it is a good idea to slow down.
This phenomenon of moving speedily, without questioning to what end, isn't just an issue for New Yorkers. This speediness comes with feeling harried or simply trying to get a bunch of stuff done. I feel like many of my friends from college – very driven women – are a particularly speedy bunch.
If you are speedily moving through your schedule and you arrive at the gym or fitness studio at any point during your day, I invite you to pause upon arrival to the gym or studio floor.
Or maybe you moving at a different pace. Maybe you are not speedy at all – quite the opposite. Maybe you are prone to slowing down, leaving ample time to travel, and change, and transition. Maybe you tend to move really slowly. When you arrive, I invite you to pause and take stock in your speed too.
Then adjust accordingly.
Your speed on the gym floor depends on your goals, modality, and program. If you are working with me in person or even remotely, I will tell you how fast or slow to move. Your speed in the gym should not reflect your inner state upon arrival, or the pace of whatever else you were doing that day. Faster is not always better. Nor is slow – it simply depends on what response and adaptations you are trying to drive while you are at the gym.
Next time you show up to any sort of movement practice, take a few seconds to check in, assess your inner speed in that moment, and adjust accordingly.
Originally Published February 22, 2019