Last night, I went with some friends to see the Mini Outlaw races at Millbridge Speedway in Salisbury, NC.
My friend John is an expert with all things racing. He’s worked on championship pit crews, designed and built race engines, and completely understands this world.
I know this – I like things that make loud noises and go fast. It was a good trip.
John explained to the rest of us how this specific type of dirt-track racing works. It’s not quite like NASCAR or Formula 1 racing. The cars are light, and drive on an oval track. That means they are very prone to slide outward, and hit the wall. Because of that, the drivers who win balance their speed with the need to stay on track. Or, as John explained,
“Slow is fast”
The tendency to go sliding out of control is way more disastrous than easing off the gas a bit. So the winners perfect that balance, and pace themselves to victory.
I know this isn’t the first time you’ve heard this concept. It’s been said for hundreds of years. Slow and steady wins the race. Sound familiar?
The problem is we convince ourselves somewhere along the way that fast and intense wins the race.
But instead of winning the race, we find ourselves careening out of control. Into a wall.
Why do we do that? Because we have this fear that if we aren’t pushing ourselves to the limit, then we are doomed to be forever _____. (fat, poor, ugly, slow, etc.)
Nine times out of ten, though, we fail because we drain ourselves and quit. NOT because our consistent efforts aren’t enough.
Back to the race. John went on to explain how the drivers adjust mid-race. He said,
“As the track gets tackier (more grip), the drivers can increase their speed”
Now apply that to your habits.
As you develop “grip” in your life, only then should you increase the intensity.
What does grip look like? It’s when you go on vacation and still exercise. It’s when you choose no soda because you want to, not because you’re depriving yourself. Or running even when it’s not the absolute perfect conditions… not because you are disciplining yourself… but because you enjoy the activity.
Once you feel your actions are driven by desire and not discipline, then and only then should you increase your speed.
Drivers, start your engines. And remember…
SLOW IS FAST!