When I was a kid I tried out for the local football (American Soccer) team. It was a simple try out. I would join the practice game that was already being played, and the coach would see how I did.
I was slow.
My running was slow, but so was my vision. During one particular play a teammate of mine passed me the ball. It was my first possession. I stopped the ball and looked downfield to see who I could pass it to. In the time it took for me to catch the pass, look downfield, and look down at the ball again in preparation to kick it, a kid form the opposing team stole the ball.
To add insult to injury, I heard the kid who was stealing the ball say, “You’re too slow…” as he ran by me.
The whole thing probably took 10 seconds. It felt like 5 minutes. And as I replayed my insufficiency in my head, the kid’s assertion continued to ring out, as if in slow motion as he ran by, “yooouuu’rrrrre tooooooo slooooooowwww.”
Since then I’ve often wanted to be fast. Sometimes I could meet the mark, but sometimes I simply couldn’t. I would overcompensate with pressure. That wouldn’t help.
We live in a culture that is affirming of speed, from the Olympics to the world of startups. One way I balance the culture pressure with how I’m made is to think about the benefits of being slow.
Here’s a fun video as a reminder.