By Eric Noel Roman
“Ready, set, go!” shouted a race director as I embarked on what was the beginning of a race career that has led me around the nation. It was a muggy Florida summer afternoon and I had just started a naked 5k race. I zoomed passed naked runners on the Dare to Bare 5k, only focused in on one thing, getting to that finish line first. At that time, I burst out fast and kept the gas running hard. I finished that race top five and was so proud. Since then I have run countless races in some of the most exquisite terrains. Vast views of desolate mountain ranges, endless flats of grasslands, and desertlike sand dunes many never get to see. My focus? Go faster as the finish line is right there.
As the races became longer I was forced to focus in on pace. The finish line was the bull’s-eye of my target. However, getting the center shot meant learning a new task. I went from a formula one race car to a grand tour sports car. I eased the gas and slowed my pace. The slower I went the more distance I covered efficiently. More importantly, I was able to absorb my surroundings. Instead of only seeing the end results, I took the time to look at the views, explore the grounds I walked on, and learn from each step. I had no reason to look back at my race. I only had to take note of how I felt at that moment, love the time spent there, and move to the next step. Even though the finish line is ever growing further away, I reached my goals each time less tired.
Each race is becoming more comfortable and equally challenging. I continue to improve my health. Everyday I continue to make so many new friends and open new doors. All it took was one person to remind me, “Eric do you remember the naked 5k? You were supposed to run that alongside me. Instead your competitive nature took over and you left me behind. Did you see the guy running barefoot? Did you notice the gorgeous lady in all of her glory?”
My answer was, “No.”
Had I learned my lesson early on, I would have taken the time to absorb my surroundings and not just speed through things. I passed up many early lessons, friendships, and memories. So while you have taken all of the steps to improve your life, any aspect whether it is your finances, your health, self-esteem, social status, or relationship remember one thing: slow down and absorb your surroundings. You do not want to miss anything.
Life can move fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you can miss it.
Eric Noel Roman DJ, obstacle racer, motivational writer from North Miami Beach, living life one day at a time, and making a difference one person at a time.