|My shoe and me crossing the finish line at the Luray Sprint...|
What that race taught me though, is that seconds matter....which is true both on and off the race course.
I saw a figure today that there are 1,440 minutes in a day. As the old song goes, there are 525,600 minutes in a year. So at the time of writing this post, I've been alive for approximately 21,046,460 minutes...the calculator doesn't even have enough places to show how many seconds that is. Twenty one million minutes...I don't know if that sounds better or worse than 40 years and 16 days.
That figure made me think...what I have done with those minutes? How many of those minutes have been wasted? When have those minutes made a difference in my life and I didn't know it? We've all heard stories of people after 9/11 say that they just made it out of the towers by a matter of minutes or seconds. Or that they missed the bus to work that day by a minute. Those minutes and seconds ended up making a lifesaving difference.
Most days minutes aren't going to make a life or death difference for us; but, the point is that all minutes are precious, regardless. When we race, we obsess about shaving minutes or seconds off our time. A second or two - or 12 - can make the difference between a podium spot or not, or qualifying for that next big race. So we try to maximize everything to save a second or two here and there. But how hard do we try to maximize the minutes and seconds in our daily lives?
I'd guess that most of us waste a lot of minutes in our day...Waste them by being angry, sad, or bitter. Waste them by daydreaming about what we don't have, what we wish was different. In a race, we are keenly aware of the seconds and minutes ticking away, so we focus intently on the time flying by...but not in daily life. And while we may rush through our days trying to hurry from one task to the next, that's not really the same as maximizing our time.
Contrary to race day, maximizing your time in daily life doesn't mean going as fast as you can. But it does mean that you should be equally mindful of how you're spending your time and where you're wasting energy. Next time you're running through your day like you're running through a transition zone, maybe you should actually slow down to maximize those minutes. As my grandpa used to say "You need to sit down and wait until your hurry's over because, before you know it, in the blink of an eye, your life is over." In a race, you need to go warp speed....But not in life. Maybe the best way to maximize all of the tens of millions of minutes you'll have in your life is to actually slow down...
For fun, calculate how many minutes you've been alive...How well do you think you've maximized those minutes?