The trail around the small lake is the perfect place to walk or jog. Ducks and geese swim lazily and an occasional graceful heron can be spotted, preening or looking for a snack.

Bougainvillea arches cover some portions of the path. In the distance I may be lucky to spy one of the local volcanoes, sometimes tipped with white.

Run, Walk, Jog, or Amble

People of almost all ages show up in the cool of the morning. A few top-notch runners whiz by, obviously training to compete in races. Others jog along at a more moderate pace. A few, like myself, walk briskly, giving their bodies a fair workout.

At the same time, there’s a handful of walkers who shuffle along or move with a  gait, aided by their canes. Perhaps some have had a stroke and need to get in better shape.

Disabled… or Different and Able?

One man has an obvious limp, but runs along at a decent clip all the same. I don’t imagine he plans to enter any competitions, but he does beat me!

Even nature speaks of different abilities. One of the geese along the path has drooping wings, perhaps wounded in a fight in its “duck-eats-duck” world. No longer able to fly, it can surely still swim and fish all the same.

It is all too automatic to want to compare myself to others. I feel daunted when skilled athletes sprint by. Then again, it’s all too easy for me to feel superior when I pass others who are merely strolling along.

Different Styles

Style and purpose differ too. Some of my fellow-walkers are already attired more formally. A couple of women have their good earrings on; one wears a flowered scarf. A likely professional has his office gear on. I see that a few have come prepared with bread crumbs to feed the birds. I myself lose my pace all too often, tempted by wonderful photo ops.

The flora and fauna have their style, too. Besides the water fowl, there are two cocky roosters, and one of the workers speaks to them by name. More elegant, a pair of peacocks show off their iridescent plumage. Dressed to

impress!

Go at Your Own Pace

Wait a minute! There is really no need to compare. Casual or formal, fast or slow, focused on competition or therapy or the zest of life… each of us is unique. The point is not to parallel another’s speed, style or purpose. It doesn’t matter if others think I’m “lagging behind”, as I’m not in a race. The point is to live for my own purposes, or if you will, those I was made to carry out. The Creator has made each creature to be marvelously different.

Follow the pace and the path that’s set out before you!

Note: In a blog post last year, I linked the concept of “going at one’s own pace” in both physical and spiritual endeavors.