Advice from strangers

This morning I went running. I tried to run up Buitenkant street to my place in Deer Park. On the way I stopped, sweaty and complaining to myself, opposite a nursery school, where the security guard outside waved hello. I waved back, and he said:

“Don’t push yourself too hard.”

“I won’t!” I shouted, and carried on running up this ridiculous hill.

As I was running I contemplated… what does it mean to push oneself “too hard”? I know that I do this, but am seldom good at catching myself doing it.

A few years ago I was at the gym, and couldn’t seem to pack my bag, even though I was trying my best to pack as quickly as I could. Everything seemed to be in the wrong order, and I was slowing myself down. I said to the lady next to me:

“I can’t seem to pack my bag.”

“It’s cause you’re rushing. Slow it down. Take it one step at a time.”

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