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Speed is not an option
Senior moments
Rich DeLong is the executive director of Station Exchange Senior Care. - photo by File photo

I’ve never been fast at anything. Even when I was a competitive runner, I was always in the middle of the pack.

I think my obsession with the word "slow" started at an early age. In fact, in my case, it is probably hereditary since both my mom and maternal grandmother were never ones to be quick about anything.

My father used to tell a great story about an evening out my parents had planned that included other relatives and, of course, my grandmother. As everyone met at the house ready to go, my grandma, as she was fondly known, sat up in her chair and remarked, "Reckon I’ll go get my bath now."

Speed has never been high on my priority list. I was always the last one to finish an exam, the last one to come in from recess, and the last one to get in line for just about everything. My philosophy is: Enjoy the journey as well as the destination.

I never thought I could be much slower than I already am; but my shoulder surgery about two weeks ago has got me setting records for turtle-sonic movements. Showering has become an almost daylong event. The surgery was on my dominant side; so things like eating, writing and even working on the keyboard to finish this column are like watching paint dry in the rainforest.

As we age, "fast" is a word that all but leaves our vocabulary. The need for speed is replaced by the "slow manifesto."

What could be better than knowing you have all the time you need? I think our society’s obsession with speed is unhealthy. Think about all the negative situations in the world, at your home and abroad that have been influenced by the penchant for speed. I think if one wanted to, he could trace back most problems of this world to a desire for more speed — a faster outcome, a quicker fix or a more expedient process.

So I’m happy to say I am embracing my slowness. Because I know it will only be a matter of time before the expectations for more productivity are upon me once again. If you have a desire to slow down, know that slow can be good for you.

Going slow teaches us patience — something we all need more of in this frantic-paced world. Going slow hones our acceptance and gratitude for the small increments of progress we make in life.

So goes the progress for my recovery — for which I am very thankful. The therapy I perform is slow and measured. Going fast would increase the chance of another injury, or worse — another operation.

Slow builds resilience. I was never the fastest runner, but I could run for miles as I paced myself. Slow builds endurance and a passion for persistence.

And finally, slow is seasonal. There are many times within our life where we are meant to go slow. It is during these times when we are deliberate, contemplative and considered. Slow is the essential yin to a very yang world.

Yes, going slow may not always be easy; but it can be a way to free yourself from the speed traps of the world in which we live. Go slow, my friends!

Call DeLong at 912-531-7867 or email him at

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