Slowing Down to Win

A fly-in is an event where pilots, people, and airplanes show up to celebrate aviation. In Idaho, the closest one to us is in Garden Valley. Even though it’s a mountainous location, it has a maintained grass strip. By contrast, Oshkosh, Wisconsin hosts the largest fly-in in the world.

In addition to good food and good company, there are games. I’ve attached two short video clips that capture the flying spirit. You’ll notice that in both cases—“tossing the bean bag” and “spot landing”—it’s vital to slow down to win.

The closest aerial-dropped bean bag to the orange cone wins

The tires that touch down closest to the chalk line (on or after, not before) wins

There are many instances in life when speed is beneficial, but sometimes it’s detrimental.

When was the last time you slowed down to win?


52 thoughts on “Slowing Down to Win

  1. Sunday morning, was driving our golf team off to an interclub match, going round the first corner out of town, the van seemed to jump around it. I slowed down.stopped, and got out and had a close look. The left rear wheel was connected by one stud and one very loose nut – all the other studs were missing. We left the van on the roadside, went back into town, picked up two cars, and went to the match – we won 5/1.

  2. Fascinating, Laurie. I’m not very patient, but at the moment I’m trying to pace the launch of my next book to make sure everything is as ready as it can be. 🙂

  3. In the speed and balancing acts that accompany moving, I find myself often sitting and staring into space. It happens spontaneously, and I suppose it’s my way of keeping a (small) measure of equilibrium during this transition.

    You have taken wonderful advantage of this week’s “spin” which I saw first on Facebook. How fortunate for you and Len!

  4. I slow down deliberately at the beginning of a good day. I go to yoga class this morning, for example, walking along the street after rain has fresh ironed the landscape.

  5. A mountain area fly-in (whoo, whoo), it was great to see your videos! And, I was reminded watching the videos that going slow usually reveals the required inherent skill or the lack of it. On my return trips to clients (absent the pressure to arrive on time), I like to exit the freeways/tollways and take the slower and more scenic side roads. I gain the opportunity to take in simple landscape beauty and often see more wildlife while releasing the tension of crowded roadways and speeding traffic. It’s a great life lesson as well which I bring into this third act.

  6. I spent years in a rush, go, work, never have a moment to breath life. Then I stopped, and slowed down and starting listening to my inner voice. I changed everything and my life is better for it.

  7. Last December, I “flew” a few feet after tripping on a mat and fell down on my side as I rushed to get into my Coreball class at the gym. When I considered the “lesson”…the words SLOW DOWN came into my thoughts. I missed my class that day and had physical “reminders” (big bruises) that lingered for weeks and helped me to BEcome more mindful of where I put my feet. So grateful that the “lesson” did not include a break or permanent damage…a “BIG WIN!”

  8. Great videos Laurie! We have a slow down practice build into each day with a long walk in the woods or by the sea… Sometimes in the quiet part of a city if that is where we happen to be. But the general rhythm of our life is much slower and spacious in the last few years. I am not sure what we might be winning but it pleases us. Enjoyment maybe. We can pick up the pace if we must but seldom do we have to.

  9. Every day I try to match my pace to that of a turtle. The only time I have any trouble is when I’m out on the road and find myself wanting to speed up like everyone around me. When I slow down I’m happier, more relaxed, and get more done.

  10. Seems if I slow down, things get screwed up. It’s like they creep up on me and pounce. Having said that, when I go out in my garden I do slow down. Writing also helps. I guess like many people I need an advocate, someone who will sort out the government red tape, utility problems and other serious problems caused by others. Heck I can cause enough problems without others doing so and of course, should deal with these latter myself. But all the outside stuff? Seems to be more and more of that. sometimes I think I was born in the wrong decade.

    Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong decade.

  11. Great videos and how fun an event! We have a small grassy airstrip on the Island we live on. It’s actually one street over from us, however we live across from an old radio station with the towers so the flight pattern is not over our area (thankfully). Each year they host an event for the Islanders to come see the planes and have parachuters, helicopter demonstrations and so much more. It’s always a great time!

    I love this post because it is so important to slow down to win. Being a naturally “hyper” person, I have to remind myself to take a breath and slow down. I do this daily by putting my phone and electronics down to cook for my family. It’s a win-win for us all! Great post! Tina

    • Tina — The annual even hosted at the grassy airstrip near you sounds like a complete and total blast!

      I love the you un-plug when you make meals for your family. That’s great advice! 🙂

  12. I learned to fly in a Cessna 140, tail dragger with fabric wings on grass runways! Slowing down just right was critical in landing. I used to like to race from place to place on my travels, trying to squeeze in as much as possible. Now I’d rather see less places, and enjoy each more, sipping wine, people watching, enjoying the scenery — I didn’t “win” anything, per se, except a better sense of place. Most days, however, I feel I can’t get enough done, especially in my writing; I’d like to speed up in mundane tasks and get them out of the way to do the more important things. As all of life, it’s a balance.

    • Linda — Len wore a face-splitting grin as I read him your comment about learning to fly in a Cessna 140 tail dragger with fabric wings on a grass runways! He did the SAME thing in my uncle’s plane and landed in his farm field with a mowed airstrip.

      It’s a small world after all! 🙂

  13. Thank you for these videos, Laurie. Thanks to two very special men in my life, I’m charmed by small planes–well, big planes too.

    Currently slowing down to (hopefully) win. Instead of immediately sending my novel to publishing houses, I’m taking time to slowly self-edit and then I’ll be sending it to a first reader. I’ve been working on this novel for five years and I’ve lost track of how many drafts I’ve written. Slow down to win–sometimes this is very wise advice.

    • Carol — I can picture you, along with your 4-leggeds, watching nature through that great big window of yours. Ahh…

      That is, until you and your 2-leggeds go globe trotting again!

      You have a nice balance going on there! 🙂

  14. How fun! I don’t know about winning–I haven’t thought about what winning might mean in a long time–but I have learned to listen more closely about when to slow down. As a fast-acting personality this has been a learning curve at times!

  15. I have to slow down to ‘win’ in my writing, ie, write from my soul and heart, not from my head. If I give myself a deadline or push myself to write it down FAST, I miss out on the intricacies of what my pen wants to push out, much like a labor.

  16. More haste less speed… was what my dear departed mum used to say , and as a child , I didn’t know what she meant but now I am constantly being reminded of her words now . I can literally fall over myself rushing here there and everywhere and I know it gets me no where fast . Deep breath …in ….out…in …out …altogether now 😀😀😀

  17. Good advice for all those that go 100 mph hour all the time, I’m not pointing at me or anything *breaks finger* forgets he has to hands *breaks other finger* now typing with my nose :).

  18. That’s some pretty exact flying! I can well imagine the practice it takes to make such precision moves, a question of perfect timing with the beanbag and the line drop. In my case a slowing down to win came this morning when we took a small detour along a loop of the Columbia River on the Oregon/Washington state lines to view the magnificent bluffs and canyon from Umatilla to Pasco. Yesterday we took a curve on the mountain road, I-84 and came upon a view probably most often seen by pilots and their passengers and possibly Angels. I issued instructions that we would make a slow and stately descent, no matter what the rest of the traffic might choose to do. An active imagination is a great thing to have…at times!

    • Sandi – I’m very familiar with the terrain you’re currently adventuring across. It’s exhilarating, to say the least. I’m fairly confident that the imaginary brakes on the passenger side have gotten a total workout! 🙂

  19. Not sure about the “winning” part except perhaps as regards my own enjoyment of Life.

    After the intense period of time when my sons were babies and toddlers and my in-laws were dying and I had one huge business accounting crisis – once all of that was past for me, I wanted more than anything to simply have a “slow life”, sort of like the “slow food” movement. I can’t claim a 100% success in that regard but I do believe that I am making progress !!

    When my sons were young, we used to chase antique tractors around Iowa. It is an event that continues – The Great Iowa Tractor Ride. Their motto is “It’s a ride, not a race.” They seem know the advantages of slowing down.

  20. During the recent trip to Washington D.C. I had to moderate the many walking miles that were part of the three day excursion’s chaperone responsibilities. Keeping up the pace without over excursion was a “winning” formula. 🙂

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